Service to Retail Pivot for Spas and Salons

Service revenue has been deeply impacted by the reduced number of consumers, the need for social distancing, and concerns over public safety. Now is the time to pivot and lean into retail to get much-needed income, but how?

Service To Revenue Pivot for Spas and Salons

Ultra-fluffy robes, signature scented candles, luxury hair care, nail polish, and beauty accessories, are products at resorts, spas, and salons available to sell. But let’s face it, the primary revenue stream comes from services, so we pack our menus with a broad range of treatments and upsell add-ons to generate more revenue. Alternatively, we lose sight of the amazing retail products that were carefully curated once they are placed on the shelves.

For most, retail is considered an incremental sale, something that’s offered but not our focus, until now. Service revenue has been deeply impacted by the reduced number of consumers, the need for social distancing, and concerns over public safety. Now is the time to pivot and lean into retail to get much-needed income, but how?

It’s time to get scrappy and learn from others.

Due to COVID-19, once-bustling restaurants have transformed into neighborhood mini-markets selling everyday necessities and make-at-home items. A leading example of this is Panera Bread. Their fast-casual restaurants have pivoted to become Panera Grocery with the tagline “from our pantry to yours” or maybe your favorite local pizzeria has started selling their famous dough and toppings for a take-and-bake at home option. Similarly, wine tasting rooms previously filled with cuvee drinking consumers have converted to offering bottle pickup and home delivery.

The pivot to retail is happening.

Our golden rule is “be where the customer is” and right now they are nestled inside their home, but anxious to still live life and have experiences. Whether through a government-imposed mandatory stay at home order or by choice, our customers are staying home. As they remain safely tucked away, they are bored. Parents desperate to keep kids busy are causing massive sales spikes in jigsaw puzzles (up 300% as reported by toy companies) and local bike shops are sold out while bicycle manufacturers work around the clock to keep up with demand.

Hobbies such as exercise, crafting, and birdwatching are combating the stress of being locked inside. And of course enjoying libations as Nielsen data reports a 55% increase in alcohol sales.

It’s clear that the Cocoon and Carry On culture has altered consumer behavior, so how can spas and salons pivot to capture consumer spending and drive revenue during this unprecedented time?

As you have probably gathered, we believe the opportunity lies in RETAIL. At Buzz, we are creating customized strategies and action plans to help resort, spas, and salons pivot to capture much-needed revenue during this time.

To make the pivot to retail:

  1. Focus on the customer
  2. Create a compelling value proposition
  3. Develop marketing strategies and tactics

1. Focus on the customer

  • Existing customers- become hyper-focused on what customers love about what you do and why they come to your spa or salon. Your customers already enjoy your (massage, hair color, manicure, facial, etc.) so now let’s offer them something to buy. Offer them a kit of products to experience part of the service at home. Offer your signature robes, slippers, or the famous green juice you always serve. Tell them how they will benefit from it and make it super easy to purchase from you.

    Tip - Consider offering something free first. A sample, education, or recipe as examples. Send them a note or text that you are here for them and that you would love to have them follow you on social and/or visit your e-commerce site.

  • New Customer - identify who else could benefit from what you are offering. This might be friends and family of existing customers, cross-promoting with other businesses or manufacturers of products you carry. Leverage social media to gain a new audience and get more eyeballs on you, your spa, and your product offerings.

2. Create a compelling value proposition

  • Take the experience home. Identify what makes your spa/salon unique and offer retail items that bring that experience into their home.

    Tip - If your spa has a signature scent, contact customers, and offer to have that scent delivered for an experience at home.

  • Curate the right product mix which might be different between on-line e-commerce and in-spa/salon offering. To up your retail game, you may need an additional assortment to what you have been offering.
  • Provide a solution to a problem and communicate that.

    Tip - Maybe the consumer problem is their nails and hands look terrible, so you can provide them with a home nail care kit and tips on how to take care of their hands.

  • Add a clear benefit that the consumer will get when they buy from you. It could be deluxe samples, product curated specifically for them, or a DIY tip at home.

3. Develop marketing strategies and tactics

  • Turn your services into products that you can sell.

    Tip - Let’s say you’re a spa that offers a signature scented salt glow with massage and it’s one of your most popular treatments. Consumers love it because it’s unique and reminds them of their vacation. Create a retail product pack, design a home-treatment step-by-step, and package beautifully so it has a sense of style when it arrives. Have one of your most outgoing therapists do a quick video (aka commercial) on the at home treatment and step-by-step along with how to order for themselves or maybe send it to a friend as a “thinking of you” gift. Post on your social channel, have an easy click to buy and offer to include a gift card if they are sending to someone else. You could also send the video out to your customer base as a direct email campaign.

  • Develop a full e-commerce strategy to drive more sales.

    Tip - Make sure your website is easy to shop, offers product reviews so people can see what others say about each product, make checkout fast and easy, cross-promote products, offer a choice of free samples at checkout, either don’t charge for shipping or charge the minimum amount and offer curbside pickup as an option.

  • Create a 360-communication plan with customized e-mail campaigns but make sure you keep adding value or they will opt-out.
  • Leverage Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social channels as sales platforms for product.

    Tip- Get creative with little videos like product spotlights, DIY ideas, or offer a quick tip. Anything that adds value to the customer in exchange for her/his time.

Pivoting to retail is a shift, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Start with small changes and a focus, and watch how momentum builds. Your customers, family, and friends want to support you and your staff, so now is the time to find new ways to offer your unique talents and knowledge (and make revenue from it). At Buzz Beauté we have seen dozens of businesses find success through online retail and we want you to as well.