Social media, spa sampling menus and giving back are just a few of the big trends the International SPA Association (ISPA) is predicting for 2010.
Forecasts for the coming year prove one thing—a healthy lifestyle never goes out of style.
“Since the economic downturn, the consumer is more educated than ever before when it comes to value and investing in themselves,” said ISPA president Lynne McNees. “They expect a return on their investment, and they aren’t falling for any tricks or gimmicks. They want tangible results and information that will improve their quality of life.”
Through industry research, ISPA has pinpointed the following spa trends for 2010:
- Social Media—Perhaps you’ve heard of a little Web site called Twitter? It’s helped to bust open the doors on a marketing revolution, and spas are leading the way. Now, it’s easier than ever for spas to offer up-to-the-minute deals by tweeting or posting a Facebook message. Cancellations are no longer a problem when you can re-book an appointment instantly. In fact, Ad-Ology research shows 57% of 18–24 year olds and 48.5% of 25–34 year olds say social media influenced their choice of a hair salon or day spa.
- Customer Service—Consumers are more aware of every penny spent, and with that comes higher expectations on the level of service they receive. Spas are responding by providing exceptional service and making each visit a customized experience for the guest. In fact, 87% of ISPA member spas are utilizing customer feedback mechanisms to ensure they’re exceeding consumers’ needs. And, 48% of ISPA member spas have implemented customer loyalty programs, allowing them to offer discounts or rewards while incentivizing frequent visits to the spa.
- Spa Sampling Menu—Just like ordering tapas at a Spanish restaurant, now you can order up a sampling of spa treatments to try out. These mini services at lower price points are popular ways to get a taste of treatments offered at many spas. With 46% of ISPA member spas seeing an increase in shorter (30 minutes or less) treatment bookings, and 86% offering shorter treatments, it’s the perfect recipe for consumers seeking small treats to help lift their spirits.
- Preventive Care—Wouldn’t you rather go to a spa now to learn how to manage stress then end up in a doctor’s office a few years down the road? According to the World Health Organization, by 2020 the top five diseases will all have the underlying contributing factor of stress. Spa treatments such as massage, acupuncture and meditation have been proven to aid in stress reduction and recovery time for pre- and post-op patients.
- Spa Partnerships—Spas are becoming more accessible through partnerships with established franchises, hotels and local businesses. Recent pairings like Murad Inc. and Massage Envy will allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of a total spa experience for an affordable price. Forty-six percent of ISPA day spa members partner with local businesses to incorporate spa into their workplace. Popular partnerships include: developing wellness programs at local hospitals, accommodating guests at local hotels without spa facilities and service discount trades between spas and local business employees.
- Cell Phone Applications—There’s definitely an app for that! Spa-ing is easier than ever with the convenience of doing it from your cell phone. The Four Seasons’ app allows you to browse spa services and check room availability for your next stay. The Hot Springs and Spa Finder—California app will guide you to roadside soaks, spiritual retreats and commercial spas. Plan a spa vacation from anywhere with Tripology’s app. The Find a Spa app detects your location and displays search results for spas in your proximity.
- Giving Back—Spas are offering promotions and free services to people who serve the community such as teachers, hospice workers and military personnel. Some spas are teaming up with local hospitals and providing wellness education to help educate consumers on the spa lifestyle. Community outreach is a great way to generate business and show how easy it is to incorporate spa into your life.
- The Millennials Take Over—This group now outnumbers the baby boomers, and they are flocking to the spa. They grew up in a culture where taking care of themselves, learning proper grooming techniques and leading a healthy lifestyle were not options, but the norm. Born during the exercise craze of the 1980s, they were the first generation to watch as their parents began turning to spas through the 1990s, when spas experienced significant growth. Spas are reaching Millennials through social media outlets and they are reaping the benefits.
- Simplified Spa Menus—Everyone is cutting back and spa menus are no exception. You’ll notice fewer treatment options because spas are focusing on the core of their business: results-oriented treatments. No-frills treatments that offer a return on investment are what the consumer is demanding. The No. 1 spa treatment that people seek out world wide is massage because of its healing and stress-reducing benefits. And, the No. 1 reason people go to the spa is to relieve/reduce stress and relax.
- Beauty Rest—Catching some zzz’s has never been harder in our sleep-deprived society. The spa makes rest a priority by offering treatments targeted to get you some shut eye. You can actually book time to sleep at the spa or stay after a treatment to nap when you’re feeling relaxed.