How to Choose the Perfect Retail Products for Med Spas
In this interview Patti Biro shares HOW to choose retail products for med spas… and why you MUST offer them! You will learn how to choose exactly the right retail products for your med spa. Patti also shares how to create a collection of carefully selected retail products for your med spa that will not only represent your brand, but strengthen it!
In this episode, we’ll cover:
- Key benefits of adding retail products for med spas
- Selecting retail products for med spas that complement the current services, even if you don’t have private-label products of your own to sell
- Missed opportunities to delight your customers, create brand evangelists and generate more revenue
- Understanding the missing link when it comes to deciding on the perfect retail products for your med spa
Retail Products for Med Spas Are CRITICAL!
Today, I talk with Patti Biro, founder of Patti Biro Associates. Patti’s consulting firm specializes in creating brand enrichment through brand definition. The firm offers program planning, special events, retail consulting and education in personal products for wellness industries. Patti began working with medical spas in 1995.
Patti discusses the benefits of offering retail products for med spas, how to select products that will complement your service offerings, and the opportunities you’re missing if you’re not offering retail products in your med spa.
Benefits of Retail Products for Med Spas
The sad truth, according to Patti, is that there are still many med spas that are not selling retail products… or if they are, they’re not selling very much of it. It is human psychology to want to buy a product within 48 hours of having a treatment performed to maximize the results of that treatment.
First off, if you’re not making a product recommendation, the customer WILL go elsewhere to buy it, which means you missed a sale. And truly, you haven’t fully delivered on that service, Patti says. Not offering a retail product recommendation means you have not finished delivering the service. You can’t separate retail product recommendations from the service; it’s part of the service.
Second, by integrating retail products for med spas into your service protocol, the effectiveness of that service is prolonged. It also encourages the patient to return to your med spa. When people receive great results, they start to fall in love with your company.
Finally, the client truly feels “loved”and taken care of, strengthening the perceived value of the services. The client truly believes they’re getting the maximum return on their investment.
When clients get great results, it leads to:
- Great customer reviews and testimonials
- Referrals of friends and family to your med spa
- Above all, increased lifetime value of each customer
When people are paying out of pocket for a treatment or service they don’t necessarily need, they have higher expectations. The med spa that delivers on those expectations is the med spa that extends the positive impact it has on that customer and, ultimately, its brand.
Creating Collections of Retail Products for Med Spas
Patti explains how creating and selling collections of retail product for med spas promotes your brand. She also emphasizes that you should always link retail purchases with the services that you provide.
Selecting the right retail products for med spas can be achieved by:
- Identifying the vibe or the feel and culture of your med spa
- Thinking about what makes your med spa unique
- Knowing the experience you want to create for your customer
- Taking a look at your med spa’s demographics
- Selecting products that support the overall goal of the service or treatment
What is your vibe?
First, think about your med spa’s mission, vision and vibe or culture. Are you an upscale and luxurious? Do you have more of an organic vibe?
What makes your med spa unique?
Is there anything that makes your med spa unique or different from other med spas? Do you offer cutting-edge techniques or have a proven process? Have you won awards or been featured in media or in any publications?
What kind of experience do you want to create for your customer?
How do you want your customer to feel? Do you want your customer to feel pampered, like they just left a 4- or 5-star day spa? Do you want them to feel great knowing you only use naturally-sourced, organic retail products?
Consider demographics, such as the age of your ideal customers and where your med spa is located. Are you in a hot, sunny location that values the importance of good sun protection? Do you serve millennials or mostly men? Segmenting your retail products into collections for a particular demographic will result in the customer feeling understood and cared for.
What are your service goals?
Identify retail products that support the goal of the service, such as body products that maximize the effectiveness of a body sculpting treatment. Bundle and create retail product packages, collections or menus that are solution-driven and that complement the service.
You always want to be thinking med spa first, then thinking of products that fit that higher goal. Patti provides some great examples in the interview, such as offering fun products like bath bombs or body brushes as part of a collection if it’s in line with the service being offered.
If you do not have private-label products of your own, select the most complementary retail products that will achieve the vibe of your med spa or the feeling you want your customers to experience.
Instead of just offering therapeutic skin care or body care retail products for your med spa, think of what else can create a 360° experience. What else would make the entire med spa treatment more enjoyable for your clients?
Do you offer retail products that help your clients’ results last longer? Or will your med spa products helps them heal faster? How about a tool they can use to apply the products with?
Do you current retail products for med spas reinforce all of these brand pillars?
Missed Opportunities to Increase Customer Retention and Revenue
Patti shares a few missed opportunities that can help strengthen your med spa brand, deliver exceptional service to your customers and increase your med spa revenue. She talks about the type of services to offer in your med spa, the power of hospitality, integrating retail products into your closing protocol and the idea of retail replenishment.
Med Spa Services
Most importantly, you’ll want to look at the services you offer. It’s easy to fall into the trap of offering a variety of medical and non-medical services without considering if they are congruent with your med spa’s core offerings.
Depending on the vibe of your med spa and the experience you want for your customer, some product offerings can actually lessen the impact of your brand. It is best to stick with services that are aligned with your brand’s mission, vision and feel of your med spa.
One example Patti uses is a med spa that wants to be more green and organic. They should consider if offering a Botox service is the best choice for them.
The most common misunderstanding that Patti sees is knowing what qualifies a procedure as “medical” and what falls under an aesthetician or board of cosmetology procedure. Patti stresses the importance of being licensed and have the correct liability insurance.
Retail Product Recommendations
Another missed opportunity is not making retail product for med spas recommendations at all. People want a product that is going to complement the service. If you are not offering it to them, they will go somewhere else. Likewise, make sure you are integrating retail product recommendations into your closing protocol.
Patti also talks about customer retention and building your brand by having follow-up procedures in place. She refers to “Retail Replenishment,” which is a concept of being proactive, not reactive.
Here’s the idea behind Retail Replenishment:
Let’s say your customer purchased a cleanser from your med spa that typically lasts about 3 months and you have not heard from your customer in those 3 months. You then reach out to them prior to them running out of cleanser and offer to have a bottle of it waiting at the front desk for them.
By doing this, you have provided another service and created another chance to have a conversation with that customer… AND you’ve gotten them to come back to your med spa. When they stop by, it’s another opportunity to really connect with them and make a wonderful lasting impression on the customer.
Power of Hospitality
Last but not least, your med spa can greatly benefit from understanding the power of hospitality. Not only is it important to implement hospitality training in your med spa but to also follow the policies and procedures.
If your #MedSpa is not offering retail products at the end of a service - the service is NOT complete! #Truth #MedSpaMarketing @pattibiro
Want more help with choosing the perfect retail products for med spas?
Patti is offering a brief complimentary consultation to help identify your key issues and whether she can help you address them to grow your business. If not, there are lots of other people she can refer you to. For more information, visit Patti’s website at www.pattibiro.com or find her on Facebook at Patti Biro and Associates.
Full transcript of interview on how to use choose the right retail products for your med spa...
Hello and welcome back to the Med Spa Growth and Profitability show. I'm your host, April Iannazzone and today I'm excited because we're joined by the wonderful Patti Biro. Patti is the founder of Patti Biro Associates, a consulting firm specializing in creating brand enrichment through brand definition, program planning, special events, retail consulting and education in personal products, spa, and wellness industries.
Located in Texas, Patti serves clients throughout the US and Canada and Patti began working with medical spas in 1995, so you've been in this industry for a good amount of time and I'm sure you're going to be able to spread some light for us so I appreciate that.
And she has continued to develop integrated programs for hospitals, wellness centers, associations and employers. Her approach is to combine the best of the wellness and lifestyle program components with medical spas and day spa services and retail.
This unique business model requires a thorough understanding of regulatory scope of practice and compliance guidelines for the medical spas and wellness environment.
She's a frequent speaker, author and panelist on the medical spa, gift personal accessories trade show industry circuit. She writes extensively for trade show magazines such as skin deep, massage magazine, lane of Val. You're going to pronounce that for me. Say that... "LaneVal" and she serves as director of education.
So sorry for butchering your intro, Patti. But I'm so excited that you're here with me today.
I'm so excited to be here talking about a medical spa. As you shared, I've been working in medical spas since 1995 and I call it the dinosaur age of Med spa. Back in 1995, we didn't have a whole lot of retail products. Although, we didn't have a whole lot of services. You could already see that this was an industry that was just getting ready to just explode!
Since we had the services and the results that people were looking for consumers were craving more!
I love that. And what made you get into that industry to begin with?
Well, it's like a lot of things in my life, there's always an interesting story I love to write. And at that time I was living in Corpus Christi, Texas. I had started a wedding magazine with a colleague of mine and I actually sold an ad to one of the first med spas in southern Texas and I was relatively new to the whole concept of Med spa so.
Since I knew that brides are always trying to become much more attractive for their special day and it seemed like a perfect match and I've went on to do a lot of marketing for them. So that was my very first med spa I worked with and I fell in love with the entire industry and the whole concept. And I'm still in love with it to this day.
Awesome. So when someone's going to reach out to you, do they mainly come to you for brand positioning first? Or do they come to choose the right retail products for med spas. Tell us actually how you serve.
That is a fascinating question because I think it occurs it three different lifestyle points in a medical spa or a business that wants to add med spa services, so the first point is probably in development where some of these thinking about maybe expanding their medical practice and doing more aesthetic medicine, med spa services.
The interim point might be after they'd been open for a couple of years, anywhere between 2 years and 10 years and they basically need a reboot or refresh. Therefore rebranding is kind of almost a reincarnation because things have changed so much.
Then sometimes when they're a little more mature or after they've kind of mastered the basics. Now they're ready to get, what I say.. REAL about retail products for med spas.
People reached out to me and of course now as the economy is getting better, as physicians across the country are looking for alternative sources of income, there are more and more people coming to me on the development phase.
Very, very cool. Do you find that most of the people, or most of your practices are selling the retail just in the location or are they also doing online sales as well?
Well, this is the sad truth. There are still a lot of med spas out there that are not selling retail and if they are, they're not selling very much of it. Very few of them have gone to online services for retail products, which is really, a loss.
Consequently, by not doing so, it really hurts them in terms of disability.
Even if they choose not to set retail products for med spas online, they should at least list the products that they have online. Those are brand differentiators. Which is why I think retail is one of the areas of missed opportunity for not only revenue but also for branding.
Absolutely. And so you know, the obvious, someone listening, they're going to think you are going to help them actually brand their own retail products. Is that correct?
Well, that's absolutely a possibility. But when I like to get is the concept selling of creating of retail collections, because without a doubt, you want to sell retail that promotes your brand, and that may be private label, it may not be, but you want to always link retail purchases with the services that you provide, but there also has to be a little fun fact and depending on the menu of services that you offer, it's very easy to add those things.
And so it isn't just in skin care or body care or a body lotion. It could be some other things which are therapeutic but fun like bath salts, bath bombs, body brushes, shower caps, somethings that kind of go with this idea of a collection. And I just think it's very important for people to realize the power of retail in that slot.
Besides that, as a consumer.... I always want to purchase retail products for med spas that are going to make my results last longer. Or retail products for med spas that help me heal a little bit better.
You know, it's funny that you said the fun factor to be brought in to the retail products for Med Spas. Most of the time I really do want the best tools to apply, depending on what it is or you know, I want something for that full experience.
I will be one of the first to admit that again, as a consumer, if the spa or even the day spa too, don't offer those products,I'll go on Amazon. I'll look for a certain product that's going to compliment that service. It would buy the product from the med spa if they offered it
Absolutely. You know, there's this funny thing that happens. It's human psychology after we have a treatment or a service. It's almost like it triggers our retail shopping gene and within 48 hours many people will go and buy a product.
What we don't want is for the patient to go to Walgreens or Walmart. There they may products that will actually minimize or reduce the effectiveness.
My philosophy, when I work with people, I try to to help them understand that to not do a retail recommendation is to not finish delivering the service. You can't separate it from the service, it's part of the service. It would be as if you went to a restaurant and they didn't offer you dessert.
You would feel like, you know, really hadn't gotten great service.
So it really has to be integrated into the whole delivery of the protocols and the closing. There's so much power when retail products for med spas come with a personal recommendation.
Yes, it's about prolonging the effectiveness. But we also know that by offering retail products for med spas it will ensure repeat visits. Y
I love that! I was just taking some notes because especially what you just said, you know, that's a 'tweetable' as far as we want to say, "not offering or doing a retail recommendation, you're not completing your service."
It's absolutely true. You touched a little bit on the benefits of offering retail products in their medical spa, you know, by bringing them back in the door.
Can you talk about some more of the potential benefits that everybody could have?
Sure. I'd love to because I think that when you're thinking through a service whether you're adding a new service or tweaking it. You always want to create this little collection of products that will go along with that service. Whether it's body contouring or injectables because that delivers a complete 110 % service.
Above all, selecting the right retail products for med spas will extend the impact of the service or procedure.
What that does when people get great results, people start to make lovely comments, is that they now feel that they are getting the maximum return on their investment, which, what does that lead to?
I'm going to go and write you a beautiful review on your website. Can I go to yelp or trip advisor. I will even recommend you to my friends when they say, wow, you can have minus 10 years off your face.
I think that's really important, also for retention and brand building.
If I buy a great cleanser for me today at the med spa because. The cleanser may help calm down my sun damage...or whatever. You know in your office that's going to last about two and a half, almost three months. If you call me at month two and a half.
If you have not seen me now you can say: '"Hey, we'd really love to have you come in. I'm going to guess that you're running out of cleanser. I can have it here for you at the welcome desk all ready to go".
You should really grow retail, not only that but you have provided another service because I'm probably going to run out of cleanser at 11:00 at night. I might go online, we don't want that to happen. Plus it's another opportunity to have a conversation.
Absolutely. And actually now, you know, I kind of mentioned Amazon before I did need a refill before I had to go back to the med spa that I go to and I went on Amazon and now I use obagi products. They've put it on subscription, so I could now, if I wanted to click that box, obviously I love the place I go to so I'm going back there, but most people are going to click that box because they're going to save a little bit of money, it's going to be on auto ship, but if you offered it in the first place and you have the follow up procedures in place to get them back in the door, it's a no brainer for them, but it almost is too late if you don't offer it.
Exactly. And I think that, you know, a lot of people are always complaining about Amazon. What people in the spa industry, this includes med spa, day spa whatever... we can out Amazon, Amazon, we can deliver higher quality service, and be proactive and one of the things that I think we forget about is that you haven't reached the point yet where we could go online and get our virtual facial or injectables.
So you've got this guest coming through the door, you have the opportunity to really connect with them. Make a wonderful first impression, or a last impression, create an experience, and part of that experience is retail. So when I hear people complain about Amazon, well ramp up your customer service to help them be available for additional recommendations.
Absolutely. And then I don't believe Amazon's the competition, if you are delivering and your team is doing their job. Let me ask you a quick question, because you know, we talked about that private labeling is something that they can offer, but I just want to make sure I'm clear and the listeners are clear, even if they're not doing private labeling and they're offering other retail products, how do they build that around their brand? How can other labels represent their brand?
Well, I think every, every new business or every existing business has kind of a mission, vision, and vibe, they've got a certain vibe to their practice. They may be a medical spa but maybe they really wanted to be more green and organic and I love to say, 'hey, where's botox come from?'
We all know...
So, you know, there is a natural component there that could be employed. Maybe because they're in a certain area. For instance, I live in Texas. We're really heavy on products which have a lot of light and sun protection. So we can look at what's the flavor of that particular med spa, where they located. Who are they going for? Are they are marketing to men, ect...
When I started in this business that was probably one half of one percent male. It is easily 12% men. And growing every single year. It maybe that you are teaching even teens and tweens who are coming in for medical spa services.
So you want to segment those specific retail products for med spas. Even if you don't private label to your age demographics, to your particular mission, vision and vibe and kind of the feel and the culture of your location. And anything else that's unique.
Furthermore, I love to create collections that match he menus. If I'm real big into body sculpting, I would have an entire collection of products that helped support my goal to have a more shapely figure.
I love that. Very, very good. Now, and that's something that you can actually help them with, coming up with the right collection for the services they offer.
Now, Patti medical spas are often providing a wide variety of services that are not always medical, what is the common challenge you see when offering other services or when other services are added?
Oh, I can't thank you enough for asking this question. Because literally every week, a phone call, an email, a text from someone. Most physicians, presume if they are a physician and you're operating in a medical practice, that is all the licensing that they need in order to add in additional services.
Well that most generally is not the case. If you are offering, let's say, microblading, that actually in most states falls under tattoo licensing. If you're going to begin to offer massage, which can be very beneficial in weight loss and body contouring, you are probably going to need a massage establishment.
Probably the most common misunderstanding that I see is understanding what are medical treatments procedures and what are aesthetician board of cosmetology procedures.
Make sure you are licensed and have the correct liability insurance for procedures your offering!
What I frequently find is that people don't understand that you need to have additional licenses and where the scope of practice begins and ends for those additional services. That doesn't mean don't offer them because it just rounds that 360 approach.
Many of those services, I think they're very complementary to med spa services. We just want to make sure you're doing it with the correct license. Most noteworthy, hat you have the correct insurance liability coverage for yourself, your practice and your employees.
Absolutely, and I do want to mention though, even though for the most part, a lot of them compliment each other, some really don't. So I know if for like, I'm just going to again use myself as an example because, you know, I spent a lot of money in this space as well as work with hundreds of clients in this space.
So I don't necessarily want my med spa to be offering waxing or salon type services because to me that even though they're complimentary, it's still, it doesn't give that level of professionalism that I'm still looking for in my medical spa provider, or my service provider. But I know, and I guess it depends on, again, that vibe that your practice is going for.
Well, you know what, I'm going to agree with you 110% percent! It is especially when we'll start to talk about profitability. Medical spa services, when you create packages, bundles, and a great menu that, is my other big deal, is that I like to see menus that are solution driven.
So my concern are brown spots due to sun exposure when I was a crazy kid and didn't wear sunscreen. I want to know all of the services that you have. Needless to say, when I come to a med spa it's kind of like going to a four star hotel, five star hotel, you know a really great hotel or restaurant.
I'm expecting a little higher level of service. I am not crazy about waxing being in the medical spa. I think you should look at what can I offer that is med spa first and then what other services support that to make the entire experience better. But not having every service in the book just because you could. It just doesn't fit for this kind of higher level experience with it.
You know, there are many medical spas out there that aren't really looking for that higher level of perception. It all comes back to understanding your audience, knowing your community and understanding your vibe that you're really going to go for.
You know what I mean... The look and feel of the experience that you're creating.
There's spaces in this industry for all different types, but you do have to go in knowing what that experience you want to create. What that feeling you want for your client. I know that you could help people bring that whole roundabout experience together.
Well I still think at one of the missing links in most medical practices, most dental practices too, because dental practitioners I think are an extension of the aesthetic industry. It can be very important is really to understand the power of hospitality. You must conduct hospitality training, have hospitality protocols and procedures that you and your staff follow.
When people are doing an elective service and paying for it out of their own pocket they have a higher expectation.
We do have a higher expectation because we're paying for it. It's not a third party
And we don't need it.
Yeah. Very, very true.
So Patti, I know that you have years of experience behind you. You've helped people build the brand. You've help them create really extra income streams by creating and developing retail products for med spas. How can people get in touch with you if they really just want to start investigating their next move?
Absolutely. What are the things that I like to do is I will offer a brief complementary consultation and that way we can identify what your key issues are and whether I'm the right person you need to be speaking with. If not, lots of other people I can refer you to.
I have a website really easy to www.pattibiro.com. I'm on Facebook Patti Biro and Associates, you know, find me on instagram. I'm everywhere. I'd be delighted to speak with people who are looking for a little help, you know, you just cannot be a Jack or Jill of all trades and there's probably not an easy way to have the depth and the breadth of retail or special event knowledge that I've acquired since the dinosaurs were in south Texas.
So I love that you said, if I'm not the right fit for everybody... That is definitely something that you want to look for when you're trying to find the right consultant. The one that's going to help you grow their business or grow your business.
You don't want somebody that's going to just take on clients. You want to make sure it's a mutual fit for both. And I do trust that Patti, if she is not the right fit for you, she'll point you in the right direction. So make sure you check out Patti and thank you so much. It was fun.
It was my pleasure. Have a great day.
Guest Expert on Retail Products for Med Spas - Learn More about Patti Biro and Her Services:
Patti Biro and Associates specialize in creating brand enrichment. They do so through brand definition, program planning, special events, and retail products for med spas consulting. Patti and her team also provide education in the personal products, spa and wellness industries.
Patti began working with medical spas in 1995. Since then, she has continued to develop integrated programs for hospitals, wellness centers, associations and employers. These programs link the best of wellness and lifestyle program components with medical spa and day spa services and retail.
The unique med spa business model requires a thorough understanding of the regulatory, scope of practice and compliance guidelines for the medical spa and wellness environment.
She is a frequent speaker, author and panelist on the medical spa, gift and personal accessories trade show industry circuit.
Patti writes extensively for trade magazines such as Skin Deep, Massage Magazine, Les Nouvelle Esthetique and Spa, Nails Magazine and others.
As an active member of the Spa Industries Association/ International Medical Spa Association she serves as the Director of Education