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RESEARCH


STEPHANIE PERRONE GOLDSTEIN » DIRECTOR OF SPA CONSUMER RESEARCH » COYLE HOSPITALITY GROUP


TREND WATCHING


In its latest report, Coyle looks at the habits of spa consumers in 2011 and fi nds out what entices them to spas and what makes them come back again


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nderstanding what drives and retains the business of the ever-savvy spa consumer is crucial to success in today’s


market. In last year’s 2010 Global Spa Re- port, the Coyle Hospitality Group (Coyle) conducted research on just that, breaking the spa experience down into marketing, pre-visit sales, on-site experience and post-stay follow-up contact. In the newly updated 2011 Global Spa


Report, Coyle continues to address these topics, shifting the focus away from the actual on-site experience and focusing more on the hot topics of marketing and promotion. T e new data off ers insights into some of the questions that came up most commonly from the previous survey, such as what methods actually attract guests and do any of them retain them? T e goal of Coyle’s Global Spa Report is to


provide spa professionals with better insight into understanding their clients and sug- gestions on how they can promote greater customer loyalty and client retention.


RESEARCH METHODOLOGY T e Coyle research methodology recognises that consumers’ decision-making processes diff er for each industry. Consumer behaviour, when it comes to emotional purchases like spa, presents interesting challenges when con- ducting market research. So, the Coyle market research is not only based on simple multi- ple choice questions, but also on open-ended ones that provide insight into the various rea- sons a single consumer makes a decision. In 2010, Coyle’s online survey was com-


pleted by more than 1,275 consumers from 27 countries. In 2011, the online survey was completed by more than 1,000 consumers from 34 countries with the majority (89 per cent) from North America. The respond- ents were 80 per cent female and 20 per cent male. Topics addressed were spa deals; web research and booking; spa visit preferences and frequency; and post-spa impressions and preferences. Coyle’s goal was to compare the trends in consumer sentiment year on year


tremendous growth seen by daily deal web- sites. In 2010, only 22 per cent of spa-goers used Groupon to resource spa information. Alarmingly, this fi gure more than doubled in 2011, with more than 52 per cent of spa- goers using Groupon to seek spa information. Meanwhile, a new addition to the survey this year, Living Social, has already surged past other competitors, with 28 per cent of respondents using it as a resource website. T e increase in the use of Groupon to


fi nd spa information may be eye-opening to many spa professionals. T e power of these marketing tools is hard to deny: while a risk analysis on such a technique is certainly a good idea, the consumers are defi nitely look- ing to such avenues to determine which spa they will try, so a well executed deal may be worth considering if well thought out. Further, when asked their main reasons


Fifty-one per cent of spa-goers want online booking


T e most popular advert


had a us$25 discount and no minimum purchase requirement... today’s


deal savvy consumer still wants choice, simplicity and a valuable deal


PLUGGED IN T is year’s results highlight a continued shiſt in spa consumer behaviour and the move- ment towards technology. Search engines moved to the most widely used resource for spa information coming in at 56 per cent (see Graph 1), indicating that spas now need to focus on search engine optimisa- tion more than ever. Also surprising, was the


34 Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital


for using websites, 71 per cent of respond- ents said they used these sites to fi nd deals. Even more interesting is that this year, more respondents said they used websites to learn about spas altogether (up 2 per cent to 48 per cent) and to fi nd new spas to visit (up 2 per cent to 43 per cent). T is again indi- cates the importance of optimising your web pages and providing detailed information to attract consumers to your spa. Coyle’s take on the deal-savvy consumer


is that you don’t necessarily have to dis- count heavily to be ‘seen’ by the deal-seeking consumer. A presence on popular search websites, added value, and/or a high qual- ity brand name or reputation seems to be enough to eff ectively produce the same result in terms of traffi c – thus, you do not have to jeopardise your business by off ering deals that negatively aff ect your bottom line. Another continuing trend for spa consum-


ers is the increased use of social networking. When asked how they would most likely com- municate their spa experience, 97 per cent of respondents said they were either likely or very likely to do so by word-of-mouth, which directly correlates to the 90 per cent that said this method was very trustworthy. However, 47 per cent said they were likely or very likely


SPA BUSINESS 3 2011 ©Cybertrek 2011


PHOTO:SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/YURI ARCURS


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