Spas and salons are experience businesses. Delighting a customer’s senses through pleasing sights, sounds, smells, and touch is an art.
As the business has evolved, so have customer’s desires to try new ways to interact with their senses to achieve deeper states of relaxation and wellness.
What Are The Leading Ways Spas and Salons Benefit from Virtual Reality?
Spas can Attract Greater Media Attention
Every spa is fighting for a valuable limited resource: customer’s attention. Having a unique offering helps you stand out in a crowded space. Attention can mean new business with your favorite customers or attracting fresh audiences.
Natura Bissé launched a virtual reality spa called ‘The Mindful Touch‘ for the 2017 Oscars. This allowed famous celebrities to enjoy mindfulness techniques within their Bubble Pure Air 4.0 technology, for a one-of-a-kind VR experience. But while this pop-up was a limited engagement, it generated dozens of articles which translate to one thing: more customers, and ultimately more sales.
And I know what you’re thinking – Brad Pitt doesn’t visit my salon. Luckily, this tactic works off of the Red Carpet as well! That Massage Place offer a virtual reality spa package which provides instant vacations for their guests. This was unique to their market, generating coverage on local television station abc 57 and broader interest on Skin Inc.
Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality by increasing their newsworthy-ness of their offering. They didn’t create these VR experiences, they simply cleverly offered this service to a market hungry for something new.
Tip: The social media potential of VR wellness offerings alone is tantalizing. Ask customers if they’d like a picture of them on a virtual beach to share on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook and watch as the interest rolls in.
Increase Frequency of Spa or Salon Visits
Most business owners know that the most effective way to grow their revenue isn’t by luring in new customers. The key to business growth is by delighting your most loyal fans to try something new.
Spas and salons see an average of 4.88 visits per year. This metric is known as FOV, meaning Frequency of Visits. Most advice encourages spa owners to grow their FOV for better results. For example, if you moved your average customer’s visits from 5 to 6 this would be a 20% increase in service revenue.
But we have another approach: keep the same number of visits, but bundle a customer’s favorite service with virtual reality. This increases their average transaction amount with no extra cost or effort. You not only can grow revenue by 20%, you also save the precious time they would have spent in treatment to increase revenue further.
Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality by growing revenue for your current services. Unlike traditional services, VR costs $0 per use, meaning dollar increase is pure profit.
Tip: making a virtual reality an add-on to an existing service for $5 or $10 more is an ideal way to test what works best for your customers.
Maximize Joy (and Revenue Per Square Foot)
According to the Day Spa Association’s 2014 research, the average square footage of spa facilities is shrinking. This condensed space helps business owners turn a profit, but it often comes at the expense of customer comfort. While every square foot of your spa or salon should be utilized to generate revenue, it can be hard to settle into a pampered experience when you’re cramped in a small room.
Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality by transforming their spa environments. Virtual reality turns small or crowded spaces into large expanses for a fraction of the price of expanding your lease. Allow your customer to choose where they escape to, increasing their satisfaction.
Tip: why not place a VR headset in the waiting room? What better way to temp curious visitors, while giving them something interesting to pass the time.
Amplify the Effect of Existing Services
Imagine receiving a massage at your favorite spa. Now, imagine receiving that same massage on a tropical beach. Which do you feel would be more effective?
If you’re like me, you’ll likely prefer a massage on the beach. That’s because environment really matters in creating a calming atmosphere for yourself (and your customers). You’ve worked hard to cultivate a special space that provides deep relaxation, but even with a big budget, you are restricted by the laws of space and time.
Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality by amplifying the power of their offerings. Virtual Reality environments deepen the wellness effects of existing services, allowing customers to visit beaches, jungles, waterfalls, and dozens of exotic locales within the comfort of your trusted four walls.
Tip: bundling a massage or nail treatment with a VR headset allows your to grow revenues while growing your customers. Who doesn’t love a win-win?
Add New Services Without Needing To Grow The Team
Have you ever wanted to expand into new services, but didn’t want to expand your payroll?
According to the Day Spa Association’s research, 60% of spas have 1-3 full-time employees. This has changed from 75% full-time employees only 15 years back. AZcentral shares why the business model of Salons is changing:
Historically, the salon business model involved hiring a permanent staff of stylists, aestheticians and even manicurists. The new model, which originates on the West Coast, consists of renting out a chair or booth to effectively self-employed stylists. The salon owner receives a consistent payment each month from the stylist and the stylist gets use of the salon facility. Salons that ignore this trend risk getting pushed out by more progressive salons that run a booth-rental model.
Virtual reality is yet another wave of change. Your team can layer on VR services over a traditional spa or salon experience, without needing training or even people.
Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality by adding wellness services they may not currently offer in-house, like a meditation room or mindfulness courses which happen all through the virtual reality headset. Guided VR provides over 20 hours or meditation content, exclusively built for the comforts of a spa.
Tip: some spas are charging by the minute to access virtual reality content without ever expanding the team. Guided VR’s meditations are 10-minutes long, across a range of important topics like gratitude, relaxation, and anxiety. But there are also entire 10-part meditation courses which build on previous lessons.
Increase Male Customer Engagement
Every business has its diehard regulars. Those people often know what they love.But virtual reality wellness is a way to attract a new audience.
Standalone day spas typically see lower engagement from men. While services have grown over the past decade, a technology option may be the extra incentive to engage the other sex with an interactive virtual reality wellness experience. Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality by growing their interest in a largely untapped market.
Tip: men can sometimes feel isolated being in a salon environment. VR allows men to mentally escape, but also to physically escape. Not a bad deal!
Showcase Your Innovation To Use Prestige Pricing
Brand matters. And customers who see your brand as more innovative than the competition are willing to pay more to engage in your services. By highlighting your commitment to exploring the cutting-edge you’re not just delighting the fringe: you’re giving an option for those looking for exclusive offerings, showing you put your customers first.
Anthony Presotto, an expert hairstylist and spa consultant, shares:
With image pricing (also known as prestige pricing), your customers value the image of your brand and the features of your services over those of your competitors, and this allows you to capture value despite your actual costs or the quality of your services. These services can be targeted at the high end client market, and can communicate luxury and exclusivity. Clients in this case may be more than willing to pay more for these services because of the value they place on it.
What better way to turn head’s than with a unique, prestige experience. Even those who may not utilize VR will take note.
Tip: some brands have tested virtual reality spa treatments as a way to grow pricing. While they only may have one Guided VR kit, they promote it as a very high priced service to price anchor their offerings as innovative and luxurious.
Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality as a signaling device to their uniqueness, and as reason for a prestige pricing model.
Create Unforgettable Memories for Your Customers
What was the first movie you saw? What about your first roller coaster? Even if you didn’t love the film or ride, you likely walked away with an unforgettable memory of that experience.
Users will remember their first virtual reality spa treatment, and your salon, forever. While this is hard to place a value on, it sure feels good to amaze in unforgettable ways. Spas or salons benefit from virtual reality by creating new pleasant memories that can stay with a customer for a lifetime.
Tip: virtual reality sessions can make salon services feel longer, as the user is entertained in a different way. For many experiences this is bad, but for something as pleasant as a massage or pedicure it is like magic.
How Can Spas and Salons Implement Virtual Reality?
Guided VR is the leading virtual reality solution for spas and salons. By combining our exclusive software, innovative hardware, and support, our mission is to make deploying virtual reality into service business as seamless as possible.
With Guided VR for Spas and Salons you can deploy immersive wellness technology in under 10 minutes and start delighting customers. Your Guided VR subscription includes your salon or spa’s branding, which continues to reinforce brand loyalty. Guided VR also provides over 150 unique environments, from cutting-edge computer graphics to 360 films.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a brainstorming session with our team to see if VR is right for your business!