While it’s good news that both foot traffic and average spend were up, the big winner was the online sales category, which the NRF says generated over 33% of the four-day total, for the highest ever contribution to the weekend total. According to ComScore, an online research firm, spending on Thanksgiving Day rose 28 percent over last year, and online sales for Black Friday alone rose 9% for a total of $648 million, the biggest online sales day so far this year. It’s too early to start cheering, but these indicators do give hope.
The continued migration of shoppers to the internet means that spas will need to have their online shopping stores up and ready to go, and especially for gift cards. It is likely that instantly downloadable gift cards, like those available through SpaFinder, or through spa websites using operational software or add-ons from companies like SpaBoom, will be more popular than ever. Spas should also have a downloadable, and nice looking, .pdf of the service menu that can be included with the gift card. It doesn’t have to be the complete menu, but something that gives the recipient a representation of the services and packages that are offered, amenities, and phone and URL information. Perhaps even a value-added offer to encourage speedy redemption! Also, read Dori Soukop’s blog entry on ideas to generate gift card sales from last week. Let’s get those gift card recipients into spas in Q1 next year and use the traffic to jumpstart 2011.