For a salon, spa or clinic to experience true profitable wellness, it’s essential to map out a clear retail strategy, says Sonja Sorich*.
Unfortunately, many aesthetics and wellness businesses miss the mark when it comes to merchandising and promoting their skincare and retail offering.
If you have the luxury of designing a new salon, spa or clinic (SSC), it’s important to build in a generous retail area near reception. If you have an existing business premises, consider how your retail space might be remodelled or improved.
Concept stores such as Aesop, Aveda, Jurlique and Perfect Potion provide wonderful retail inspiration.
These companies appreciate the importance of visual merchandising and specific placement of products, and spare no expense in achieving the perfect retail environment that consumers you coming back time and again.
A taster bar that allows clients the opportunity to smell and feel product also creates a great connection.
Be sure to include a diverse range of retail products in your retail area including, but not limited to: inner health supplements, a men’s range, a lifestyle range, heat packs, eye pillows, body brushes, bath products, muscle-ease products, gift packs, insect repellent, baby products, deodorant, suncare and sun-soothing care, lip balm, writing journals. The sky is the limit!
And weave as many products as you can into the guest journey. Every touch point should be connected to a retail offering.
For example: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand wash and hand lotion in the bathrooms should be available in your retail space. Perhaps also make the bath robes and slippers (if your business provides them for clients when having treatments) available for sale.
You might serve teas, alchemy cordials or Beauty Chef elixirs in the relaxation area. Feature essential oils in foot bowls, foot compresses and in aromatic diffusers placed around the spa. And ensure that any oils or mists used in the opening and closing sequence are available for retail purchase as well.
One challenge we experience as SSC operators, is that many therapists believe their duty of care goes no farther than delivering a treatment.
Sadly, this sees the industry’s average in retail sales quite low, and has our clients going elsewhere to purchase their skincare, such as the supermarket shelf or David Jones counter. Buying skincare in this way hardly provides the prescription our client might have received had their therapist shared even just a small percent of their extensive knowledge on the skin’s anatomy.
During a treatment, a therapist has the unique opportunity to carefully analyse a client’s skin, as well as work with it and notice how it responds to certain products. It really is the perfect scenario for giving each and every client a prescription to support the needs of their skin.
In fact, a therapist is in the doctor’s chair when performing a treatment, and the more a therapist truly believes in what they have have to offer, the more in service they can be.
Have your therapists embrace this belief and give them the training and tools to recommend in a sophisticated way and watch your retail sales improve dramatically.
Don’t forget that introducing the brand begins during the consultation, and preparing the client to receive a prescription also begins here: the therapist can ask the client if they would be happy to receive any applicable advice and a prescription at the close of their treatment.
This is a polite way to ask for permission and creates the expectation that will then hold the therapist accountable.
It is also very helpful for an SSC to design its own skin and lifestyle prescription. This is not an expensive exercise in terms of graphic design and printing, and yet so worthwhile to your business, your therapist and your guest. It keeps your branding cohesive and makes completing the prescription a breeze for busy therapists.
The prescription informs the guest of all products used in their treatment, along with the price, so there are no embarrassing surprises.
The therapist can specifically highlight 1-3 products that they especially recommend for their client. This can be as easy as saying: “Your skin responded particularly well to the hyaluronic serum, which I’ve highlighted here for you”.
The spa manager can decide how the guest journey will best flow and whether the prescription is discussed in the treatment room or relaxation lounge or at the reception desk upon departure. The receptionist can be instrumental in closing a sale.
Retail sales are finite and only limited by your running out of stock, and even then there is always a way around that such as postal delivery.
Your clients will respect the level of service and the care and knowledge they receive when visiting your venue, and your clients, team and business will collectively thrive.
* Sonja Sorich is the director of Spa Wellness Consulting, a boutique company that offers a holistic wellness approach to the business development of spas, retreats and hotels.