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Lifestyle and Lifelong Retail Engagement

By: Kimberley Matheson Shedrick
Posted: March 1, 2014, from the March 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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During the visit. Weave a sensory story throughout the spa with thoughtful product placement and infusion. Expose clients to multiple impression points and discovery stations.

  • Arrival is often an opportunity for outdoor art. Showcase a piece of art or fountain in a courtyard, and create an event that allows clients to meet the artist.
  • The reception desk is an excellent place for clients to try hand cream or rose-water spray.
  • Vanities, showers and locker rooms allow clients the ability to interact with your products directly. Work with vendor partners to get possible tester pricing, because sampling is a proven successful way to increase retail.
  • Treatment rooms provide unparalleled one-on-one time. Use customized recommendation cards to elevate your involvement with the do-it-yourself (DIY) revolution. Offer recipes that showcase your products for at-home and in-between spa treatments. Create authenticity by also offering suggestions for menus or lifestyle rituals that don’t necessarily tie in to a purchase.
  • Throw trunk shows, pop-ups, and revenue-generating events and parties, both on- and off-property. Connect clients to artists, designers and vendors. Regular clients will be rewarded for returning if there is always something new happening.
  • If your spa is part of or close to a hotel, consider how to interact with hotel guests by offering a healthy turndown ritual or beauty bar to enhance existing honor bars. Coordinate with room service to provide in-room lifestyle gift baskets or swag bags.

Interdepartmental training and incentive programs yield results. Determine minimally acceptable standards appropriate to department, position and level of responsibility. Create and analyze formulas that tie directly into individual performance. Establish team goals for front desk, management, retail team members and technicians, and motivate staff with meaningful and personalized incentives for individuals and teams. Consider additional incentives when clients replenish their supply.

Post-experience. Motivate team members to create ongoing relationships and foster a brand-loyal clientele. Maximize the opportunity presented by the DIY trend. According to a recent article on, “Convenience and economic rationalism are motivating consumers to bring home the beauty experience, and this has seen the at-home trend go from strength to strength throughout 2013.”1

Create opportunities for coaching and recommendations in-between appointments. Don’t let follow-up slip through the cracks; find out how recommendations and products are working. Be willing to accept negative feedback with gratitude for the opportunity to get it right. Provide proactive replenishment, and accept returns as necessary. Your goal is a client base that is pleased with its purchases. Clients now have the option of buying products online, at the drugstore or in department stores. Utilize knowledge of individual preference and conditions to combat fierce competition.

Legendary luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has created minimum goals, such as calling one client per hour, with great success. “Those staff members who are diligent in this practice have much higher sales productivity and personal achievement through developing a clientele,” says Charles Compton, retail expert, and president and owner of Mars Solutions, a retail consulting company.

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