In an ever-changing world where technology has made significant inroads into replacing pen and paper while the online shopping stores are replacing those built with bricks and mortar to build your online presence can be daunting. However, we all have to adapt to try and have any chance of surviving.
Now more than ever, you need to build your online presence to move your business to where the customer is – sitting at home!
Online Services & Online Retail
This may be a little more difficult for the service sector of our industry, though @home services are nothing new. The protocols that both the customer and the therapist need to follow today for @home services have taken away a little of the ‘spa-experience’ and made it far less personal and much more clinical. Over time, the clinical elements will soften, but by establishing an online presence now it can help your business to survive now and rebound post-pandemic.
For the retail side of things though there is greater potential, and while product houses have long exploited this opportunity, spa operators have been slow to follow. They have traditionally focused on the delivery of an in-person experience, with the retail experience falling far short. The much-touted number of getting 40% of your revenue from retail is a pipe-dream for most, with low single-digit numbers the more common reality. This means spas are missing out on a significant amount of potential revenue for their business, but then again, due to the general industry across the board when it comes to even knowing your KPI’s that should not be surprising.
So now with service restricted, there has never been a better time to build your online presence, and tap into a huge pool of revenue potential. For some operators this may very daunting, especially if they have a very limited list of products available for retail. Do not feel that you have to offer dozens of different items – your online retail presence should still represent your brand offering, and over time you can expand the number of products. If only have five items available in your retail outlet ‘inhouse’ then that is what you should start with.
Some spa operators such as Spa Cenvaree and Anantara Spas, both of which are considered industry powerhouses, that operate spas in multiple countries across the Asia Pacific have launched online retail stores. Smaller operators such as Glo Day Spa, Bali have an extensive list of retail items, but these not yet available for online purchasing, however, the vast majority of spa operators are yet to even venture into the online world at all.
Online via Social Media
The APSWC has just launched the APSWC Members Market Place on Facebook. This is a private group for members to step into the online retail world. If you are a spa operator this could be your first step into building your own online presence.
The Full Monty
There are other opportunities that seek to help make up the revenue shortfall from customers not visiting spas as frequently, or who are just not able to visit due to travel restrictions. Even with an e-commerce site in place, without a robust customer outreach sales are going to continue to suffer. A 360° video tour with LIVE video chat and e-commerce built-in such as that offered by Norman Bond Markets may be an option worth considering.
Obviously, it can come down to how much you are prepared to invest as we all know “you have to spend money to make money” but while purse-strings may be tight, there are opportunities for everyone to build your online business. For those with little or no budget through to those that have big budgets to spend, don’t be put off by the initial ‘ticket price’ – there really is something for everyone. Do your research and look at all the options available to you from a static web page, social media, or a fully interactive 360° retail experience – to ensure your online experience is APPROPRIATE for your customer.
We value your comments and feedback, so please feel free to like this article, pass comment,s or even give suggestions for future articles.