Keeping your service offerings fresh and innovative means moving in step with industry trends. “Spa owners need to stay on top of trends to determine which treatments may be a good fit for their clientele,” says Anita Barton-Lumpkin, director of education for Universal Companies (www.universalcompanies.com). Below is Barton-Lumpkin’s forecast of emerging industry trends.
- Technology’s role increases. It’s no shock that technology will continue to play an even larger role in the spa industry. Patrons will increasingly rely on technology to book services and to check on appointment status. The industry will also see new advances in technology being used to administer treatments as innovations in spa supplies and tools continue.
- Express service or a marathon. The typical spa treatments of 30–50 minutes are not as popular as they used to be. Clients are falling into one of two extremes these days, looking for either super fast treatments or extremely long ones. Express spa services fit the need of today’s busy professional who is constantly on the go. When she finally has the time to truly unwind, longer spa treatments that last several hours are ideal. These longer services allow the client to fully unwind and relax from the fast-paced world in which we live.
- Merging of services. Techniques that are typically used for one type of spa service are being carried over to new areas. For example, facials and massages are being combined with masks, exfoliation, and skin brightening. The rise of the “bacial” — a back facial — is a prime example. Clients are also receiving both facials and massages at the same time and being worked on by multiple employees at once.
- Personalization. Natural ingredients are being added to services to customize the treatment for each client. Essential oils and vitamins are used to make skin look brighter, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce the appearance of dark circles under eyes.
- On-demand services. The spa industry cannot escape the rise of on-demand services, with on-demand massages (and other spa treatments) beginning to rise. Several companies are already taking the plunge in this area.
- The spa gets some Seoul. South Korea has become one of the leading sources of spa and beauty treatments, and this trend is expected to continue. Korean-inspired skin care regimens and face masks will continue to remain popular as we look ahead.
- Science comes on board. Clients want results, and they are looking for proof that the treatments they receive will work. Scientific support of how well products and treatments work will become increasingly important as new spa services and products emerge.
- Respect the environment. An environmental focus will continue to remain important, and this will impact the use of certain spa supplies. A prime example is the decline in use of harmful plastic exfoliants (microbeads). Natural alternatives will become the norm. While legislation is forcing some of this change, clients are also searching for more natural treatments.
- Mother Nature gets involved. More and more natural ingredients will be incorporated into treatments. The use of honey and salt are two of the leading gifts from nature that are becoming more popular in spa services. Be prepared for this emphasis on natural ingredients to get even stronger.
- Bring on the sound. The incorporation of sound into treatments is yet another trend. While music has long played a role in the background, it is now becoming a more focal aspect of services, as it is believed to create a relaxing and calming environment. You can easily add this feature to any service with music therapy speakers.
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