Evaluating Spa Trends for Profitability and Longevity

By Ann Brown Founder, Saltability | September 17, 2017

In the midst of managing the day-to-day operations, hotel and spa owners and managers must constantly look forward and evaluate how to increase efficiency and profitability. As you balance overseeing current business and forecasting for the future, you are faced with the challenge of considering what changes will bring the most benefit to your organization. For spas, keeping watch of the latest trends in the spa industry and making relevant changes to your facility, treatment menu and customer service practices are important for success. But how do you know which trends and latest innovations will bring that success, and which ones may not be worth their return on investment?

As a former spa director of one of the largest resort spas in the Midwest, I know how important it is to evaluate new products and services in order to determine which ones offer true potential for wellness for the client and profitability for the business. As a property manager or owner, your phone rings constantly with vendors who want you to consider their products and services. Below, here are a few questions to help you decide if a trend is right for your property.

How does the trend create an improvement over how we are currently working and providing service to our clientele? As an entrepreneur in the spa industry, I created my business because I saw the need to create a more eco-friendly delivery of stone massage and an opportunity to provide more health benefits for clients through Himalayan salt. When you see depth in the benefits provided by a trend, it is likely to be longer lasting and more positively impactful upon your business.
How long has the trend really been around? Rarely will you find something that is truly new. Part of the beauty of the spa industry is spa therapy’s roots in centuries-old healing treatments and natural remedies. Delve into the science and history of the treatment or products being offered as part of the trend. Take confidence where you see ties to proven or long-standing history.

Is the trend sustainable? What is the impact on the environment in general and at your spa property in particular? You should always evaluate any new product or service with an eye on environmental impact.

What safety precautions exist, if any? Does the trend pose any risks for your clientele? Thoroughly research and consider any counter-indications to protect your business, your therapists and your clientele.

When evaluating specific products and treatments, how long has the company that you are considering been around? Don’t be afraid of start-ups, but do look at the principal players’ history. Does the owner have experience in the spa industry? Is he or she reputable? Who do you know who is connected to the main people involved? Look for word-of-mouth feedback on the company and the treatments and/or products you are considering offering.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.