How to Increase Your Earning Potential With Retail Sales


Here’s a strong statement for you: I believe that home care products are equally important, if not more so than receiving treatments in a spa. 

You might be wondering why I find that to be true, and I want you to think about it this way – if receiving treatments at a spa is like working out for your skin, home care would be your healthy diet. 

You can’t get in shape by going to the gym consistently but living on a diet of junk food and soda, right?

Therefore, what your patients are putting on their skin every day at home is going to make a tremendous impact on the health and appearance of their skin and their satisfaction with you as their skincare specialist.

The Biggest Benefits of Retail

The reality is, if your patients are not buying products from you, they are buying them somewhere else—and they may not be making the best product choices. 

By selling retail products, you’re not only boosting your spa’s revenue, but you’re also fully serving your clients. 

For an aesthetician, retail has more benefits than the obvious of simply caring for the skin.  Retail also allows for customization for your patient’s care as well as increased touch points enabling you to build a deeper relationship with your patient.  
 
By overlooking or not giving the same amount of energy or effort to build your retail sales as much as treatments, you’re losing out on a huge opportunity.

Quite often, aestheticians don’t even realize that they are leaving money on the table because they are not consistently tracking their retail to service percentage. 
 
For example, here’s the story of one of my clients: 

She had some personal financial goals that she was trying to reach and came to me to ask for help on a strategy to make this happen. This woman had been in the industry for about 10 -12 years - this was a second career for her.  

She had worked as a secretary for most of her life then realized she was ready for a change and wanted to do something she truly enjoyed, so she decided to go to school to become an aesthetician. 

She is excellent at what she does and was consistently 85-100 percent booked. She worked five days a week and was already at the commission cap that the spa offered.  

The problem was that she needed to generate an additional $500 per month to get her to where she wanted to be for her retirement, which was coming up in about 7ish years.   
 
Can you relate to that? Feeling like you want to make more money but you don’t have the time availability or have reached cap? 

I have. 

I remember thinking that I was at that point when I was in my late 20s and feeling discouraged that I would be making the same amount of money when I was 29 as I would at 59. That’s obviously not true, but it’s the emotion I had at the time. 
 
I also worked with other aestheticians who felt they were at this point of reaching a ceiling or being dangerously close to it. 

Often the first thought, especially when you work on commission, is to add an extra day, but if you’re already maxed out on hours as this aesthetician was, what do you do? 
 
Not to mention, the work we do takes a lot of focus, concentration, and ability to stay present.  If you’re overworked, your quality of care can go out the window, not to mention your personal life. 
 
When that happens, you burn out quickly, and even if you’re working more days, it gets harder to stay present and truly give each patient what they deserve - our undivided attention and complete focus on them and their skincare goals. 
 
Well, what I learned, and want to share with you, is that nine times out of 10 retail is the answer. 

Determining Your Retail to Service Percentage

So, after identifying that my client had hit her ceiling, we shifted to a "work smarter not harder” approach, and I suggested that we take a look at her retail to service percentage. 
 
Let’s first clarify what a retail to service percentage is. I’m going to use simple numbers here just to share the concept. 
 
If you performed $1000 worth of services in a single day and you sold $300 worth of retail products, your retail to service percentage would be 30%. Also, don't include tips when computing this percentage.  
 
If you are working in a medspa, 30% is a great goal to set for yourself because the prices of the services are typically much higher than a day spa presuming you are offering light and laser treatments. 
 
For day spas, I recommend a  50% retail-to-service percentage as a goal. These numbers may seem challenging to hit consistently, but it’s absolutely reachable with the right technique, knowledge, and follow through.
 
So, refocusing on my client, we gathered some data and found out that she was at 27%.  This client was working at a day spa so it was actually good news to see that her numbers were small because it meant that we could almost double her retail to service percentage. 

There was certainly money being left on the table that she was unaware of. 

Growing Your Percentage and Your Income 

So, how do you calculate what you need to do to make that additional $500 of revenue per month?

The first step is to take a look at the commission rate that you’re at. 

This aesthetician made 10% on all retail sales, so it was easy to calculate that for her to make an additional $500 she needed to sell an additional $5000 per month.  
 
That sounds like a big number at first, right? I want you to bear with me as we break it down.  

If you take into account that there are four weeks in a month, that brings the number down to $1250 a week.  

Now take into consideration how many shifts you work per week - in this case, she was working five shifts, so now we are down to an additional $250 per day. 
 
Does that seem more reasonable?  
 
The beautiful thing about retail as opposed to getting higher priced services on your book is that retail takes less of your time and still provides an excellent value for your clients.  

Another reason retail is often a better option than going out to find new clients is that according to the book Marketing Metrics, it is 50% easier to sell to an existing customer than a new customer.  
 
However, there’s one thing I want to make sure to note is that you never want to recommend a product, or service for that matter, that does not truly benefit the patient. It’s unethical, and it is the quickest way to break down trust with a patient. Although it’s important to have a goal for growth, your ultimate goal is to always provide the best care for your patients and clients.

Bursting Through Your Earning Ceiling

Now, if you’re just starting out and still building your book, don’t think that focusing on retail doesn’t matter yet. The earlier you can build your retail revenue, the better, but also know that your primary focus is best spent on your ideal client, networking, and marketing your business.  

But if you’ve been in business a while and have a decent size patient base, it’s time to start maximizing the potential and making sure you are not leaving money on the table.

No matter what group you fall into, be resourceful and use your spa’s software reporting capabilities to your advantage and examine how you can incorporate talking about retail products and homecare routines when your clients come to see you for treatments. 

As with anything in business, the biggest keys to your retail success is to set goals, create a strategy and know your numbers. 

Until next time, keep making the world a more beautiful place inside and out!