Makeup Retail Design

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Retail is an important part of the spa business, and one of its components is makeup sales. When you design a retail space, you have to keep in mind that there are different types of retail products, and each category must be located, placed and presented in a manner related to its category to support and stimulate sales. Some retail products are more of a destination buy, meaning clients come to your spa because they want to buy the product. Other retail products are more of a circumstance buy, meaning the client may as well buy it here while she is onsite. Then, there is the impulse buy, meaning the client does not really need it, did not think of it, but sees it and wants it NOW.
The very interesting thing about makeup is that it is a retail type of product that is a destination-, circumstance- and impulse-based buy.


The most successful design in spa boutiques for makeup is to create a makeup station, or showcase, where clients can try the products as if they are at home, but with better conditions. To do this, you need to dedicate a space in your spa where clients can sit in front of a very well lit mirror. Therefore, make sure to balance the focus between the makeup station set-up itself and the products display surrounding the station. For example, if you design the station counter-top at table height, the client has to sit down; it is an active body movement which implies “the client has time,” thereby committing to buy too early in the process. Whereas, if the counter-top is at bar level, the client will easily be able to look at her image in the mirror and grab a tester to try, and consequently gets herself involved in the buying process. In addition, when the counter-top of the makeup station is at bar level, you can have a high stool or chair where the client can seat and have a professional makeup artist demonstrating to stimulate the buying process.
Another important consideration for a makeup station is to locate it close to the reception/check-out desk. As many items in a makeup products line are small, it is important that the receptionist can keep a close eye to avoid products disappearing.
image-twoWhen it comes to displaying makeup products, it is best to place products on both sides of the makeup station. Products placed below the level of the station countertop will not be acknowledged by the buyer so you want to place all the makeup products from the countertop height and up to just above eye level.
The perceived value of a product is extremely important in the buying process. When products are packed on a shelf, as if the entire inventory is there, the perceived value is low, while if there are just a few units of each product and some space between products, the perceived value rises significantly.
Now, let us divide your makeup products in two categories: one is the impulse buying products and the other is both the destination and circumstance buying products. In the first category, you have the lipsticks, eye liners and nail polishes. These are small size products with a lower price tag. The second category is all the other products with higher value.
The second category with the higher value is products that should be placed on the shelves on either side of the makeup station. Since the prices of these products are higher, their value should be showcased by keeping a small amount of space between each product in addition to only allowing a few units of each product. By increasing the perceived value of these products, the acceptable price tag is increased as well in the client’s mind.
For showcasing the impulse buy product, the exact opposite is true: You want to put the perceived value so low that the client’s impression is that the “feel good” effect of acquiring the product is much higher than its cost. The best location for these products is either beside or on the countertop of the makeup station, as well as on or beside the check-out desk where they open their wallet and pay for their treatments.
image-oneThis might be the only place in your entire spa where you allow a silver lined mirror, because you want the client to be able to see every imperfection on their skin. There are two kinds of mirrors: the silver lined and the gold lined ones. A gold lined mirror gives a glow to the face and does not bluntly reflect all the imperfections on the skin. As a general rule, you should always want your client to see themself as gorgeous while looking at their reflection in a mirror. For this very reason, all of your mirrors in your spa should be gold lined – except for the mirror in your makeup station. It is important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is not to provide the best makeup station, but to increase product sales. This is why it is the only place in the spa where you want the client to really see her image and see your makeup products cover her skin’s imperfections and make her look stunning and perfect!
Retail sales are the bread and butter of the spa. By using the right design techniques, stop the cover-up of the spa revenues, make up the bottom line!

Sam Margulies

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