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Improve Your Retail Revenue

By: Lydia Sarfati
Posted: July 27, 2012, from the August 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

As a spa owner, you have the liberty of getting creative with your strategies for increasing sales and profits. The spa industry is already offering a truly professional experience, but it is having a difficult time in translating that experience to retail. So often, retail areas are afterthoughts—dusty shelves, one or two products and no marketing material. Can you blame the savvy consumer for being underwhelmed? Imagine your favorite department store’s cosmetics area—beautifully decorated and attended by well-dressed, well-educated sales associates. If skin care facilities want to compete in today’s market, they need to get retail savvy.

Consultation, diagnosis, recommendation. These are the main points of difference between seeking advice from a beauty counter salesperson and a skin care professional. Use your specialized knowledge of skin care to listen to your clients’ concerns, perform a thorough skin analysis and recommend an at-home care program. If you are doing this correctly, you are going to provide your clients with fantastic results, and they will forever love you and trust you for it. Your clients have come to you for your professional opinion, so give it to them.

Invest in your success. Hire a full-time retail specialist. Your clients will come in, visit their skin care professionals who will give their recommendations to your retail employee, who can then go into full detail with the clients about each product. This way, skin care professionals can keep their schedules on point, clients will still get a professional recommendation, and the well-educated and driven retail associate can drive the sale home. It is a win-win for everyone. Your retail specialist can’t be just anyone though; she needs to be qualified, well-versed in your product line and, above all, friendly but tenacious.

Engage the senses. If clients’ eyes don’t light up when they walk into your retail area, then you have a problem. Your client has just received a treatment in your spa; you already know she is interested in her skin. So, if you bring the client into a room stocked with the latest in at-home products, she should be acting like a kid in a candy store.

Sight. Give them something worth looking at, something so enticing that they will want to look, touch and eventually carry it over to your register. Your displays should be neat and clean, with bold marketing materials.