Spa Website Content: What Consumers Want vs. What Spas Provide

OK, so you have done the hard work of advertising the spa and of course we have learned that today’s socially networked spa-goer is finding your website for deals, research and to look at your spa menus.

The spa operator now has a lot of important questions to answer.  Do we post prices?  Do we post the full menu?  Our best treatments?  All or some?  Do we offer a complete rendering of services or should we just get consumers to call so we can properly customize the experience for them?  In essence, the spa operator has to decide if their website is a brand-building enterprise (make a good impression to prompt a call) or a lead-generator that produces sales.

Here is what the consumers stated they wanted to see on a spa website for a location they were considering for the first time with the highest concentration of responses highlighted in orange:

Based on consumer preferences, seeing pricing and a rendering of the offerings/treatments available on the website were important or very important to 97% of respondents.  The separate entries of ‘Treatment Descriptions’  and ‘Facilities’ were deemed important by 96% of respondents with slightly less emphasis on the degree of importance.  Clearly, transparency about the primary product they intend to purchase is key to the spa-goer during the selection process.  Spa owners who do not reveal pricing or fully explain what the treatments entail are putting up significant barriers to purchase.

The reasons for a potential visitor to require so much information are varied, and in this survey we did not ask ‘Why?’ the spa had to reveal so much.  We suspect that the spa purchase is not completely unlike a hotel room purchase, in that the consumer has become used to a completely transparent process.

In Coyle’s Mystery Shopping Calls/Web Visits research, we performed an analysis of the websites of just under 100 spas in 33 countries. We reported on what each of the spas offered in terms of treatment descriptions and prices on their websites.  The results are below:

Interestingly, only 56% of the spas had both treatments and pricing listed in detail (22% in a downloadable menu and 34% in a listing).  That leaves just under half of the spas that did not have both of the critical elements that help advance the sale.  Additionally, as indicated in the table below, a description of the spa’s facilities were only present on 52% of the spa websites visited.

With so many spas failing to deliver the goods on all three important fronts, an excellent opportunity exists for the spa operator to distinguish their spa in a meaningful way from the competition.

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