Retail sales are the highest profit center for the practice, and spa. It is an essential part of your business development. In essence the goal should be for your service offerings to drive your product sales. Many clients will become loyal to the products they can purchase at your spa and will want to duplicate the service they received from you and extend their service experience at home and enhance their lifestyle..
With the current busines environment and dealing with the pandemic retailing is changing to meet these extraordinary times.
This year’s surge in online shopping is here to stay, especially given the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of brick-and-mortar stores. According to a recent study, in 2020, nearly 41% of customers said they were currently shopping online for things they would normally buy in-store.
Social commerce — “native shopping experiences on a social media platform — offers shoppers an even more seamless way to shop online. Instead of clicking through to a third-party website, users can make purchases right from the social media app or site” says Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling technology author, popular keynote speaker.
And social commerce is on the rise. In 2020 alone, we saw a partnership between TikTok and Shopify, an expansion of Snapchat’s Native Stores for brands, and the introduction of Facebook Shops.
Shops are custom storefronts for businesses on Instagram and Facebook. Sellers can create collections of featured products, as well as modify the look of their Shop with banners, images, colors, and buttons. The same Shop can be accessed from both Facebook and Instagram, so once it’s set up, sellers have the potential to reach a wide global audience on two platforms.
With Shops, Facebook is catering more directly to brands than they have in the past. “The idea here is that a user will eventually be able to do all their shopping within Facebook or Instagram, limiting any requirements for direct site traffic. In a way, it’ll be like brands trying to sell their products on Amazon by reaching a huge user base and making it easier for them to follow through on a purchase.” Says Avi Ben-Zvi, Group Director of Paid Social at Tinuiti
Forget just shops online and offline – purchases directly from manufacturers through influencers, advertising and even TV shows is likely to become an increasingly prominent part of the retail landscape throughout 2021.
Retailers have long encouraged bloggers and influencers to earn money by sharing affiliate links and advertise via product placement. Increasingly, brands are able to cut out the middleman and sell directly to the consumers who follow and engage with these online taste-makers. The trend started with celebrities like Kim Kardashian but has increasingly trickled down into niche markets served by micro-influencers. This has largely been enabled by tech-driven supply chain innovation, making “drop-shipping” possible– direct delivery from manufacturers to customers via a sales agent, such an influencer or popular website, that can run a retail business without the hassle of buying stock or fulfilling orders. Brands, including Body Shop, have successfully co-opted the direct sales model creating networks of micro-influencers often selling to friends and family.
Target Lookalike audiences in Facebook are essentially users on Facebook who share characteristics and behaviors to customers in your database. You upload your data to Facebook, which then cross-references its own data (and information from third-party data brokers) to create matches based on the criteria you specify.
Personal Shopping at Scale
Upscale shoppers are used to receiving personal attention when shopping at high-end stores and personalizing their high-value purchases such as cars, bespoke clothing, and jewelry. However, technology is now ushering in a new age of mass-personalization, allowing this to be carried out at scale across a growing range of goods and services.
Recommendation engines are used in e-commerce to point us towards products we are most likely to want or need. The same technology is now being rolled out in retail outlets, arming shop assistants (or possibly robotic ones) with information on who we are, and our past purchases. Beauty product retailer Sephora collects information on customer preferences via an app as they explore and rate products online and makes them available to sales staff when they visit a store in person. According to analysts at McKinsey, initiatives like this typically reduce marketing costs by around 20%.
Businesses that have recently added online purchase options will likely not revert to operating models that don’t include eCommerce once the pandemic is under control, as consumers will continue to expect these options to be available.
Be Honest in Your Sales Copy. …
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Lots of Payment Options
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Right to My Door Please
Delivery services have become all the rage. The likes of Uber Eats, GrubHub and Instacart have fundamentally changed the way people get restaurant food or receive grocery store deliveries. But why stop there? FedEx, UPS and Amazon have found themselves straining to meet demand during the pandemic. As a result, partnerships with last-mile delivery companies increasingly make sense as retailers seek to leverage their physical stores to fulfill locally placed online orders. It also complements curbside pickup by giving customers more options.
Brands are pivoting away from the traditional concept of aisles and fully stocked shelves. The physical store should no longer be considered the final destination in the purchase journey. Combining the strengths of both online and physical stores makes it possible to introduce a more compelling hybrid model that transforms a retail space into an experience center.
This might mean offering sales appointments so clients can experience and try products and then order online (thus eliminating high-pressure in-spa store sales). Augmented reality and virtual reality are also making their mark.
Video calls have already gone mainstream in the business world. People see each other, share screens and exchange information. Retailers are also beginning to recognize the value of video chat as a consultation and sales tool. Whether a consumer is buying a car, furniture or upscale clothing, why not offer an option of connecting to a sales associate or product expert whenever it’s convenient? This can be after work, on the weekend, even late at night.
Besides the convenience factor, online consultations make it possible to share product videos, review technical specs, walk consumers through features and functions in a demo, and boost trust via face-to-face interaction. Today, most car buyers already know what they want when they arrive at a dealership because rich online tools have removed the need to kick tires. Retailers are beginning to realize that this same sales model can work wonders for many other products and services.
Take time to look at your retail area. Take advantage of cross-merchandising strategies and impulse sale opportunities. Think about small products that clients can purchase impulsively to add on to gift card sales. Pre-constructed spa gift boxes are a great way to create no fuss up-selling that can assist with the branding of your spa. Keep them at impulse buys of $25-$75 dollars. Use lighting techniques and creative displays to attract customers. Play videos for product education, services provided and any other up-sell or promotional tie-in. Many of the major product lines have promotional video’s they can provide to you at little or no cost. Focus on creating a space that is shopper friendly. Decide what additional merchandise the med spa will be selling, ensuring that all new products are properly inventoried. Plan the exit strategy for merchandise that does not sell. Remember, the goal of successful merchandising is creating an environment that is sales driven, yet comfortable and accessible for clients so they enjoy the shopping experience.
Whether its traditional brick and mortar or online sales, technology and the social platform are going to drive retail sales in 2021 and far beyond.
Durocher Enterprises Inc.