5 Ways to Boost Retail


Let’s face it, we all want to be more successful. Retail revenue can be a great way to make extra money for the business and yourself. Retail sales can be increased significantly when promotions are implemented properly. Estheticians commonly make 5–15% on retail sales, which doesn’t seem significant. However, with some focus, an increase in retail sales can be lucrative.

In the esthetics industry, we often concentrate on performing more services; however, we need to think of every avenue to increase income, especially during slower periods. Providing your clients with core products demonstrates your commitment to addressing their skin issues; maintaining results and to the overall health of their skin. Here are some tips on how to increase retail sales by introducing clients to products through specials and promotions.

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1. Seasonal Promotions

Having seasonal promotions can help keep clients excited about skin care throughout the year. When you hear about seasonal or holiday promotions, the first thought is end-of-the-year deals. Discount season begins with Black Friday and ends with blowout sales in the beginning of January, but that leaves the rest of the year open to a holiday drought.

Instead of saving all the best deals for the end of the year, grab a calendar and see what other important holidays or events that you can incorporate into your marketing agenda. For instance, spring is in the air, with plenty of things to celebrate. Mother’s Day, for one, is a great start. Moms are notorious for putting themselves on the back burner to care for their kids, which makes a relaxing trip to the spa a great gift. Not only does skin care provide relaxation it also helps clients feel better about themselves; therefore, enhancing the gift with home care puts it a step above the rest. Packages including home care convey the importance of caring for themselves on a regular basis. Retail recommendations include treatment masks, exfoliators and home devices such as LED so the client can treat themselves at home.

Prom season is also upon us, which is the perfect time to offer incentives for younger clientele. Teenagers may not be the top demographic when it comes to marketing spa services and product sales, but a successful business must be able to meet all demographics. Prom is a special day where pictures are of the utmost importance, and prom-goers want to look their best. Prom prep can include a pick-me-up facial, makeup application and simple skin care routine to keep the skin in a healthy state. The makeup applications alone can easily result in retail sales. Everyone likes to have touch-up makeup available for a big night out. This can also be a great asset to teenagers suffering from acne or other skin conditions that may make them feel less confident. Tailor and simplify packages, protocols and price points. Use prom, graduation or any other momentous teenage event as the vehicle. During the course of time, young clients begin to see results. In the process, they realize the importance of skin care, thus returning as their skin matures and has different needs.

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2. Treatment and Product Pairings

Pairing products with services is a great way to get clients introduced to home care. For example, products should be included in a medical setting for more invasive procedures such as laser resurfacing or surgical procedures. Compliance is key when it comes to procedures with down-time. If the skin isn’t well-cared for, it could be more open to complications including infections, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and even scarring. In our office, we provide a post-procedure kit for laser resurfacing that includes products to not only heal the skin but also that can be used to enhance and maintain the results of the procedure. For facial surgical procedures, patients receive a home-care regimen with vitamins A, C and E—the most essential vitamins to keep the skin in a healthy state. The healthier the skin, the better the results and lower the chance of complications. These procedures are also higher priced items; therefore, the cost to include the post-care product should not be a significant jump in price. By adding products, it shows the client the importance of home care, which makes them more likely to purchase recommended products for continued use. This concept, service and product pairing should be introduced as an all-encompassing idea, from start to finish. The understanding should be “this treatment works in conjunction with this product.”

Another way to pair services and products is to have packages available. For example, “The Pigment Reduction Package” can include three chemical peels, a pigment lightening product, an antioxidant and a sunscreen. This allows the client to focus on the skin condition they are looking to treat as opposed to trying to piece things together. This type of package not only conveys the importance of skin care at home, but also gets the client to pre-book future services.

Having a menu or promotional items around the office highlighting product pairings is also beneficial. For example, clients receiving microcurrent for skin tightening could benefit from a peptide-rich product. When the client visually sees it on a marketing piece, it reiterates the importance of home care along with services.

3. Events

Hosting events can be a fun and a rewarding way to boost sales. Consumers are constantly seeking out ways to learn about the latest and greatest products and procedures, and what better way to learn about what’s available than from you, the expert. Events can be elaborate with hundreds of people, or you can have smaller educational events on a more regular basis. Of course, the larger events will get more consumers, but smaller, focused events have more personalized attention with individual guests.

One way to convey the importance of home care is to offer a complementary product free if they book an appointment for a service that day. For example, we had a CoolSculpting event and gave a product for cellulite reduction to anyone that booked on the spot. To start, contact the reps that work for the services and products you will be highlighting and ask them to help sponsor and attend the event. The reps should be available to help with sales and be able to answer questions. You could also give sample products if an attendee brings a guest. This will increase attendance and give guests the opportunity to try products first-hand. On the same note, have tester products available. It has been shown that sales increase when people can touch a product they are considering purchasing.

Holding a charity event through your business is another way to not only draw in more foot traffic, but also to be able to give back to the community. Offer your business as a drop-off location for local charities collecting toys, perishable food items or clothing. Then notify local media outlets of your business’ charity drive. News outlets are usually more than willing to spotlight local businesses giving back to the community. Offer a discount on product purchases for those who donate. Not only will you drive sales from existing clients, but you will likely gain traffic in your salon or spa that can be converted into returning clients.

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4. Online Engagement

Social media is a great way to advertise your specials and to promote products as it allows you the ability to reach a large number of people while keeping your marketing budget in check. With platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you have the potential to easily post promotions that can increase retail sales. If you have some availability in your schedule, offer a “treatment of the day” that comes with a complimentary skin care product to keep up results.

If your books are full, you can feature a product weekly. The featured product should have a before-and-after photo, key ingredients list and a testimonial. One way to do this is to have an “Employee Favorite Product.” Ask employees what their favorite products are and why. You can even do a short video. Clients love to see when people that they know use the product. It makes them feel more confident in their purchase.

Another promotion we do is “I love Mondays,” since Mondays are a slower day. The promotion can be centered around a specific service, a product pairing, or something like “purchase three products and receive a complimentary chemical exfoliation.” Always remember time is a provider’s most valuable asset, so keep the service down to 30–45 minutes. Social media is fast-paced and all about staying current, so make sure you update these deals regularly.

5. Loyalty Program

One tried and true method for driving retail sales is with a loyalty program. Loyalty program benefits often include discounts on clients’ favorite home-care products, early access to the newest and hottest products and treatments, or even discounts for referring new clients to your business. One way that we used the loyalty program for products is by putting together what we call “True Treasures,” similar to a beauty subscription box. We asked our reps for samples of products and put them together in a makeup bag. All of our VIP clients received a “True Treasure” when they came in for their appointments. It was greatly appreciated, and many of them purchased the products that were in the bag.

Stay Informed

The success of these programs is contingent on your ability to pass information on to your clients. For this to work, you must keep yourself up-to-date on the latest and greatest products and treatments hitting the market. By keeping yourself informed, you are better able to educate your client. An educated client is a client who understands the importance of the products you recommend. When clients have a firm understanding of why they are using the products you recommend, they will be more likely to follow the selected home care regimen, which will only increase the benefits of any skin treatments they receive. Devoted clients with visibly improved skin conditions themselves are also a great advertisement for your business.

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Terri A. Wojak, a licensed esthetician of 20 years, is an authority on skin care in a medical setting, education and business. She is director and educator at True U Esthetics, co-author of Mastering Medical Esthetics and author of Aesthetics Exposed: Mastering Skin Care In A Medical Setting and Beyond. She is also a member of the Skin Inc. Editorial Advisory Board.

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