An Easy Pill to Swallow
As interest in health And wellness picks up speed, so do the opportunities for retailing and marketing nutritionals in your spa. “The image of a spa evokes a sense of peace and wellbeing,” says Nancy Steely, N.D., director of research at life-science company USANA. “Vitamins and dietary supplements, which also care for the body, fit in perfectly with the concept.”
Not surprisingly, there are numerous advantages to selling vitamins and supplements. They not only enhance your brand image by projecting a commitment to health and wellness but they also position your spa as a partner in achieving your clients’ overall lifestyle goals. It becomes a go-to place for all things health and wellness.
“From a spa owner’s perspective, vitamins are good business, because they need to be taken on a regular basis,” says Boldijarre Koronczay, founder of Éminence Organic Skin Care, which manufactures Vitaskin Vitamin Solutions. “Clients will need to replenish their supply, which guarantees walk-through traffic and increases the chance for upselling at the spa.” On the flip side, the establishments that achieve the highest volume in sales are the ones that have a regular clientele: day, medical, and fitness spas, though some resorts have experienced some success with them, too.
Just as a well-trained staff, pampering treatments, and soothing decor build a positive experience for spa-goers, vitamins and supplements should also be used to develop customer affinity, says Wes Crain, president of Navitas Naturals, an organic food and dietary supplement company. “It’s important to create a one-stop shopping opportunity for the end customer, as it creates a captive audience.”
The hook is to engage customers—share expertise that will encourage consumption beyond the time of the treatment and the walls of the spa. “Spas are more than just a place to get a massage,” says Crain. “They have the potential to play a larger role in a client’s everyday healthy lifestyle.” He suggests putting together beauty baskets with the spa’s name and branding that includes step-by-step instructions and sending out newsletters and Facebook posts with nutrition tips and recipes to encourage sales and the use of nutrition products.
Choosing the Right Products
While revenue gain is one aim, customer interest is another. Paul Hester, M.D., of Be MediSpa (Lexington, KY) cautions against carrying “unproven and unregulated supplements” with spurious claims and peddling nutritionals without proper advisement from a medical or naturopathic physician, a chiropractor, a nutritionist, or other licensed healthcare professional. “Be true to your own business, as well as to your clients’ best interests,” says Steely. “If your spa is small and doesn’t offer many wellness-related services like health assessments, nutrition products, healthy foods, or exercise facilities, then don’t overwhelm your staff or clients with an array of supplements about which you aren’t knowledgeable. Stick with the products that complement your spa’s massage and skincare services.” Some of the recommended “basics” include multi- vitamin and multimineral supplements, melatonin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D supplements.
On the other hand, if your spa provides extensive wellness-related services, says Steely, then you should choose products that fit accordingly. “If, for example, you provide meditation or mind-body programs, then offer herbal supplements or teas for relaxation,” she says. “If you offer health assessments and nutritional consultation programs, you should stock more than just the basics, such as fiber supplements, skeletal-support nutrients, and any number of products dedicated to supporting specific body tissues and systems.”
In fact, with the overwhelming number of vitamins and supplements on the market, most consumers will appreciate help determining the right products for their needs. A well-curated selection at a spa could be a preferable buying environment in comparison to a large supermarket. “The bottom line is personalization—there is no one-size-fits-all solution to health and wellness,” says Steely. “Nutritionals are truly an exciting area for spas to enter into. As always, there is a lot of opportunity to attract new clients, as long as it’s done honestly and with integrity.”Lisa Cheng