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To Spa or Not to Spa: Primary Reasons for Spa Visits

In the current economic climate, what gets a consumer to try a particular spa they have not been to before?

In Coyle’s Global Spa Survey, we asked respondents to tell us what the primary reasons for their latest spa visits were. Respondents were encouraged to select as many options as applicable, thinking of their past several spa experiences.  The results are as follows:

Almost every spa patron is seeking Relaxation/Stress Management. Spa-goers seeking maintenance (hair/nail/waxing) and appearance improvement, the number two and three reasons for spa visits on the list, are also an important market, and by definition are already purchasers of what spas offer.

34% of the responses indicated that visits were prompted by redeeming a gift certificate. We are hard-pressed to think of another industry where gift certificate redemption is a primary driver for a purchase. Gift certificates are more commonly marketed to compel an upsell or provide the recipient more latitude in their spending. Clearly, spas need to be sure that gift certificate promotion is conspicuous in all efforts and that purchase is easily executed.

Hands down, spas still are seen as a place to relax and manage stress. Of those surveyed who had visited a spa in the past five years, 98% had at least one massage annually with 60% having 1-4, 20% having 5-9, 11% having 10-15, 2% having 16-19 and 4% having 20 or more. 80% had at least one facial annually though 62% had 1-4 per year. Frequency for manicure/pedicure and hair removal was higher and 88% and 66% of respondents respectively experienced these services each year.

The things spa owners and operators dedicate significant time and menu space to, however, are experienced far less frequently by the consumer. Of those surveyed, 73% did not have bath rituals, 89% did not have cultural rituals, 83% did not experience meditation and 90% did not have medical treatments. Are spa operators delivering a message about their own expertise or answering a market need? We will shed some light on this in the next several posts.

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