Spa Trends and Tips for 2011 From IECSC

Coyle Hospitality Group’s hospitality consultants are on hand for this week’s International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSC) in New York, where, among the sessions, spa experts are advising operators on how to capitalize on growing trends in the industry.

In yesterday’s seminar, “Trend Watch 2011: Worldwide Spa Trends”, spa consultant Bryan Durocher of hospitality consulting company Durocher Enterprises, shared tips to make the most of marketplace trends. “The spa business has proven to be recession-proof for those who run their businesses correctly,” said Durocher, who added that the spa industry accounts for $13 billion of annual revenue in the U.S. Following are some highlights from Durocher’s seminar.

  • 1 in 4 women has never been to a spa, creating a huge potential market of women to convert to spa-going. Operators must educate these potential spa consumers, many of whom may be intimidated by spas or believe they’re only for the wealthy.
  • There’s a significant market to be had among Generation Y (Millenial) males who feel no stigma in spa treatments and believe in indulging themselves. Services that look to be growing enormously among this younger male group include laser hair removal and waxing services.
  • The Millenial market is made up of 76 million people – a huge potential market to target.
  • Spa operators should focus on value-added promotions rather than discounting their services via daily deal sites or in other ways, says Durocher. It’s better to discount retail products than to discount services.
  • If you use online marketing, give consumers good content – skin care tips, stress management approaches, etc. – rather than just deals.
  • You should have a 24/7 retail store online, buffeted by a VIP loyalty reward program that provides incentives for your clients to purchase from your shop. If you give your clients reasons to be loyal to you, says Durocher, they’ll stay with you and buy from you.
  • Consumers are shopping for “experiences.” Create unique guest experiences that foster memories so that they’ll share the experience by telling others – and return for more.
  • Carry premium skincare products in your retail store. There are indications that many spa-goers are willing to pay top-dollar for high-end products to maintain the high-end treatments they’re investing in.
  • The desire for shorter services is growing. Add a selection of 15-minute spa treatments (perhaps targeted to one area, like eyes or lips) to your menus. Keep this theme by offering and promoting  time-saving products, such as skincare regimes that only take five minutes per day.
  • Look into “tryvertising” – giving potential clients the opportunity to try out your services at special events or through the use of limited time pop-up kiosks.
  • Status spa treatments are important to many spa consumers. Look to offer exclusive treatments that go beyond luxury brands, offering unique experiences or VIP options. Make sure you guide guests through the entire experience, leaving nothing to chance.
  • Make sure you create scripts and dialogues for your staff to follow. Then use spa secret shoppers and mystery shopping services to make sure your staff is using your scripts correctly.
  • Sampling is huge. Make sure clients can touch, try and feel everything you offer in your retail store.
  • Make your menu of services tighter; if it’s not selling, take it off the menu. And make sure everything on your menu relates back to the retail products for sale in your spa.
  • Consider investing in imaging devices; they provide an objective view that’s valuable in selling treatments.
  • Four million teens have been to spas; look for this market to continue to grow and capitalize on that.
  • Corporations have noted the huge return in productivity for every dollar spent on wellness. Spa operators should consider pursuing lucrative corporate business.

Coyle Hospitality Group will present a seminar on the spa consumer tomorrow at IECSC, from 10:45-12:00 noon.  For more information on Coyle Hospitality Group’s mystery shopping referral services, click here.

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