Spa Retail: Homecare Hydration

Pros dish on how to make sure clients' skin stays healthy and hydrated between spa visits.

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How can spa owners make sure their estheticians are encouraging homecare hydration? Zangl advises training therapists to identify, during treatment, a couple of products that meet key concerns. “It isn’t about the sale; it’s about building the client’s trust,” Zangl says.

Dr. Charlene DeHaven, clinical director, Innovative Skin Care/IS Clinical , recommends blocking out time during the mask portion of a hydrating facial to make product recommendations. However, she cautions, meet the client where she is, not where you think she should be. “You might be worried about her dehydration, but if she’s worried about blackheads, address that concern first,” advises DeHaven. “Gain her trust and show her some results, then move on to hydration.”

Conclude all visits with a clear message. “Send clients off with handwritten ‘prescriptions’ noting why, when and how to use recommended products,” Crary says. Pedro Ortega-Dardet, president of Wilma Schumann European Skin Care , believes the best retail tactics lie in follow-up. “Create a replenishment system that reminds client and esthetician that it’s time for another visit, or that three months have passed since XYZ product was purchased,” he suggests. “Perhaps offer a sample or free product replenishment with a service to keep clients on track.”

Having a designated retail associate to man your boutique is ideal, but if that’s not realistic for your spa, Zangl suggests setting up a visually compelling “hydration station” near the front desk. “Guide clients here after services, and focus on the long-term benefits—delayed aging and increased resilience to climate changes—that they’ll experience from implementing your recommendations.” Shelf-talkers and advertising posters go a long way in reinforcing professional recommendations, and never underestimate the power of point-of-sale “impulse purchase” displays—hand hydrators and lip treatments are easy sells.

The great thing about hydrating products—especially during the next few months—is that they’re a universal need. King sums it up this way: “If a skin therapist told me her client left the spa empty-handed because she had no issues, I’d ask her, ‘Then why weren’t some hydrating products prescribed to help maintain that great skin?’ ”