Glass delves into the digital spa revolution – the future is choose and book

THE mark of a truly great spa is the effort it takes to ensure the client is pampered, relaxed and truly glowing (inside and out) by the end of the experience.  At first thought, this experience starts at the front-of-house – a calming atmosphere with polite staff, for example. But the experience actually begins at the time of booking. And one of the strongest spa trends in recent times is not hyaluronic based – it’s the systems used to ensure the perfect spa experience starts at the time of booking. And as our lives become increasingly digital -led, it makes perfect sense that good online spa booking systems have become a commodity in itself.

Having a spa treatment is a great way to relax

This concept is not new – already a mainstay in many service sectors such as restaurants, seamless online booking from the likes of toptable et al have forever changed the dining scene.  Beauty blogger Laura Salter, a long-time spa aficionado says,  “Having to call for an appointment instantly puts me off – I have so much to do and being held on the line having a to-and-fro about times and date availability is just not what I need – especially in a breakout emergency!”

Smaller spas also benefit from profile building on the new online booking platforms. For Emma Wakefield, a successful spa specialist, it was essential in her initial set-up, “I faced the same issues as nearly all beauty therapists starting out, and that was how to gain and keep clients. Not just any clients, but the ones who would pay the prices I wanted to charge. One of the best things I did was getting a software that allowed clients to book online as it cut out all the awkward, time consuming back and forth when booking over messages”.

For the client, it means discovering hidden gems (like the basement treatment rooms of Salon House in Grays Inn Road, run by ex-Calmia therapist Lara – perfect for a quick facial fix in the City).

It is now very easy to book a spa treatment online

The best automated spa booking sytems, like Versum – best software for Your spa salon, work to provide the level of premium service that spa-goers want and are increasingly used to – from thank you notes, gentle reminders and can even tailor treatment preferences for the client. This not only avoids the occasionally animated descriptions of past treatments required but forgotten (“I think it was like an oxygen mud pack with a UV beam? “) but also allows a personalisation of treats and offers for each client. Clients are happy they maximise their precious spa time cost-effectively and spas can build loyalty and reduce ‘no shows’ and other unavoidable issues.

Simplicity is the key. User friendliness, a true hallmark of modern luxury, drives the latest online spa booking innovations. Beside  he highly rated Versum – best software for Your spa salon software, platforms like Treatwell ( which claim to be the biggest in Europe) have also ventured into a storefront app and website housing their spa partners.

“We had a small setup on using basic ticketing technology,” explains Treatwell CEO Lopo Champalimaud, who conceived his after a common vexation of many a city-dweller – unsuccessfully hunting for a good massage spa after an arduous work day. Treatwell now spans over 12 countries with 20,000 salon partners in the UK alone.

A popular spa treatment is hot stones

As digital booking systems evolve rapidly, more sophisticated tools are also accessible for the spa owners themselves Versum – best software for Your spa salon for example offers employee scheduling, real-time cash auditing, statistics and reporting, customer retention analytics and a point of sale module on its cloud based program, whist Bpm’online has dashboard analytics and a sync’ed mobile app and another competitor, Neko hosts a loyalty program). In the last decade, on demand music platforms like Spotify have revolutionised the way we consume music. The opportunities in hair and beauty are even more immense – with it being 10 times the size of the music industry and with overwhelmingly independent proprietors (only 3% of hair and beauty salons are chains). The choices for consumer and spas have never been wider. Time to click those lines away!

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