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Software
Customer engagement

Consumers have a shorter online attention span than ever before. So how are software companies helping spa operators to give their website that initial appeal and make them ‘stickier’?

By Kate Parker | Published in Spa Business 2019 issue 3


According to website analytics platform Crazy Egg you have less than 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention online. Understanding how customers interact with technology and identifying their preferences for booking is therefore crucial. So how are software suppliers helping spas entice customers onto their site and keep them there? More importantly, how are they helping them to strike the right balance between stimulating their curiosity without overloading their online attention span, turning brief visits into those all-important conversions?

Dwell time
Experts agree it’s less about the bounce rate and more about the dwell time: focus on getting your content and presentation right and the fleeting visit will turn into a longer stay. Jeff Dickerson, CEO of DaySmart Software, says: “It’s important to break up copy blocks, improve layout and optimise the site for mobile users.”

Dickerson also believes it’s essential to make the content easily relatable. “Don’t just talk about the spa and its services, spend time describing the ways a visitor benefits from its services. Consider short videos and don’t worry about production quality, handheld is OK, especially if it shows off the spa’s environment or personality. Give people a reason to care!”

Katherine Juarez, director of operations at California-based Pure Touch Skin Center, a DaySmart client, says: “Our blog plays a large role in keeping clients on our site, as it contains best practices for skincare, upcoming deals and beauty tips.”

Leonie Wileman, COO of Premier Software, maintains that the easier the website is to navigate, the better the customer experience. She adds: “Engaging and relevant content hold’s a customer’s attention. Google Analytics can provide basic information as to how many people are visiting the website and which pages are popular, and provide great insights into what is and isn’t working.”

According to a survey conducted by content marketing provider Brafton, the length of the average site visit is 2 minutes, 17 seconds. To increase this time Amaya Weddle, senior director, research and product marketing at Mindbody, recommends optimising your website. “You can accomplish this by using basic UX research studies, such as ‘true intent testing’ (surveying visitors about what they are looking for and whether they can find it) or usability testing (having customers try to accomplish everyday tasks, and finding where that breaks down).”

This mindset is taken up by Mindbody client Rossli DeLorey, co-owner of New Hampshire-based Lashbar Aesthetics: “Our website is simple and well designed, providing succinct information, leading our customers directly to our booking page.” DeLorey reveals that, based on Google Analytics, customers stay on her website for an average of two mintues. “About 40 per cent of our website traffic comes from millennials and 65 per cent from a mobile device or tablet. These statistics made adding a branded app through Mindbody an easy decision, as we knew our customers would appreciate an even easier booking process.”

How sticky is your website?
You’ve enticed them onto your website and they haven’t bounced away; what makes them stick around long enough to get a conversion? According to Günther Pöllabauer, MD of The Assistant Company (TAC), the software must take into account every digital point of contact between a spa and its customers: “Our TAC software is like a toolbox. Depending on a spa’s needs, different options for maintaining each relationship with its customers are possible, such as membership cards, special rewards or gift certificates.”

Frank Pitsikalis, founder and CEO of ResortSuite, adds: “When guests feel that they can explore and effortlessly book everything that the spa has to offer using only a single online booking engine and with a single electronic payment, guests are more likely to feel intrigued about what else they can do during their visit to the property.”

Software company Personal Beauty & Wellness (PBW) offers a free, fully hosted, multipurpose business website, PBW Pro. For CEO and co-founder Andre Wouansi, a good spa website can be qualified as ‘sticky’ if it satisfies certain prerequisites: “It should be easy and convenient to use, concise and to the point, but with sufficient information that helps users gain trust in the website. Users must have the ability to book a service from anywhere, at any time, using any device; and be able to search by provider or service, and filter by distance, cost or ratings.”

Using PBW Pro, Jenny A Sabrian, a massage therapist at Somatic Massage Therapy & Spa, New York, has seen an uptake in her clientele. She says: “We use the website as an interactive space where our customers can schedule appointments, see our working hours and get to know our consultants. Moreover, the website allows customers to gain detailed information about each of our services and they can see other customers’ reviews and ratings.”

Tantalising touchpoints
So what strategies and features do spas employ on their sites to engage with and hold the interest of consumers? For Concept Software’s sales and marketing manager Malcolm Rennie, the defining feature of the company’s offering is that it’s an open platform: “Our system talks to other products, whether that’s third parties, apps, PMS systems, retail products, CRM or guest self-service platforms. Each of these have different touchpoints with customers that benefit their guest journey.”

For iSalon Software, it’s all about communication. The company offers spas their own purpose-built bespoke app, YourApp, allowing spa customers to set up an account and log in, recording their appointments, account details, gift vouchers and online booking. Likewise, its web browser iBookings allows a spa to record everything about the customer necessary to enhance the relationship going forward. Darren Pick, iSalon’s MD, explains: “From the client’s birthday, appointment history, favourite products, preferred refreshment, personal notes and many more, we ensure the spa has the facilities to make the client’s experience exceptional.”

UK iSalon client Aesthetics Hair & Beauty Solihull says the software’s 24/7 online booking has helped grow business as co-owner Sarah Bowron explains: “Our ‘Book Online’ and ‘Mailing List’ tabs are two of the most important touchpoints on our website. Situated at the top of the page, they’re clearly visible at eye level and we find that in the first 45-60 seconds, 72 per cent of clients click one of these options.”

ResortSuite’s Pitsikalis believes spa memberships and loyalty programmes can serve as powerful motivators, driving customer engagement: “When guests become members, they feel that they belong to a brand. This exclusivity elicits a strong sense of belonging and community that gives guests a place to connect, just as earning points with bookings keeps their interest in the spa, providing an opportunity to establish long-lasting relationships with guests.”

And it’s here at the point of connection that the greatest incentive exists for getting your bounce rates and dwell times just right: a software system founded on a guest-centric technology platform not only helps forge those all-important, enduring customer relationships, it also generates increased spa business revenues, streamlined operations and exceptional service. A win-win all round.

Rossli DeLorey, Lashbar Aesthetics
"About 40 per cent of our website traffic comes from millennials and 65 per cent from a mobile device or tablet" - Rossli DeLorey, Lashbar Aesthetics
Günther Pöllabauer
"Think about every digital touchpoint" says TAC’s Günther Pöllabauer
Malcolm Rennie
Concept Software’s Malcolm Rennie says systems need to talk to other products
Darren Pick, iSalon
"We ensure the spa has the facilities to make the client’s experience exceptional" - Darren Pick, iSalon
DaySmart client Pure Touch says its blog is key to keeping clients online longer
On average people spend 2 minutes 17 seconds looking at a website Credit: JKstock/SHUTTERSTOCK
Making booking and mailing lists clearly visible helped iSalon client Aesthetics Hair & Beauty
Membership and loyalty programmes drive client engagement says ResortSuite Credit: JKstock/SHUTTERSTOCK
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

While you take care of your guests, Book4Time takes care of you and your business
Choosing the best wellness business management software can mean the difference between success and failure. There’s a lot riding on this decision. Good software should do a lot of things: web and mobile appointment booking, staff and payroll management, inventory and revenue management, marketing and customer retention, managing your business intelligence and reporting, and keeping your data secure. [more...]

Iyashi Dôme celebrates 15th anniversary of its groundbreaking Japanese-style sauna
For more than 300 years, the Japanese have enjoyed the therapeutic value of bathing in the warm sand which is found in certain curative thermal springs. This form of cure, called Suna Ryoho, allows the body to eliminate accumulated toxins by sweating. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Medwellness & SPA Srl

Delivery of tailored turnkey projects, including all components: medical, spa, architecture, const [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Book4Time Overview
Book4Time is a global leader in cloud-based wellness and activity booking software for Spas, Hotels & Resorts and the Beauty industry. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

28 Nov 2019

Bali Wellness Summit

Alila Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
29 Nov 2019

FHT Conference

The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 
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©Cybertrek 2019
Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
Software
Customer engagement

Consumers have a shorter online attention span than ever before. So how are software companies helping spa operators to give their website that initial appeal and make them ‘stickier’?

By Kate Parker | Published in Spa Business 2019 issue 3


According to website analytics platform Crazy Egg you have less than 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention online. Understanding how customers interact with technology and identifying their preferences for booking is therefore crucial. So how are software suppliers helping spas entice customers onto their site and keep them there? More importantly, how are they helping them to strike the right balance between stimulating their curiosity without overloading their online attention span, turning brief visits into those all-important conversions?

Dwell time
Experts agree it’s less about the bounce rate and more about the dwell time: focus on getting your content and presentation right and the fleeting visit will turn into a longer stay. Jeff Dickerson, CEO of DaySmart Software, says: “It’s important to break up copy blocks, improve layout and optimise the site for mobile users.”

Dickerson also believes it’s essential to make the content easily relatable. “Don’t just talk about the spa and its services, spend time describing the ways a visitor benefits from its services. Consider short videos and don’t worry about production quality, handheld is OK, especially if it shows off the spa’s environment or personality. Give people a reason to care!”

Katherine Juarez, director of operations at California-based Pure Touch Skin Center, a DaySmart client, says: “Our blog plays a large role in keeping clients on our site, as it contains best practices for skincare, upcoming deals and beauty tips.”

Leonie Wileman, COO of Premier Software, maintains that the easier the website is to navigate, the better the customer experience. She adds: “Engaging and relevant content hold’s a customer’s attention. Google Analytics can provide basic information as to how many people are visiting the website and which pages are popular, and provide great insights into what is and isn’t working.”

According to a survey conducted by content marketing provider Brafton, the length of the average site visit is 2 minutes, 17 seconds. To increase this time Amaya Weddle, senior director, research and product marketing at Mindbody, recommends optimising your website. “You can accomplish this by using basic UX research studies, such as ‘true intent testing’ (surveying visitors about what they are looking for and whether they can find it) or usability testing (having customers try to accomplish everyday tasks, and finding where that breaks down).”

This mindset is taken up by Mindbody client Rossli DeLorey, co-owner of New Hampshire-based Lashbar Aesthetics: “Our website is simple and well designed, providing succinct information, leading our customers directly to our booking page.” DeLorey reveals that, based on Google Analytics, customers stay on her website for an average of two mintues. “About 40 per cent of our website traffic comes from millennials and 65 per cent from a mobile device or tablet. These statistics made adding a branded app through Mindbody an easy decision, as we knew our customers would appreciate an even easier booking process.”

How sticky is your website?
You’ve enticed them onto your website and they haven’t bounced away; what makes them stick around long enough to get a conversion? According to Günther Pöllabauer, MD of The Assistant Company (TAC), the software must take into account every digital point of contact between a spa and its customers: “Our TAC software is like a toolbox. Depending on a spa’s needs, different options for maintaining each relationship with its customers are possible, such as membership cards, special rewards or gift certificates.”

Frank Pitsikalis, founder and CEO of ResortSuite, adds: “When guests feel that they can explore and effortlessly book everything that the spa has to offer using only a single online booking engine and with a single electronic payment, guests are more likely to feel intrigued about what else they can do during their visit to the property.”

Software company Personal Beauty & Wellness (PBW) offers a free, fully hosted, multipurpose business website, PBW Pro. For CEO and co-founder Andre Wouansi, a good spa website can be qualified as ‘sticky’ if it satisfies certain prerequisites: “It should be easy and convenient to use, concise and to the point, but with sufficient information that helps users gain trust in the website. Users must have the ability to book a service from anywhere, at any time, using any device; and be able to search by provider or service, and filter by distance, cost or ratings.”

Using PBW Pro, Jenny A Sabrian, a massage therapist at Somatic Massage Therapy & Spa, New York, has seen an uptake in her clientele. She says: “We use the website as an interactive space where our customers can schedule appointments, see our working hours and get to know our consultants. Moreover, the website allows customers to gain detailed information about each of our services and they can see other customers’ reviews and ratings.”

Tantalising touchpoints
So what strategies and features do spas employ on their sites to engage with and hold the interest of consumers? For Concept Software’s sales and marketing manager Malcolm Rennie, the defining feature of the company’s offering is that it’s an open platform: “Our system talks to other products, whether that’s third parties, apps, PMS systems, retail products, CRM or guest self-service platforms. Each of these have different touchpoints with customers that benefit their guest journey.”

For iSalon Software, it’s all about communication. The company offers spas their own purpose-built bespoke app, YourApp, allowing spa customers to set up an account and log in, recording their appointments, account details, gift vouchers and online booking. Likewise, its web browser iBookings allows a spa to record everything about the customer necessary to enhance the relationship going forward. Darren Pick, iSalon’s MD, explains: “From the client’s birthday, appointment history, favourite products, preferred refreshment, personal notes and many more, we ensure the spa has the facilities to make the client’s experience exceptional.”

UK iSalon client Aesthetics Hair & Beauty Solihull says the software’s 24/7 online booking has helped grow business as co-owner Sarah Bowron explains: “Our ‘Book Online’ and ‘Mailing List’ tabs are two of the most important touchpoints on our website. Situated at the top of the page, they’re clearly visible at eye level and we find that in the first 45-60 seconds, 72 per cent of clients click one of these options.”

ResortSuite’s Pitsikalis believes spa memberships and loyalty programmes can serve as powerful motivators, driving customer engagement: “When guests become members, they feel that they belong to a brand. This exclusivity elicits a strong sense of belonging and community that gives guests a place to connect, just as earning points with bookings keeps their interest in the spa, providing an opportunity to establish long-lasting relationships with guests.”

And it’s here at the point of connection that the greatest incentive exists for getting your bounce rates and dwell times just right: a software system founded on a guest-centric technology platform not only helps forge those all-important, enduring customer relationships, it also generates increased spa business revenues, streamlined operations and exceptional service. A win-win all round.

Rossli DeLorey, Lashbar Aesthetics
"About 40 per cent of our website traffic comes from millennials and 65 per cent from a mobile device or tablet" - Rossli DeLorey, Lashbar Aesthetics
Günther Pöllabauer
"Think about every digital touchpoint" says TAC’s Günther Pöllabauer
Malcolm Rennie
Concept Software’s Malcolm Rennie says systems need to talk to other products
Darren Pick, iSalon
"We ensure the spa has the facilities to make the client’s experience exceptional" - Darren Pick, iSalon
DaySmart client Pure Touch says its blog is key to keeping clients online longer
On average people spend 2 minutes 17 seconds looking at a website Credit: JKstock/SHUTTERSTOCK
Making booking and mailing lists clearly visible helped iSalon client Aesthetics Hair & Beauty
Membership and loyalty programmes drive client engagement says ResortSuite Credit: JKstock/SHUTTERSTOCK
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FEATURED SUPPLIERS

While you take care of your guests, Book4Time takes care of you and your business
Choosing the best wellness business management software can mean the difference between success and failure. There’s a lot riding on this decision. Good software should do a lot of things: web and mobile appointment booking, staff and payroll management, inventory and revenue management, marketing and customer retention, managing your business intelligence and reporting, and keeping your data secure. [more...]

Iyashi Dôme celebrates 15th anniversary of its groundbreaking Japanese-style sauna
For more than 300 years, the Japanese have enjoyed the therapeutic value of bathing in the warm sand which is found in certain curative thermal springs. This form of cure, called Suna Ryoho, allows the body to eliminate accumulated toxins by sweating. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Medwellness & SPA Srl

Delivery of tailored turnkey projects, including all components: medical, spa, architecture, const [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

Book4Time Overview
Book4Time is a global leader in cloud-based wellness and activity booking software for Spas, Hotels & Resorts and the Beauty industry. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

28 Nov 2019

Bali Wellness Summit

Alila Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
29 Nov 2019

FHT Conference

The King’s Fund, London, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS