The Retail Reboot For Re-Opening Series: Part Two

How to Offer Samples at Your Spa // Photo Credit: Jun/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Providing product samples and testers have long been a mainstay of any successful retail sales strategy. How can we maintain safety guidelines and still provide this important service in a post-Coronavirus spa world? Below are three strategies that  spas and salons can implement to provide the retail experience  for our guests.

1. Turn Travel Kits Into Try Me Kits

Travel sizes of your retail products make for perfect “try me samples.” As very few of us will be traveling anytime soon, this is good time to review your available inventory of smaller sizes and kits. Communicate with your key vendors regarding individual product samples which can be sanitized and distributed at the end of service. If ready made kits do not exist, consider bundling travel sizes or existing product samples into kits. There is a big benefit here to the guest. First, they have the opportunity to try a collection of products personally designed for them without having to buy before they try. This can also be a budget saver as a guest as well.

2. Gifting Product Unused in a Service

If you are moving to the dispensary model, where the products for a specific service are dispensed in individual units for that guest and that individual treatment, send any unused product home with the guest. I recall a customized massage I had where the personal blend of salt scrub I requested had about one more home use left in the container at the end of the treatment. My therapist shared it with me in a small plastic container (kind of like a take out salsa cup) and I was able to use the product again the next day. This was not only great guest service but made the massage even more memorable. Using disposable containers dispensed by your individual therapist for each individual treatment is a way to provide this added touch. There is a benefit for the spa in using the dispensary method of product planning. It not only eliminates product waste, but having a single person responsible for planning out backbar products by service and guest minimizes contact with larger product dispensers. Needless to say, the dispensers can be sanitized prior to dispensing, at the end of the day, and stored overnight. Keep a daily record of who was responsible for dispensing, the date and the time. The person responsible for dispensing should, of course, be following all safety protocols.


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3. Assign Backbar Products 

To minimize product sharing and cross contamination, consider assigning backbar products by therapist or by room. Proper sanitizing of dispensers should be done at the start of the day, in between appointments, and at the end of the day. Keep record of the products assigned and the amounts. 

Vendors are working tirelessly to provide us with innovations for safely dispensing products  and sampling. One of the latest is single dose sampling for color cosmetics, and the industry can expect to see additional creative solutions beyond makeup. Let’s work together, vendors and spas, to give our clients what they want.

About the Series: Patti Biro, retail expert and spa professional, has been speaking and educating at Questex's IECSC events for a number years. She's now expanding her expertise to the American Spa audience through her new series, "Retail Reboot for Re-Opening," which will feature weekly articles on the American Spa website focusing on growing your spa's retail sales post-Coronavirus.


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