If you are in the spa business, your retail sales probably aren’t what they could be. Retail can be hard — spas don’t want to seem to be pushy about sales when they’re supposed to be in the business of customer experience. But that doesn’t mean your retail couldn’t be better.
As Gordon Tareta of Tareta Group International recently told Spa Executive magazine, the average revenue of a resort or hotel spa is about one and a half million dollars per location, and the average retail performance as a percentage of revenue is about 5% – 6% of that spa.
“But the skin care industry in the United States is 150 billion dollar industry,” he said. “Everybody else is selling way more than the spa industry is. We have all these experts in aesthetics and massage and we have retail and we have all these suppliers that supply to the retail industry, so why are we so much smaller than the actual skin care sales industry? Sephora alone does more in their revenues than the spa industry does in their retail revenue.”
The opportunity is there. We just need to know how to capture it. Fortunately, there are some very easy changes you can make to dramatically increase your retail. Let’s discuss some of them.
Placement is important
You want to make sure your products are visible and available for clients to touch and smell. Compelling visual displays will entice and engage guests who are waiting for appointments. Have testers available, and don’t make people ask to see something from behind a counter.
Consider repurposing your reception area. Make use of your space and showcase your products in beautiful and compelling ways. Rather than just having a place where people sit and flip through magazines or stare at their phones, create a space where they can experience your products.
Also, be sure to fill the air with the wonderful scents of your products, and be ready when someone asks, “What is that amazing smell?”
Know your own products and educate your guests about them
Make sure everyone on your team understands your products and how to champion them. When you have a guest for a manicure, pedicure, facial, or massage, you have a pretty much captive audience. Use that time, and ensure that your staff uses that time to talk about the serums and lotions being used and why they’re being used. Discuss why each is beneficial, and talk about a homecare routine that they can take away with them and that will contribute to that guest’s wellbeing.
People want to know how to look and feel their best and if they’re already with you and enjoying the experience, you shouldn’t be that far from a sale.
Set goals, track sales, and train staff to meet those goals
Train your staff. Use your performance management system to track who on your team is meeting sales goals – which you have of course set, right? – and who isn’t. Then you can train the underperformers in sales tactics and help them achieve these goals.
And keep track of inventory. With good inventory management you can see what you have, what you need, what is selling and what isn’t. Without it, unpopular items will sit there for months and nobody will notice, while you sell out of popular items and then have none available when people want them.
Communicate with guests outside the spa
Send reminders to guests when their product will be running out. If you keep notes on guest purchases, you can send notes about two months after purchase, or when the product might be running out, asking if they would like to replenish.
Who doesn’t love bundling? Combine a massage oil with a massage or a serum with a facial – and, of course, an amazing nail polish with a manicure.
Posting about your products on social media
You love the products you use, right? Post about them, share images on Instagram, talk about them. What does that shampoo smell like? How does it make you feel?
Take pictures of your guests after a salon service when they are looking and feeling their best, and talk about the products that were used. What conditioner did you use? What nail polish is she wearing?
We know that retail can be difficult to navigate in this industry. Spas and salons are about customer experience and a heavy-handed sales push will turn people off. This is where education and interaction with the products comes in, to gently encourage guests to make up their own minds to buy.
If you love what you are selling, and believe in it, that will come through and people will want to share that enthusiasm.
And then everyone feels great.