BY JOSH CORMAN
IN 2020 , spa retail sales were transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic , as adaptations such as curbside pickup , online ordering and drop shipping became a regular part of the way that spas and resource partners worked together to safely get purchases into guests ’
THOUGH THERE ARE SOME SIGNS THAT SPAS may be abandoning some of the innovative measures they took last year to facilitate retail orders , this month ’ s survey suggests that many spas have maintained a wide range of purchasing and delivery options for guests in 2021 .
All respondents are offering retail products for purchase in the spa , though a slightly lower percentage are conducting sales over the phone than in September of last year ( 45 percent compared to 54 percent , respectively ). And although fewer day spas reported making products available for purchase through the spa website , the percentage of resort / hotel spas that said they will use their websites to sell retail products rose from 22 percent last year to 35 percent this year . Sales through social media also seem to have gotten more popular among resort / hotel spas , with more than a quarter ( 27 percent ) offering that option , compared to just 17 percent last September . Nearly one in five spas ( 17 percent ) are taking advantage of vendor affiliate programs to allow customers to make purchases in 2021 .
Among delivery options for retail products , spas plan on offering curbside pickup less frequently than in 2020 , with one-third of all spas indicating they would make that option available . Day spas ( 50 percent ) plan to offer curbside pickup at about double the rate of resort / hotel spas ( 24 percent ). Last September , 88 percent of day spas and 51 percent of all spas offered curbside pickup .
A Different Kind of Closing Because of the temporary closures almost all spas had to cope with in 2020 and their varying ability to conduct sales while closed , the percentage of spas ’ total revenue derived from retail sales skewed lower than in 2021 . In 2020 , more than half of all spas ( 55 percent ) indicated that retail sales comprised less than 10 percent of their total revenue . This year , that number fell to 41 percent .
KEY TAKEAWAY l l l
hands . As we approach the holiday shopping season in 2021 , ISPA asked spa and resource partner members to once again share details about the ways in which the current spa industry retail landscape has shifted this year and what to expect as we move closer to the year ’ s end .
At the same time , the percentage of spas who said retail sales made up between 10 and 20 percent rose from
26 percent in 2020 to 49 percent in 2021 . A lower percentage of respondents indicated that more than 25 percent of their revenue came from retail this year ( four percent ) than last year ( 14 percent ), although the return to full-scale operations — and the corresponding increase in revenue from spa services — likely has more to do with that shift than a sharp drop in retail sales themselves .
As for how spas execute retail sales , more than nine in ten respondents ( 93 percent ) rely on their front desk staff or a spa concierge to help conduct or close sales , while a similarly high number ( 81 percent ) involve service
providers in those transactions . Managers and other spa leadership help out in the majority of spas , with 61 percent saying that individuals in those positions help conduct retails sales . Only 13 percent of all spas utilize the services of a dedicated retail sales associate .
58 PULSE n NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021