Home' Spa and Clinic : Volume 63 October 2015 Contents How bizarre is it that women spend
phenomenal dollars on looking
good with a huge percentage of this
spend being on products, not ser vices? Our
industry is all about looking good, yet a
miniscule percentage of that product spend
is spent with us. Why?
In our industry we know very well
that feeling good makes us look good.
Increasingly the ser vices we deliver are
very much about feeling good and a major
growth area in consumer spending today
is the category of wellness in order to
feel good. We are receiving wellness and
feelgood ser vices income now but are we
receiving wellness and feelgood product
income? Generally not. Why?
The "lipstick effect" is a term which
describes the fact that while the majority
of non- essential industries get struck hard
by economic dow nturns, the cosmetic
industry remains largely unaffected. For
instance, L'Oréal saw its sales grow 5.3
percent in 2008, the heart of the most
recent recession*. Hence the lipstick effect
protects our industry and ensures our
sur vival. But sur viving is pretty well all that
many spa, salon and clinic businesses do all
of the time. We should be rolling in cash ---
we sell beauty for goodness sake!
I make no apologies for sounding
frustrated, and as a part of this industry
I am as guilty as everyone else for not
working out what the problem is. Every
GP sends a client away with a prescription
nearly every time. I walk out of salons, spas,
clinics and even cosmetic medical practices
without a prescription for anything, nearly
every time! Why? What is happening here?
When I walk out from a treatment I have
just invested my time and a healthy sum in
ser vices to achieve looking and feeling good,
I naturally want to protect that investment.
But as I leave I am 'lost in the experience'
(we are good at creating great experiences!)
and so after the treatment I forget to ask
what I need to protect and
enhance the investment I
have just made.
And no one generally
remembers for me. I walk
out past the highly effective
products, often safely
protected behind glass, and
then stand in front of my
mirror at home wondering
what to put on my skin to
protect the results the best. I am a beauty
editor --- I should know, and I have a lot of
power packed professional products I have
been sent to 'try'. But I am not a therapist, I
am not trained, I don't know what will work
best and I don't know what will be contra-
indicated with the treatment I have just had.
The client who leaves her salon to order
her professional strength products online
is in exactly this position. She has no idea
what to buy and makes mistakes often.
Recently, I had quite an invasive procedure.
Over the following few days I would 'shed'
my surface layers, I had meetings, I needed
to shed quickly ..."what to use"?
I found a solution in my cupboard and
promptly burnt my skin...too active for
my still healing dermis. I prolonged my
skin's recovery from the treatment by a
week with much discomfort and public
embarrassment. If my therapist had ensured
I had purchased the right 'prescribed'
exfoliant for my 'condition' and explained
the necessary restraints to follow I would
have been saved that difficult week.
But perhaps she thought I had spent
enough already, or that I would know what
to do, or she believed that she is a therapist
and not a sales person, or that if she
suggested I buy a product that I would think
her 'pushy'. Crazy isn't it? But these are the
usual primary reasons that are cited for our
industry's lack of retailing profits.
It's our job to make sure our clients have
their ser vices and the products they need
to look and feel good, but
we so often only do half
the job. We do not follow
through with the products.
Perhaps these days we
do even less than half the
job. Our clients today,
men and women, are
increasingly aware that
their inner health, physical
fitness and overall wellness
contribute greatly to how they look. But
do we sell them the products they need to
help? Generally not, I wonder why?
Online buying went up 21 percent last
quarter in Australia. Were they buying from
your online store attached to your website?
I bet not. Why not? Why shouldn't we sell
to our clients and potential clients online?
There is no reason. We simply have to be
clever about how, and we have to make
sure that we use our online retailing tool
to not only make a retail profit but to drive
our existing customers and the potential
new customers into our bricks and mortar
doors and onto our treatment tables. What
a fantastic educational opportunity, the
opportunity to sell the 'why' of treatments
and ser vices. New clients captured as they
shop to solve their beauty issues.
Using our imagination we can use the
online tools online stores are using for
ourselves --- think virtual therapist, take a
sur vey, enter to win --- all viable treatments
and ser vices marketing methods and all
initiated via someone trying to shop online.
Retailing today requires new thought.
It requires innovation. It requires doing
things differently because consumer buying
habits are changing rapidly. While we are
very protected because body hair (unless
we do our job too well) keeps growing, and
skin keeps ageing and due to the precious
lipstick effect, but we want to do so much
more than have a small business that just
sur vives. We want to thrive and prosper
The Why of
Why? Because you work to live, not live to work. Live more and work less
with clever retailing strategies, writes Kirien Withers.
4 | RETAILING, FACE+BODY+SOUL
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