The location of my spa, Hidden Cove Day Spa, is (as you’d guess from its name) pretty remote. Although I’ve had many years experience in the beauty industry, I had trouble attracting people to my spa that is off the beaten track. Taking a chance on group buying coupons made a huge difference to my business, nearly doubling my client base. Most importantly, I converted 40 per cent of those coupon clients into repeat customers.
I opened the doors of Hidden Cove Day Spa in September 2009 in a beautiful seven acres of land in Tinderbox, south of Hobart – the ideal getaway from the everyday stresses of life. With a lack of foot traffic and low visibility, I knew I needed a way to pull in regular clientele from the local area, people who would normally pop into the nearest main street salon. I turned to the group buying website Living Social to attract new clients.
I’ve now run four different deals since Hidden Cove launched. The initial deal was to build word of mouth by offering luxury pamper packages – my signature hot Himalayan oil and salt body exfoliation, followed by a warm kelp and oat mud wrap. I then expanded to a wider audience by offering luxury weekend accommodation attracting couples on romantic getaways, girly weekends and bridal and hens parties.
These package deals also gave me the opportunity to upsell my treatments once the clients were through the door. I really needed something that would allow people to try the full experience and not just a treatment here and there. Group buying helped me to achieve that. Living Social allowed me to take advantage of its merchant services following the deal and I was able to source feedback from customers. I had been planning to build more chalets on the land and initially was questioning if this was the right move. The positive praise I received has given me the confidence to continue with the expansion and I plan to begin the build in the next 12 months.
Jerilee’s Group Buying Tips
- Work out what you can afford to provide in your deal and if you have the manpower to provide the services once these are purchased.
- It’s prudent to guarantee you are covering your costs or allowing for any shortfall to come from your marketing budget.
- Be prepared to up-sell – you have the client in front of you, now show them everything you have to offer,
- Repeat business is the name of the game. Provide quality treatments for each and every client to ensure dependable return trade.
- Have a follow-up plan in place: offer return discounts, source email addresses for your database, etc.