Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks

The Retail Experience


Our Spa Guests want to shop, what they don’t want is to be sold to. Here are some tips on effective retailing from my own experience working in Spas.

Selling shouldn’t be a chore, it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be forced. The Therapists with the highest sales in my experience are those that simply express passion for the products demonstrating a genuine belief in the benefit to the customer. The products will sell themselves if combined with a wonderful treatment and to emphasize this the Therapist has the opportunity to select the most appropriate products for that client’s skin type and requirements. The key is to then gently advise on why they have selected the products that they have chosen, discuss the client’s current beauty regime, identify any specific needs and concerns and simply make recommendations.

The Therapist should have had thorough training in the product brand that they are using and it’s vital they have been able to experience the products themselves. The most genuine and effective sales come from Therapists who can vouch for the product they are recommending.

Let the client finish their treatment in a wonderfully relaxing way by offering them a drink and then ideally taking them to a relaxation space where they may continue to rest. The worst end to a treatment is to have a sale pushed on you. 

If the customer requests a list of recommendations after the treatment it is useful to have a pre prepared list of the products available to buy, this can then be quickly tailored to the guests needs. However, in my experience the best approach is to let the guest know that you will leave a selection of the recommended products with reception. The reception team can then present the products on checkout ‘as recommend by the therapist’.

Men are often keen to buy products so they can benefit from them at home but don’t want to lose precious time listening to long explanations of what is recommend for them.  Instead the most effective way to sell to a man is to leave the products for him on check out. A wise Therapist once told me this was the secret to her high treatment to retail conversion rate with male guests.

Stock control is essential to effective retailing, ensure that you monitor your sales monthly and identify your best sellers. Only order what you’re selling regularly and be sure to stock up on products that are appropriate for the time of year. For example, at Christmas stock up on Christmas gifting, in Jan/Feb stock up on detox products if suitable, in the summer you may want a tanning/sun protection range etc.

Think about the way you display your retail offering, the height that the products are displayed at, the lighting, the number of products you have out on the shelves and the pricing displays. I believe that prices should be displayed for the customer but in a subtle format. If a customer cannot see the price they often walk away. Don’t pack the shelves with too many products but equally don’t have empty shelves. Refresh the displays regularly and keep the product offering fresh and on trend.

Work with your product provider to come up with innovative and effective promotions and display material. Carry out demos for the customer where possible and run shopping events. Make sure there are products out on display to smell and feel, we all love to try before we buy!

When it comes to retailing in Spas you can be creative, have fun with your displays and indulge your clients with great offers such as gift with purchase. There will be some guests that are keen to buy all the facial products they were recommended so they can carry on the regime at home and there will be some who simply want to buy a little something as a memento of their lovely spa experience. Whatever the reason it is essential to make sure retail is of high priority in Spa and if managed effectively can be very rewarding financially.

Helena Field

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

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