Having trouble moving your spa’s retail products? It’s not just you. Many spas don’t do as well as they could with retail.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense, given the widespread demand for skincare and body products.
Gordon Tareta of Tareta Group International once told Spa Executive in an interview that the average revenue of a resort or hotel spa is about one and a half million dollars per location, and that the average percentage of that revenue coming from retail is about 5% – 6%. Meanwhile, he said, the skincare industry in the United States alone is a 150 billion dollar industry. The demand is huge.
The spa industry is full of experts in skincare, aesthetics, and massage, and has some of the best products on the market — yet lags far behind the retail industry when it comes to sales.
Why are spas missing out on this potential revenue source that could dramatically improve profit margins, and that should be low hanging fruit? Part of the reason is that many spas lack sales training programs and a comprehensive sales strategy. Sales don’t just happen. You have to work at them.
Here are a few tips to start you off on the path to improving your spa’s retail sales.
Set goals and align your team
You have to set sales targets. It’s easier to get somewhere when you know where it is you want to go, and setting these goals drives momentum. Communicate goals to your team and ensure that you’re all working towards them. Consider tiered targets, as suggested in this Harvard Business Review article (worth a read), instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. Communicate that you’re all in this together. Reward everyone when company targets are met or exceeded. A feeling of community can help motivate lower performers to do better, and higher performers to help lower performers reach targets.
Incentivize and reward
Find ways to reward your team through monetary compensation, prizes, and recognition. Consider tiered rewards and giving prizes for improvement, rather than just giving prizes for top sales, as the latter can often result in the same people winning over and over again and demotivate middle players or lower performers.
Train your staff to be salespeople
Don’t assume that your facialists, nail technicians, and massage therapists can sell. People don’t necessarily come out of massage school with sales skills, and selling is a skill that needs to be taught. Use your performance management software to track who is meeting sales goals and who isn’t. Take the time to give extra support to underperformers and help them achieve company goals.
Turn your whole team into evangelists
It’s easier to sell something when you truly believe in it. So, make sure everyone has the opportunity to learn about the benefits of your products and to become fans. Do this with your whole team, not just your therapists. You want your front desk staff singing the praises of nail polish, your nail techs extolling the virtues of face creams, and your facialists crying devotion to body oils.
Place product within reach
Make sure your products are elegantly displayed, and that testers are available within reach for the client to test, touch, and smell while they’re waiting for appointments. Keeping product behind a counter or locked in a case can impede sales. Many people are not going to ask you to get a product for them to try, but they will open a bottle or tube that’s right in front of them, which can motivate them to purchase.
Post about your products on your blog and social media
You love your retail products, so tell people about them! Take beautiful pictures and share those on your social media. Write about them on your blog or website. Beautiful products can also provide an incentive for people to come to your spa in the first place.
Manage your inventory
Keeping inventory records can be a pain, especially if you’re doing things manually, which takes time and leaves a lot of room for error. But if you don’t keep track, you risk overstocking unpopular items and running out of popular ones, so you’ll have none when people want to buy them. Fortunately, a spa software can manage your inventory, so you don’t have to.
Stay in touch with guests
Take notes of who purchased what, and send friendly reminders when someone is about to run out, asking if they’d like to replenish (again, your software should take the heavy lifting out of this).
Give loyalty rewards for retail purchases
If you have a loyalty program, make sure it includes retail purchases and not just treatments and services.
Bundles and promotions
There’s a virtually endless list of promotions and bundles you can offer. Bundle products with services, or bundle products together. Use holidays for promotions, offer discounts or gifts with purchase, run a contest, offer “bring a friend” or “family” packages. Use your creativity and knowledge of your market to create the appropriate promotions and packages
Know your customers
That brings us to the importance of knowing your customers. All spa markets are not the same, and nobody knows your customers better than you. Some people will respond better to discounts or freebies, while others are motivated by upgrades and exclusivity. If you aren’t well enough acquainted with your guests to know what will work, then it’s high time you got to know them. Ask questions, pay attention, send surveys, do what you must to understand what will motivate your guests to purchase.
It might seem like a lot of work, but the right software can help you with many of these steps.
The rewards are worth it.
Spa Executive magazine is published by Book4Time, the world’s most innovative spa, salon, wellness, and activity management software. Learn more at Book4Time.com