Clients craving beauty solutions want instant gratification, and they can’t always get it in brick-and-mortar medical spas. Members of Generations X and Y are typically at work during business hours with little time to book spa treatments or purchase beauty products in person. Today’s clients are more often found online, many preferring to shop digital storefronts or browse social media late at night. Medical spas that want to capture their business need to be accessible from anywhere and at any time clients are ready to make a purchase. In an increasingly digital beauty industry, medical spas with e-commerce programs are leading this competition.
This year alone, online beauty-industry sales are expected to total $24.5 billion in the United Statess.1 By category, beauty and cosmetic products make up 26% of all e-commerce sales in the United States while 74% of shoppers prefer to shop online rather than in a store.2 In 2023, online transactions are expected to account for about one-quarter of health and beauty brand sales.3
With an online presence, medical spas can sell memberships, packages, promotions, e-gift cards, and skin, hair, and weight-loss products around the clock. Whether it’s capturing a sale from an existing client or converting a new lead, it’s easier to generate revenue and maximize return on investment (ROI) for e-mail campaigns, organic social content, and Google or Meta advertisements by simply giving clients an option to purchase immediately.
E-commerce also supports retail add-on purchases by driving clients to an online storefront after in-office procedures; popular upsells include post-treatment skin care products and hair and skin vitamins and supplements. These add-ons drive incremental revenue without creating work for in-office staff, and they prevent clients from shopping (and spending) elsewhere.
Ideally, e-commerce programs can be linked with electronic medical records (EMRs) and customer relationship management (CRM) software to create a fully automated ecosystem that alerts clients when they are due for a refill or when their favorite skin care line has released a new product. Add in a few artificial intelligence (AI) triggers, and one e-commerce purchase can set off a multitude of drip campaigns and client check-ins that increase engagement and build long-term loyalty.
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Tiphany Hall, PhD, MBA, is the chief growth officer at Aesthetic Record, a cloud-based, electronic medical records and practice management solution for high-growth aesthetics practices. Since 2019, Dr. Hall has helped the organization expand its technical capabilities with key features and third-party integrations, growing the customer base to more than 8,000 aesthetics clinics. She also serves as executive producer of Aesthetic Next Productions, a video and digital media agency for industry partners and training organizations, co-founder and director of Aesthetic Next, a multidisciplinary international educational meeting, and host of For the Record, an industry podcast.