• Plan a Spa Party with Pennies

    The retail landscape has changed over the years, with e-commerce becoming the number one shopping venue. Retailers need to evolve their strategies to entice shoppers to visit our businesses to purchase rather than in the comfort of their own home.

    Physical stores are still most customers’ preferred shopping method, as online shopping cannot replace the personal experience stores allow. While in store, clients can touch, feel, smell and test products, immersing themselves in a multi-sensory experience while receiving live expert advice. Fortunately, this cannot be accomplished while shopping from your couch. Nowadays, the fastest, most cost-effective way to elevate the in-store experience and attract new clients is by hosting in-store events.

    Provide an Educational Experience

    Your event shouldn’t just be about selling products, but rather to provide a unique experience that differentiates your store from the rest. Offer education and encourage client and professional skin therapist interaction by offering complimentary one-on-one skin care analysis. Your team of professional skin therapists will then have the opportunity to explain the benefits of your products and how they will target specific conditions for client results. Clients can play with their recommended products, ask application questions and receive professional tips from you to help maximize their results.

    Offer mini-treatments to allow guests to sample your services when maybe they wouldn’t otherwise. The therapist can discuss products throughout the entire treatment, explaining what they are using and encouraging home care, as well as solidify a future treatment booking.

    These interactions will provide your guests with professional advice and are the key to stimulating an emotional connection between the client, your team and the product. Clients who are educated and are able to try recommended products are more likely to purchase. In fact, an average retail transaction post service is 40% higher than a retail transaction without a service.

    Partner Up

    Chances are businesses in your local community wouldn’t mind driving business into their stores with some free advertising. Network with like-minded retailer neighboring businesses with a goody bag of samples and your business card. Tell them about your event, and encourage them to partner.

    Partner businesses could include: blow dry bars, fitness studios (yoga, Pilates, spin), clothing boutiques, bakeries, waxing salons, health food stores, massage studios and active wear boutiques. Local businesses can participate by donating bounce backs, or products to be included in your event gift bag or an item to raffle. Many restaurants are willing to provide food or beverages to be served during the event as a way to promote their business.

    Let them know you will include their logo on your invites and tag them on social media. Include a charity you feel passionate about and plan to pledge a percentage of your event’s revenue.

    Motivate your Team

    Hold team meetings to get everyone excited and communicate the in-store event details and retail and service booking goals. Assign the team with event tasks such as: door greeter, cash wrap, treatment services, gift bags, bartender, etc. Launch a contest for the team member with the highest sales of the event or most treatments booked.

    Create Buzz

    Get creative when designing invites. Be sure to include your partner’s logos and all that will be offered. Use words like “complimentary treatments,” “gifts with purchase,” and “door prizes and giveaways.” Charge a small ticket fee redeemable for product purchases to encourage product sales during your event. Events that require ticket purchase and RSVPs have a 60% higher show rate than events with no ticket charge or RSVP requirement. A small ticket charge redeemable for product purchases motivates clients to show up and redeem their retail credit which leads to 95% of attendees purchasing product. Utilize event hosting sites like Eventbrite, which manages RSVPs, payment and the guest list.

    Promote Your Event

    Social media is the most effective way to promote your event at no cost. Create buzz and increase ticket sales with a simple social media strategy. Come up with an event tag line that’s short and catchy, put a hashtag in front of it and use this on all social media channels leading up to your event. Add it to your event invite, signage and use it anytime you are promoting your event. Encourage your partners do to the same. This will expand your reach, create excitement and increase ticket sales.

    Set-up for Success

    Set-up and presentation is a vital part of holding a successful event. You may need to rearrange your store to fit all of your guests and allow for maximum service and retailing capacity. Set up a check-in area outside displaying an easel or step and repeat at your entrance. It is important that clients and passers-by know there is a special event happening.

    Gather your partners’ raffle items and a complimentary treatment gift card from your store and set them up by your entrance. Don’t forget entry cards, pens and a bowl or box of entry cards at this station. The purpose of this is to ensure you capture the email addresses of new customers and existing customers who attend the event. Pick raffle winners multiple times throughout the event to keep the excitement and energy high. This will ensure guests will stick around longer in hopes that they are one of the winners. Clearly display promotional items on a focal table to allure attendees to shop.

    Set up a food, drink and gift bag station. Pump up the music to create fun atmosphere and greet attendees with champagne. Take pictures of the event and post to social media, tagging your partners and attendees and utilizing your hashtag. Encourage attendees to do the same by rewarding the best photo using your hashtag with a prize.


    Your event was a success. You made some new client connections and achieved your retail target. Events should do so much more than generate revenue; they should leave a lasting impression. Most importantly, they should connect with clients emotionally. This connection alone gives customers a reason to return. Solidify those new relationships and follow up. This is the most important part of holding a successful event. Send a handwritten thank you card to each attendee and include a bounce back to encourage them to return. This personal touch will stand out in their mind, and they will be more likely to become a repeat client. Share event pictures and videos of favorite moments across social media from your event, using your hashtag. Post onto your website to promote, build excitement and encourage guests to attend future events.

    This article was originally published in

  • Holiday Retail Strategies to Boost Your Bottom Line, With the Numbers to Prove It!

    Dermalogica Skin Therapist Retail Products

    As the holiday season approaches it is an exciting time as spa and salon owners know they will see a peak in retail, service and gift cards sales. It is also the time of year where there is an overwhelming amount of competition, with many customers simply looking for the best deals.

    The latest retail holiday sales forecast is projecting as much as $965 billion in sales between November and January, a 4% increase over last year’s shopping season, pointing to a successful holiday season ahead [1]. Keeping in mind the importance of exceptional customer service, lock in those holiday sales and keep your clients returning to you with the following tips.

    • This is the time of year it’s best to offer a promotion such as gifts with purchases. For example, try offering a gift of the customer’s choice with any gift card purchase of a certain amount. Customers will be more willing to buy if there is an incentive for them in return. Fifty percent of consumers indicated that they plan on buying gifts for themselves while shopping for others this holiday season [2].

    • Train your staff to ask every client if they need any gift cards or retail purchases that might be suitable for their friends and family. Remember that every gift card sold is a potential new client. This is the time to lock in new clients as 46% plan to give gift cards this season and a whopping 58% of recipients plan to redeem gift cards within a month of receiving the gift [2].

    • Offer complimentary gift wrapping during the holidays and display examples of gift wrapping options, including gift cards. Custom gift baskets are another great option for clients by allowing them to customize a gift for minimal or no extra cost. Offering unique and custom gift options will help separate you from the competition. Customers look for special gifts with 42% planning to shop at local independent stores rather than malls [2]. The holidays can be stressful and little perks can make all the difference in a sale!

    Merchandise to encourage upselling opportunities while keeping displays clean and cohesive; focusing on what will help entice and intrigue the customer rather than an abundance holiday decor. Stock up on holiday kits and take advantage of deals vendors are offering. Promote seasonal kits and specials on a focal table that can’t be missed and keep small items near your cash wrap as “impulse buys”, which can make great stocking stuffers. Make sure to also offer a selection of service packages such as a bundled package in which clients can receive larger discounts the more services they purchase.

    Host a holiday themed event with special perks for your customers. This is a great time of year to partner with other local businesses and attract new clients! Offer a discount or credit towards products or services with the purchase of a gift card or holiday set. Each business can offer a bounce back to each other and by joining forces can reach more customers through social media outlets. Consumers are open to change, often looking for new stores and brands to make holiday their purchases, with 41% making purchases from a new retailer in 2014 [3].

    Remember that the holiday season can also help set you up for success in the New Year by taking advantage of the increased traffic. Don’t forget to capture all client information during this time of year, especially emails, getting permission to send your clients special offers and updates!

  • Boost your Business this Father’s Day!

    Have you ever caught yourself saying “what do you buy a man who has everything?” Well this Father’s Day will be no exception if you are anything like me. I’m sure you will agree that we often get caught in the trap of sending the same old cliché items like ties, socks, underwear, clothing or slippers, so this year why not consider boosting your business and helping your clients to choose the perfect gift for Dad!

    After all, skin care is no longer just for women, nowadays it’s easy to find an increasing number of jars of products in men’s cabinets alongside their aftershaves. In fact, research has shown that men have a huge interest in looking after their skin’s health. So how can you make the most of this image-conscious trend in your business this Father’s Day?

    Involve Your Female Clients
    The best way for you to welcome men into your business is by getting women involved. Men are known for being very brand loyal, therefore they do not shop around as much as women. Men are less likely to try something new unless it has been given to them as a gift or offered as something free, such as a sample. So when you are thinking of a Father’s Day promotion, also think about promoting to women at the same time. For example, you can offer an interactive promotion in which you give each female client a gift certificate with a monetary value that can be used against either a free service or product when they purchase a father’s day gift from your business.

    Spread the Word

    More consumers than ever are searching for deals on their smartphones, tablets etc. If you don’t have a social media presence or website up there, your wonderful Father’s Day promotion might as well not exist. Pick at least one mobile channel where you can appear before Father’s Day, starting with your own website, Facebook page or perhaps try something new like working with Foursquare or even Instagram. If you use Short Message Service (SMS) or Twitter to promote your business then follow the golden rule of keeping it clear.

    Here are a few examples of short message types you can use for Father’s Day:

    • Deals for Dads
    • Father’s Day Must Haves: list top 10 favorites for Father’s Day from your staff or yourself
    • Destress Dad this Father’s Day: treats for dads worth xx, includes a free massage
    • Defuzz a Dad You Know this Father’s Day: free hot towel shave worth xx with every male cut in June.

    Promote the Right Services
    Let’s face it: most men are not going to request chocolate pedicures or fancy hair color services, so when you are looking at what promotions to offer it’s best to focus on the known rather than the exotic. If a man doesn’t understand a treatment and its benefits then it is unlikely that he will value the service and more likely that he will not return. Father’s Day is a great way for you to also promote to the family, so consider offering events a father and son/daughter event where clients have the opportunity to come into your business to pick a gift for dad!

    Don’t be Shy
    Recent surveys have revealed an increasing demand in men and skin care, but men are often shy when it comes to checking with their local treatment centers about male grooming services and products. Make it easy for them with a clear section on your website and an obvious price guide. Also make sure that you use eye catching displays that will get the attention of your male clients.

    Create the Demand
    Once you have succeeded in getting the men through your doors, your next step is to keep them coming back to you! Also, men too find gift giving a challenge, so remind them of important dates for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and so forth, and maintain continuous contact with them to ensure they are always aware of promotions and offers that will benefit their skin.

    And as Richard Branson says……..
    ”Business opportunities are like busses, there is always another one coming.”

  • Is your Business Ready for Mother’s Day?

    Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the importance of the mothers in our lives. It is also an occasion to give thanks to them for being a constant guiding force in our lives and for the support they have shown in helping us achieve our dreams and goals. Not only is this a special day to celebrate anyone who has been a mother to you, but it is also an opportunity to promote your business and to connect with your clients and potential consumers.

    Remember to organize ahead of time with a marketing calendar so you can optimize the opportunities that special events, like Mother’s Day, can bring to your business.

    Many people are unsure what to get their mum’s for the holiday, so why not take away the confusion and make it easy? Bouquets of flowers are a traditional Mother’s Day gift, but bouquets can come in many shapes and sizes. Think of your own products or services as bundles that you can then translate into great Mother’s Day packages of your own.

    Target your existing data base and send out an e-blast and/or text to your clients, as many of them will be looking for ideas. Prepackage gift baskets for Mother’s Day with themed items such as hydrating, anti-aging, reducing stress etc. Remember men purchase a significant portion of Mother’s Day gifts overall, so make it clear to them the gift options they have. This might mean partnering with businesses that have a significant number of male patrons for cross marketing.

    Use social media to connect with your customers as many people will be searching online for ideas. You could engage them with a competition for the best story on how their mother has inspired them, and the gift could be a treatment or product for their mum. A different social media channel to promote is Pinterest (instead of just Twitter or Facebook), as a lot of mums use this site to save their ideas for food, kids, the home and much more. You could also create a “Mother’s Day wish list” of gift ideas to post on your blog, website, or email newsletter.

    Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to bring them back to your business once they have purchased their gift. Ideally, a Mother’s Day gift won’t just represent the sale of products for your business one time, but rather it will result in a new customer coming back to your business. Include a bounce back offer, bag stuffer or special offer along with the customer’s receipt. If you’re offering a service, consider creating a tangible gift that a spouse or child can wrap up to give to their mothers. For example: a free gift with the purchase of a treatment.

    Events are great to link with celebrations like Mother’s Day; you could create a mother and daughter/son event to celebrate. Events create an ideal environment for them to interact over skin lessons, treatments and product.

    Lastly let’s not forget that we can also use Mother’s Day to make a difference and support women around the world who struggle to provide for their children. You could connect with a charity or philanthropic initiative that helps give women support and opportunity to enable them to provide for their families, allowing them to raise their children in a safe and healthy environment. You could also connect with a local organization that supports women and mothers, encouraging people to pay it forward and get involved in sharing with others the opportunities their own mothers have given them.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Spring Promotions for your Business

    Spring, a season of renewal and beauty, is the perfect time to revitalize your treatment center with revenue boosting promotions for clients, both new and old. There are so many people who have yet to receive a professional skin or body treatment, so it’s imperative to continuously provide updated and fresh, seasonal promotions to draw new business to your door!

    A great way to plan a spring promotion is to start small. Weekly, mini events for a smaller group are a great way to celebrate the season without interfering with business as usual. The business owner or manager can run the event, or each skin therapist could host her or his own mini event. One idea I love is to host a mother-daughter tea party, in which a small group of mothers and daughters come in on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and receive customized skin care lessons. Offer a discount on products purchased at the end of the event, and include a gift bag with samples and a coupon to encourage their return. Always offer a discount for rebooking a future service on the spot; this is a great way to ensure they will be back! Mini events can be promoted in-store or by sending out an e-mail or postcard to your customer database. To save money on postage, send out a mailer to your top clients only and offer them a “Refer a Friend” discount if they send a friend in to the event.

    Another idea is to partner with a local gym or yoga studio and plan a “Beauty Bootcamp,” offering guests your selection of complimentary mini services while a nutritionist or instructor from a gym can offer to get clients summer ready. Partnering with a gym or yoga studio is also a great way to meet new clients and cross promote throughout the year. Bounce backs for each other business’ are a great way to do this; for example, with every skin treatment your clients receive, they’ll get a bounce back for a discount on a yoga class, while the yoga studio can do the same for you. When looking to cross promote, look for businesses that share common ground with you.

    Spring is also a great time to introduce a new series or package to lock clients in for the season and keep them coming back all year long! Your clients are recovering from the winter blues and are usually inspired to start some new healthy routines! Make sure to provide a selection of packages that will appeal to a variety of different clients, such as a bundled package in which clients receive larger discounts the more they purchase. If you are trying to introduce a new service or add-on, this is a great time to add it in!

    Another offer I love is a gift with purchase and new product samples! Clients always love a gift when they make a purchase, even if it is small. Offer tiers of gifts depending on how much they spend, such as a new eye cream or complimentary service such as a brow wax. If you are offering a gift with a purchase, make sure to advertise it on a sandwich board outside or on a window sign if you can. This will help draw in new business, and if your clients know they can usually get a small gift or sample with a purchase, they’re more likely to remain loyal to you.

    April is also the perfect month to plan spring celebration events such as a “Spring Fling” or a “Beauty Brunch,” with customers already in the mood surrounding holiday celebrations. Reaching out to local women’s groups, Girl Scout troops or schools is a great way to network. Additionally, May is a great time to start planning some events surrounding Mother’s Day and other focuses later in the season, which could include some bridal, graduation, and/or prom-themed series or events. Partnering with a flower shop is a good idea for May as well.

    And speaking of flowers, it’s always great to keep fresh cut flowers in your business to create a warm and inviting environment. A small bouquet near your cash wrap is all you need but it helps create a sense of renewal and beauty, and I believe it helps increase sales. As one of my skin therapists said recently, “How can anyone be in a bad mood when there are daffodils in bloom all around?” And when clients are in a good mood, they are more likely to book their next service and purchase that new eye cream. It’s the little things that can make a big difference!

    Happy spring selling!

  • Prepared for the Holidays?!

    The busy, holiday season will soon have you scurrying around, more than a little preoccupied, as party prep services shift up a gear. With greater footfall in the skin center it makes sense to also focus on retail promotion and merchandising to maximize revenues.

    November and December are critical business months. Without a strong marketing and retail strategy for the holiday period, you risk not competing effectively with other businesses that are making the most of increased buying.

    Many of your suppliers will already have planned for you, with a selection of special offers and ideas to make your retail space pop with exciting displays and festive branding. If you had not considered how to maximize this time of year, pay attention and get cracking. You may not be too late to order limited edition sets or gift wrapping tools.

    As weary shoppers become desperate for interesting and meaningful gifts, use the opportunity to promote what you sell. It’s not all about the pre-boxed set, you know! Something bespoke, something unique, something no one else thought of… now that’s a gift worth giving and worth getting!

    With a little creative thought you could put together mini home treatment kits that fit a range of budgets, or offer to package up a personalized home care regimen. A neat box or travel bag loaded with product and a few useful or thoughtful extras like exfoliating gloves, facial sponges, aromatherapy candle or other essentials could make the perfect gift. Why not try having a selection of extras that the customer can choose from to make each gift completely personalized.

    Every business should keep a stash of little “wish lists” to give to clients. Not all clients can afford to take every product we recommend, but at this time of year it may be that someone else could purchase that desired product for them. A wish list usually takes the form of a card that has your logos and contact details on the one side and space on the other side to write in the products they are wishing for. This can be handed to their loved one who then knows exactly what they would really love under the tree and exactly where to get it. If you offer a delivery or drive-by and collect service, make sure this is mentioned on the card. I know many a man looking for the simple solution to the gift dilemma!

    And be sure not to ignore your gift certificates. Whether for specific services or monetary value to be used on services and product purchases, many customers love the flexibility of this type of present. Vouchers will bring in valuable new clients for you in the early part of the New Year.
    Want an extra boost in sales? Why not hold a fun and engaging event? Customers can come along with friends and family (the more the merrier, of course) to something festive that educates about skin and showcases your fantastic gift offers.

    Get into to the spirit of giving and provide your customers everything they need for a wonderful, thoughtful and stress-free, festive season!

  • Show the Love for Valentine’s Day

    Heather HickmanWhether you have already been stung by cupid, are still waiting for the first arrow to strike, or have spent the past year plotting the demise of that pesky cherub, there is no escaping the fact that it’s nearly Valentine’s Day.

    I’m a big fan of the Japanese version of Valentine’s Day. On February 14th it is only the women that give gifts (traditionally chocolate) and then on March 14th there is “White Day” where the men give more impressive gifts like, ooh, I don’t know… Louis Vuitton bags and Gucci shoes… genius, right?

    Anyhow, I digress… regardless of your feelings on the matter, Valentine’s Day is BIG business, over $15 billion last year in the US alone, and my assumption is that you would like a piece of the heart shaped pie, yes?

    Yet, much like the rules of dating, there are rules for Valentine’s Day promotions:

    Rule 1: Remember your brand
    When planning any type of promotion or event, you must start by ensuring you do not deviate too far from your brand image. It can be tempting to go overboard with hearts and candy, but remember the best way to sustain business is not to position yourself as a “pampering treat,” but rather a health conscious necessity. Keep it simple and keep it branded!

    Rule 2: Think big picture
    Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for treatment promotions to gain new clients, but the key is to retain them. Look at introducing treatment promotions for February that have an incentive attached to rebook for a follow up treatment in March.


    Rule 3: Climb outside of the box
    Gift Certificate promotions are great, but maybe it’s time to get a little more creative to stand out from the crowd? How about a couple’s workshop on foot or shoulder massage techniques? Charge a workshop fee that is redeemable against product purchases or treatment bookings made on the night of the event, (remember, you need to gain AND retain them).

    Rule 4: Don’t discriminate
    The singletons need love too… target your single clients through direct email and your social media outlets and encourage them to bring an unattached friend to your “Single and Sensational” event. Incorporate skin lessons and short targeted treatments like eye rescue or lip renewal. Don’t forget to make it fun; maybe have some music, a healthy cocktail (remember your brand) and a goodie bag with an incentive to come back and book a full treatment with you.

    Rule 5: Share the love!
    Valentine’s Day is all about showing some love, so how about sharing it? Charge a registration fee for any event or promotion you introduce this month and donate the proceeds to your favorite non-profit organization; embedded generosity goes a long way… even with that persistent cupid!

  • Promotions to Get Your Clients in the Holiday Spirit!

    Emma new bio shot cropDon’t you just love the gift giving season, when your till has the chance to ring in ‘merriment’ as the holiday shoppers spend, spend, spend! To capitalize on the good fortune this season brings, why not consider running one or more of the following promotions or incorporating some of these ideas?

    • The Gift Giving Tree: Create a gift tree to encourage clients to purchase products for themselves during the month of December, and to book in for (paying) treatments during the high gift voucher redemption season of January and February. Decorate the tree with different colored envelopes, each envelop containing a ‘gifted special offer.’ A client can choose a colored envelope after they have made a retail purchase, the color is based according to their retail spend. For example:

    Green: $50 – $100 purchase = $20 add on value. Example: free eyelash tint or eye brow wax when having skin treatment.

    Red: $100 – $150 purchase = $25 add on value. Example: complimentary exfoliation upgrade with a 60 minute skin treatment.

    The envelopes can contain a voucher for a treatment and/or add on booked in the New Year (Jan and Feb). Be sure to make note who received what color envelope so that in the New Year you can contact them to encourage they use it!

    • Gift Vouchers: Buy 2 gift vouchers with a combined value of $200 or more and receive a complimentary 30 minute skin treatment.

    • Special Offer: Receive a complimentary $50.00 gift voucher towards your next treatment/product purchase when you purchase one of our Holiday Packages. Example of a holiday package:

    • Ready to Party: Valued at $250.00
    – 45 minute skin treatment
    – 30 minute body exfoliation
    – Spray Tan
    – Manicure
    – Pedicure
    – Eyelash tint
    – Eyebrow wax

    • In the Mood: Welcome your client with a warm drink, perhaps hot chocolate and a marshmallow or a warm herbal tea with a gingerbread cookie. If it’s an evening treatment, consider offering hot mulled wine and mince pie. Have some fun and bring some festivity into your center, perhaps you could consider renaming your treatment rooms over the holiday season e.g. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh or Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger.

    • Holiday Themed Treatments: Standard treatments or packages on your menu can be renamed for the holiday season to match the theme. For example: All Wrapped Up (body wrap), Prancer the Pedicure, Holiday Rock (hot stone massage), etc. Incorporate essential oils such as Clove and Cinnamon in your oil burners or body treatments, or burn holiday season scented candles in the treatment room to create the holiday mood.

    • To Give is Better Than to Receive: Have a wall of Christmas stockings, each associated with a local charity. Every time a client receives a treatment in the month of December or makes a product purchase, you will make a donation to the charity of their choice (for example, 5% of the value). Your clients can also make a personal donation of a product, gift voucher, or a monetary donation as well.

    • New Year, New You Treatment: To accommodate all the New Year’s resolutions to get fit and look after yourself better, have something that caters for the entire well being of the body such as a skin treatment focused on hydration, exfoliation and rejuvenation, a manicure and pedicure, body exfoliation and massage, eyelash tint with brow shape and waxing.

    Good luck and best wishes for the Holiday Season!