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  • SKINtuition: 8 Fast and Slow Retail Strategies

    Dermalogica retail shopper

    As spa owners or managers, we need to make retail a focus instead of an afterthought, and our approach to retail and service should be both fast and slow. Sounds confusing? Let me explain.

    First, some good news. Although the idea of omni-retail (or multichannel retailing) might be overwhelming for small business owners, the good news is people are buying plenty of products. According to the NPD group, $16 billion was spent in 2015 by U.S consumers on prestige skin and beauty products and a staggering $21.7 billion in the mass channel. That’s a lot of lotion and lipstick. So, how can we make some better retail gains in the professional industry?

    When shoppers leisurely hanging out and enjoy themselves with in-store services, storytelling with less inventory, having customers take a seat to try products or even having a library or art installation, sales can increase by as much as 40%. Customers not only leave with three products on average, but a future service booking with a skin therapist and a much stronger understanding of their skin needs.

    So what more can you do to secure your sales? What best practices should you be replicating in your retail area? Here are eight fast and slow ideas to get your slice of that $16-billion-dollar pie.

    1. Add Experiences

    Investigate new ways to “power-up” the client experience through complimentary face mappings, self-serving or guided product bars, and in-store skin lesson mini events.

    2. Create Mini Services

    During quieter times, offer “on-demand” 10-minute services that don’t require a booking and are complimentary when a number of products or a core service is purchased.

    3. Remove Clutter

    Remove clutter and any inventory that either muddles your message, you don’t wholeheartedly believe in or can’t adequately differentiate from other product offerings.

    4. Design a story

    Have a weekly “story” in your retail area with curated product picks on your feature table that tell the backstory. Clients or customers should see something unique or different every visit. Use great visuals to spark inspiration.

    5. Amplify your theme

    Feature one-time-only treatments that tie into new product launches to amplify the central theme or story.

    6. Personalized marketing

    Personal­ization reigns. Make sure your outreach and promotions are customized as are your recommendations—not just to your customer’s exact skin needs but their desires, habits, lifestyle and preferences. Banish cookie cutter everything and replace with custom-made designed.

    7. Be real

    Whenever you speak, tell the real stories behind the product without needless fluff.

    8. Don’t forget about neighbors

    Focus on your neighbors and local community—how can you come together and support each other and the community as a whole?

    Remember, that you must convert your service clients to retail clients. If you are not, then you are not only doing them a disservice, but someone else who’s less qualified than you is wiping the pie crumbs away after eating your slice.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • SKINtuition: 6 Ways to Stand Out in the Age of Impatience

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    Looking back, industry trends in 2015 heralded some fascinating consumer behavior. Clients took advantage of new booking apps that deliver an at-home massage within one hour, but then endured long and multiple color appointments to accomplish that perfect ombre fade. Who would have expected #multimasking to have a major moment on Instagram, or that lash extensions would creep north and we’d be microblading in bushier brows? We tried to be more mindful, especially as we consumed copious amounts of kale. I’d love to know who the PR team is behind kale because they deserve an award for 2015’s most popular cabbage. Consumer trends can be overwhelming, but they are worth extra attention. The trick is to decipher what’s going to stick, what’s a fad and what is just plain bonkers.

    One trend that seems to be here to stay is the need for instant gratific­ation. Thanks to our hyper-connectivity and a tolerance for waiting that has dropped to zero, restless impatience is driving industry trends and will impact your business in 2016.

    This “Amazon-ification” level of expectation has surpassed virtual reality and seeped into every corner of our lives. Waiting 48 hours for an online order seems like an eternity, so same-day delivery is becoming the norm. Smartphone apps not only eliminate waiting for a cab, but human interaction: apps can bypass flirting by suggesting a date and securing a table at the toughest reservation in town. Teenagers don’t watch TV; they stream their favorite shows and movies on their tablet or laptop in seconds.

    Experts caution that all this instant gratification comes at a price; it’s made us terribly impatient. The new anxiety, wasting a single moment not getting exactly what you want. A study from the University of Massassa­chusettes Amherst says we now abandon videos if they take longer than two seconds to load. Today’s consumer is so restless that we’d rather be literally shocked than have nothing to do. University of Virginia scientists found that participants preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves rather than being left alone with their own thoughts for 6 to 15 minutes. We literally crave stimulation!

    If you are still operating your business like you did even two years ago, you need to “think quicker.” Here are six to-dos to help satisfy restless, impatient clients.

    1. Mobile Booking
    Make appointment booking painless by providing a quick online or even better mobile app option.

    2. Improve Software
    Ensure that check-in and check-out is efficient. Invest in computerized software that keeps client information on file for fewer lines and faster service.

    3. Develop Micro Services
    Consider offering “no appointment necessary” for micro services under 30 minutes.

    4. Engage During Waits
    Identify ways to engage clients while they wait. Can they give themselves a mini treatment at your product pool or skin bar, or make their own bath salts at your salt bar? Perhaps they get a “texters thumb” massage while watching video tutorials on how to treat their delicate eye area. Get creative!

    5. Text Confirmation
    Confirm appointments via text or a messaging app. Don’t leave a voicemail asking for a call back to confirm the appointment.

    6. Make Products Pronto
    Ensure that you have comprehensive client profiles set up in your system so you can quickly deliver or mail that emergency travel product or cleanser when they run out. Even better, track their purchases and anticipate what products they need replenished. The client who drives, parks and comes in for a single product is diminishing, but this kind of forward-thinking customer service can help grow your clientele and your retail business.

    This article was originally published in SkinInc.com.

  • #TopicsonTrend with Annet King

    annet croppedKeep an ear to the ground with an eye toward the future—that’s my motto. We live in a world in constant motion; goods, capital and labor are traveling globally at a faster pace than ever and moving in novel patterns. Not to mention that pop culture and consumer trends are quite fascinating to me. So I took the liberty of researching trends like multi-masquingmanscaping, cannabusiness, sound therapy, fast shopping vs. slow shopping, even 3D bioprinting of skin (I can go all day with this!) to understand how they can affect the future of our business.

    In order to successfully navigate the ever-changing world of consumer perceptions, it helps to understand the landscape. If you don’t know where you stand, it’s difficult to get to where you want to be. Technology has rapidly changed how we behave, shop and interact FOREVER yet many skin centers, salons and spas continue to operate in the same manner.

    To stay relevant, profitable and successful we have to continuously adapt our business around the needs, wants and desires of the consumer. We need to think differently and act fast to seize every opportunity to attract new clients, increase services, boost retail revenues and secure loyalty. It’s time to open your eyes, act fast and make sure you don’t get left behind!

    Get started by watching my webinar #TopicsonTrend, courtesy of American Spa, to discover the most important trends that impact our industry and what you can do to ensure your business stays relevant.

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