Spas are increasingly moving online, according to SpaFinder’s Top 10 Global Spa Trends to Watch . Consumers are finding spas online, booking treatments, joining online weight loss and coaching groups, printing out instant gift certificates, shopping, reading online reviews, and embracing social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But there’s more to come, says SpaFinder, Inc., the global spa and wellness company based in New York City.
New online spa activities include gaming while you exercise and having health information (like your blood pressure and heart rate) automatically uploaded for access online by your spa or doctor. Spas will also use yield management software that, like airlines, enables price variation, so spas can offer a less expensive massage on weekday mornings, compared to Saturday afternoons.
"It’s all being driven by global consumer behavior—the Web is simply where they “live” now. And these consumers expect instant information on spa services and offers, and even instant gratification with 24/7 reservations."
A recent SpaFinder survey reveals that 76% of spas are selling gift certificates online. Thirty-three% have embraced online, real-time appointment booking, and 21% plan to. Thirty-two percent currently sell online retail products, and 27% plan to.
Spas are connecting with clients online: 55% of spas are now using Facebook (another 17% plan to), while 32% are using Twitter to get their deals out, and 19% plan to.
With the explosion of online review and booking sites, consumers are increasingly selecting spas based on what real-world consumers say online, says SpaFinder. And spas are beginning to pay attention to their online reputations: 61% now encourage their clients to write online reviews, and another 14% plan to.
In general, the way spas virtually connect with consumers is getting far more creative. says SpaFinder. "But, while it seems you can almost “spa online” these days, there’s still nothing that can (or will) replace human touch. Spa, in fact, may be the ultimate counter-trend to the world’s online virtual mania."