Wellness is becoming just as lucrative, if not more so, than traditional beauty so if you’ve noticed your clients starting to space out their appointments more, it might be worth investing in some more holistic retail options to keep them coming back. Vitality Editor Becci Vallis looks at how to make it work for you.
The global complementary and alternative medicine market is predicted to be worth a whopping £279 billion by 2027* and with wellness nipping at the beauty industry’s heels it’s important to make sure as we head into 2023, that you’re offering both options to your clients. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to upskill and train in reflexology or reiki but why not consider adding some more holistic options into your retail offerings? With data showing that consumers are consistently investing in self-care innovations that take care of the body, mind and soul, everything from supplements, candles and crystals to CBD products, essential oils and affirmation cards are all being embraced.
Sparking joy physically, emotionally or spiritually, it’s another way people can take control of looking after themselves too. At a time when many might be spacing out their treatments because of rising costs of living, treating themselves to something they can feel good about in between times is a worthy way to ensure their desire for ‘wellness’ doesn’t fall to the wayside. When business is more challenging that ever it’s also a great way to help stand out against your competitors
“We’re definitely seeing a greater demand from guests wanting to take a more holistic approach to their life, whether that’s because of the recession or the aftereffects of covid, people are looking to improve their lifestyle as a whole. This has meant they’re taking more time to look after themselves and also their surroundings,” says Amanda Lee, owner and founder of Iris Avenue – a beauty salon in London that looks more like a bar from street level but also sells quirky candles, CBD offerings and niche beauty brands alongside beauty treatments such as nails, brows and massages. “We don’t know the full effects of the recession yet, but my guess is that guests may choose to go for longer between services so being able to take ‘Iris Avenue’ home is the perfect way to feel pampered between appointments.”
CONSIDER AVOIDING BEAUTY PRODUCTS (YES REALLY)
As for the products they’ve curated, they were carefully considered. “A lot of mainstream beauty products are already available in retail outlets so we wanted to create an edit of products that we enjoyed using – a collection that felt more exclusive. Oil drops and topical body oils are always popular as is our offering of CBD products by Kloris which is an extension of our CBD massage treatment and CBD ambrosia drink. The thought of CBD can be quite daunting for new users and our guests feel comfortable that we’ve taken out the guess work for them and after the service they love taking away the products to experience at home.”
It's worth remembering that when it comes to more holistic products, the connection between consumer and product is much more meaningful too so you need to be prepared to alter and adjust your offerings once you get an idea for what’s popular and what’s not. Clients are certain that they want a vitamin C or a retinol serum but when it comes to candles or crystals, it becomes much more personal. “We thought that natural skincare and body care would be popular, but it didn’t work for us for some reason. Instead what’s popular for us is chocolate, candles, books and flower remedies,” admits Yulia Kovaleva, co-founder of Re:Mind Studio.
Your square footage should also be considered if you’re going to create an in-store retail experience. “If you are short on space like we are then you need to make sure everything you stock is going to sell,” advises Katie White, owner of re:lax. “That’s why we’ll be expanding our online offering this year but keep our retail in store the same as we know what works.”
Leaning into the rise of consumers wanting authenticity from brands and businesses, Yulia believes that this is also bolstering the retail side of their business. “Wellness and wellbeing brands tend to be the most creative and passionate in what they do and all the brands we work with have a strong purpose behind them so it’s exciting to learn about the stories behind the products,” she says.
At re:lax, 15% of their in store business is retail and they also offer incentives such as 10% off all products to clients after every appointment which Katie admits helps to boost sales. “We have a retail offering of skincare, supplements and beauty tools and we have always found that our best and most loyal customers are ones that are totally invested in our whole offering. It makes us more prevalent in their minds as they’re using our recommendations and products we endorse daily. It also means they have greater trust in us as a business and therapists.”
If it’s a new area for you – or even if it isn’t – considering how you can market your new wellness set-up is important. “We host shopping events at the weekends, usually once a month, to get existing and future clients down to the studio to come and meet us, chat to us, ask questions and learn more which is fantastic for a service based business. It’s also great on the day as we get to boost our revenue and some clients are more likely to book treatments in the future.”
PRODUCTS TO PINPOINT
Talk to your clients about what they’re using for self-care or what they’d like to see more of - it will give you an instant idea about what brands they’re loving and also how much they’re willing to spend on certain things. Keep an eye on Instagram and social media too – crystals, CBD and incense continue to trend in wellness right now but make sure it’s something you’re passionate about and have an interest in too otherwise it’s likely to flop as your customers will read between the lines and see it as a marketing ploy over a meaningful move. “Supplements are an extremely exciting prospect for us and we love the idea of looking after our bodies both inside and out so we’ll be adding some to our retail collection very soon - but only once we’ve finished researching them to ensure the brands we stock align with us,” continues Amanda.
Don’t rush into things either. Take your time to pull together the brands and products you want to work with and want your customers to experience. And if you’re keen to start small, why not think about doing a monthly edit as a way to showcase your new area? A smart way to introduce clients to your new holistic concept and also encourage them to have the confidence to try non, mass market brands, it’s a wonderful way to test the waters. With many of Re:mind’s customers entering the studio purely for their retail concept, even dedicating just a small amount of space to at-home products could ensure you stay current and comfortable during trickier economic times.
*Complementary and Alternative Medicine Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027