DAYSPA's 2013 Top Honors Slideshow

Top Website—The Woodhouse Day Spas, with multiple locations

Ever since The Woodhouse Day Spa brand opened its first location in 2001, the website has served as a crucial component of its business model. Similar to the spa chain, which now operates some 27 franchised spas nationwide, the site has grown and evolved considerably. “We always want to make sure our guests are able to experience The Woodhouse at home or online,” says founder Jeni Garrett. “Ten years ago, a company’s website wasn’t necessarily the consumer’s first impression, but these days it is. The online experience is almost as important as the spa itself.”

The site's most recent transition (which rolled out last October) included a feng shui-inspired makeover, which aims to appeal to the modern and tech-savvy consumer. “That system was used for the site’s design as we wanted to utilize the most effective formats to catch the guest’s eye,” explains Garrett. “All of the colors, images, tones and textures needed to be cohesive and carefully chosen.”

The end result is a one-stop shop that offers users everything from online booking, a wellness blog and gift card options, to a spa locator, links to each Woodhouse Spa location, spa slideshows and information for potential franchisees. The latest development to the Woodhouse site is the new online boutique that retails some 300 items that range from high-end home and office goods and apparel, to skincare and bath products. “We found that guests fell in love with the products they saw in our spas, so we wanted to offer them online,” says Garrett. “So far, the response has been great, and we plan on adding even more products and categories in the coming year.”

Franchisees have easy access to their respective sites so they can update specials and send email blasts to clients on a weekly basis. They are also regular contributors to the Woodhouse wellness blog, in which they sound off on skincare solutions and tips, industry issues or simply share inspirational stories. To keep the content fresh, Woodhouse staff and franchisees are all responsible for keeping the site current. “Websites are a living breathing thing, and must be updated daily—hourly even,” explains Garrett. “Nothing is more unattractive than a stagnant site made up of old content.”

Although the site's new format is still in its beginning stages, clients are already taking notice. “The feedback we’ve received so far has been very positive,” concludes Garrett. “Cyber-guests truly feel like they are in a Woodhouse spa.” —Angela Melero