As challenging as 2020 has been, it has also provided us with major opportunities to propel our industry and individual businesses to an elevated level of consumer experience. We have a chance to expand our definition of touch and service from traditional treatment delivery with back-to-back room turns to more personalized, professionally guided experiences. Most importantly, the pandemic has exposed aspects of the spa industry that are vulnerable, not only in terms of this virus but also regarding other major events that may follow. So, it’s important for spas’ long-term sustainability to put in place the systems and support resources that allow them to weather any storm. Here are some actions professionals can take to help ensure clients’ and their own safety, in addition to increasing income, revenue and retention.
Establish yourself as the professional guide who will help spa-goers navigate their new normal. Because clients are working virtually, helping kids learn remotely and/or caring for family members who need assistance, you’re in a position to offer the assets consumers desire most: human connection, a listening ear and personal touch.
Perform virtual consultations via Zoom or FaceTime to look at clients’ skin, listen to their needs and design a series of touches that will work with their new environment. For guests who have safety concerns about in-spa treatments, consider delivering contactless facial or wellness kits to their home. Then, you can virtually walk them through the steps live, explaining the purpose of each step, the benefits of product application and which steps should be repeated daily in between treatments. Because the clients are actually touching the products and actively listening to your guidance, it’s a deeper learning experience for them as well. Best of all, they get to see and experience the results firsthand as the treatment takes place, since they’re looking at themselves during the process. You can even use the kits in spa for clients who do want to visit but like the idea of shorter service times to limit exposure.
Professionals are also seeing higher demand for home care, and even estheticians are expanding their retail recommendations to include body and hands because there’s more time to discuss guests’ needs. Home kits should be different to allow clients to experience a wide array of product and treatment experiences, versus repeating the same one each time. I recommend designing a new release every couple of months, so it gives professionals an opportunity to see their clients more frequently.
Most importantly, virtual treatment programs don’t require sanitizing after each visit, nor is there a limit to how many people you can see a day! It truly helps cement you as the true guide on clients’ journey to better skin and health, and it deepens your relationship. This program is a life saver for pros who have limited or no room for treatment hours due to kids schooling at home or their own health concerns. It gives you a more flexible set of in-room hours complemented by your virtual services, and hence an even more efficient revenue model.
Leverage Your Website
A lot of spas have online booking or an informational website, but they haven’t optimized it for e-commerce. Among those who have, most don’t regularly update the site with current promotions, imagery, etc. Often, spas will focus on only a handful of at-home SKUs on their websites, but have a large investment on their shelves that never move and age out.
Leave your tech fears behind and set up an e-shop where customers can replenish their products without needing to come into the spa. Clients are forever changed in their desire to have things delivered to their home for both convenience and safety, plus an online shop allows you to be open when and where you’re needed.
Concerned about the cost, or not very tech savvy? Ask your vendor partners for help. For example, Skin Authority provides a free virtual storefront to all of our licensed partners, providing their custom brand identity online, as well as home fulfillment with no startup or maintenance cost.
Maintaining a dynamic e-commerce site also helps reduce your investment in inventory, as you can keep the most loved SKUs on hand and drop ship or allow clients to order the others online. Plus, spa-goers love that it’s as convenient as Amazon!
Celeste Hilling, CEO and founder of Skin Authority, was among the first female Fortune 25 Officers as vice president of Compaq Computer Consumer Division Worldwide, and she regularly leverages her tech background to inform her passions: developing product formulations, virtually connecting with clients and providing entrepreneurial advice to spa and wellness professionals.