Millennials at the Spa

Spas are uniquely qualified to attract and retain millennials.  While the department store and boutique paradigm consist of the cosmetic range dictating the season’s colors or the customer’s skin care wants and needs, the millennial wants actual service.  The marketing mythology and tricks of the trade were clear to see decades ago and spas must follow suit.  This new customer requires customized service from the intake to treatment room to care plan for both home and return visits.

The hard sell that has traditionally accompanied beauty and spa retail is no longer effective.  In fact, the millennial consumer shuns the pitch that includes a “full line approach.”  Traditionally that went something like, “You need to use all of our products from cleanser to night cream to have the active ingredients work.”  Millennials are apt to get on their phone and research ingredients and competitor lines on the spot.  Once they find evidence that this approach is bogus, the entire sale is lost. This situation is common and dictates that the esthetician or retail staff member know not only the spa’s line, but also the competitor’s lines, ingredients, actives interaction and price points within the beauty industry collectively.

Furthermore, the millennial client desires an open conversation to become a cult follower and a member of the brand’s tribe. Interactive website functionality is a must.  Millennials want to have the choice of trying out different looks, care solutions and styles.  Webinars and onsite education seminars are also a big plus.  Many young consumers are weighing the benefit and cost metric while also craving new techniques and technology to serve their personal care needs. Social media which includes VIP clients fills the void between spa visits allowing the spa client the ability to feel like they are connected to the spa whenever they desire.

Accepting an “open relationship” is key to this new spa-goer.  An avid wellness and personal care consumer is very selective in their service and product needs.  Consequently, clients might use a variety of treatment lines and piece meal services.  Selecting facilities and practitioners that do one or two things very well is their approach.  Likewise, parts of product ranges might be engaged for specific home care needs. Rather than trying to convert the client to a specific and new line or treatment, it is best to offer the services and products requested and only try to recommend different products or services once trust is gained. A sampler treatment schedule or sample product item is ideal for converting those whose treatment needs are scattered.

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