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The holiday rush is underway. For beauty and wellness professionals, this often means holiday-centered email campaigns and services, increased demand from guests, longer workdays—and the need for an efficient way to handle the chaos.

To succeed now through December, take a hard look at your current operation. Now is the time to make your work life easier and capitalize on holiday revenue, and market to your clientele beyond some one-size-fits-all holiday newsletter.

Top-performing salons and spas are emphasizing or revamping their gift card strategy, implementing a membership model option for guests, and automating processes they once did by hand. By following their example, you’ll be prepared to get through the season and benefit your business well into 2023.

Here are three high-impact tactics you can use this holiday season—and beyond—to help your salon or spa achieve critical goals.

Increase holiday revenue with digital gift cards

In 2021, the U.S. gift card industry projected 10% growth and more than $170 million in sales.

Global data is even more impressive, projecting a staggering $239 million in gift card sales by 2025, thanks in large part to the popularity of e-cards. Clearly, salons and spas that only offer physical gift cards – or lack a consistent gift card strategy of any kind – are missing a big piece of the seasonal gift-giving pie.

A person holds a box-shaped gift card tied with a red bow, with holiday lights in the background. Source: Rob Laughter on Unsplash  Zenoti blog post, Oct. 21, 2022
Source: Rob Laughter on Unsplash

Any gift card can create brand awareness, drive sales, and encourage customer loyalty. But when gift cards can be purchased and exchanged digitally—such as by mobile device—There are even greater benefits to the gift giver, the recipient, and your business.

Here’s how digital gift cards work and why they’re so great for business.

Greater flexibility and security

Like a plastic gift card, a digital gift card can feature a specific service or dollar amount. Both drive revenue, of course. But a digital gift card works within the mobile and online retail landscape that exists everywhere today, from parking meters to coffee to plane tickets.

Also, if a physical card gets lost, so does your built-in upsell opportunity and potential for a new long-term customer. Because a digital card lives in the cloud, your guests always have easy access.

Multi-location redeemability

Consider this scenario: A spa guest visits your website to book an online appointment. While there, he browses your gift cards and decides to buy one for his sister across town.

After the holidays, his sister makes an appointment for a massage at another of your three spa locations. The right spa management software lets her easily redeem her gift at that other location, with no additional work needed by the business.

She also pays $40 extra for massage products, and books a follow-up appointment—all via her mobile phone.

Higher revenue and guest overspending

According to data analyzed by Zenoti, salons and spas that excel at their revenue strategy also sell more digital gift cards. For example, the top 10th percentile of full-service salons and spas see 10.6% of guests purchasing digital gift cards compared to only 0.9% at average similar businesses.  

A current trend shows that most gift-card recipients will spend more than the value of their card. A 2022 consumer study shows that 60% of people receiving a $100 gift card spent at least an extra $74.

Gift cards also bring added gift-giving convenience to your regular customers, which is especially valuable during the busy holiday season. Each gift card a guest purchases for friends and family is a potential new, valued relationship for your salon or spa, at an exceptionally low acquisition cost.

High-impact tip:

To help drive revenue, add gift card options to your online store. Promote these e-cards on your website, branded app, social media ads, marketing emails, and even during the online booking process. When a guest redeems their gift, suggest a related service or product to round out their experience.

With Zenoti, card redemption is easy at any center, on any device—regardless of POS. You can envision your concepts, create them, and market your experiences—all within one system.

Brands that use Zenoti see 180% higher gift-card revenue during the holidays. Learn more

Implement salon or spa memberships for reliable revenue

Brand loyalty. Increased visits. Reliable, recurring revenue. These are compelling reasons for introducing a membership model to your business.

A spa member enjoys a soothing facial and massage in an exotic background. Source: The Anam on Unsplash for Zenoti, October 21, 2022 blog post.
Source: The Anam on Unsplash

With a membership program, your guests commit to a certain package of regular visits or services, usually at a fixed price. They can automatically see their prices, rewards, and credits when they check in online—or at your front desk.

Members can also share perks with family and friends, like discounts and specials. If a members-only service doesn’t match your guest’s preference, you can swap that offer for a comparable service.

Most important, memberships are a steady source of regular revenue, making occasional slow periods less stressful.

High-impact tip:

Talk with your team about what to include in your membership program—such as membership levels or packages that appeal to various guests’ needs or price points. Also, review how to automate the membership process whenever possible.

For more membership tips, download 5 reasons why you should move to a membership model.

Establish efficiencies that last beyond the holidays

During the holiday rush, even the most organized salon or spa can be chaotic. Maybe there’s a bottleneck at the front desk, a series of last-minute cancellations, or a popular stylist who calls in sick.

While issues like this can happen anytime, they are especially stressful during the make-or-break holiday season. Luckily, even small improvements can streamline your operations and build efficiency.

Automated marketing and messaging

Is your software helping or hurting your marketing efforts? A software platform should make it easy to segment holiday campaigns to any portion of your audience. Find out now whether your software can do the following – preferably via automation:  

  • Target specific guests for a holiday discount
  • Send holiday messaging to those in your loyalty program
  • Send reminders to guests whose memberships will expire soon
  • Share personalized product and services recommendations
  • Automate upsell opportunities via email, your webstore, and front desk
  • Centralize your sales lead management and monitor performance

As part of your marketing plan, you also can inform guests how your salon is working to improve their holiday experience. This can get current customers excited for the season and improve customer loyalty too.

Online booking and purchases

Everyone appreciates a simplified appointment experience, particularly during the holidays. When guests can book an appointment via your customer app or website, they enjoy greater flexibility and help you reduce phone stress at the front desk. Putting your booking process and retail operations online is an important way to streamline operations and make life easier for everyone at your business.

Online booking also matches guests’ scheduling preferences to preferred providers, fills more slots, and maximizes income opportunities for your stylists, providers, and technicians by automatically filling their available openings.  

According to Zenoti, online booking can also lead to ~20% higher spends as guests can review your offerings and purchase more than they planned initially. When guests book online, they can also buy gift cards, manage their membership preferences, take advantage of add-on services, and purchase products at their convenience.

A 24/7 virtual assistant

Your guests are also busy during the holidays — which means they may not be willing to wait on hold when the front desk is helping another guest. That’s where an AI virtual assistant comes in.

With an AI assistant on your website, prospective guests can get answers via instant text messages. What’s more, a modern AI bot can be personalized to match your brand voice and friendly persona, helping guests feel at ease. When your front desk is too busy, your virtual assistant can resolve questions about services and products while offering booking assistance.

Learn how to improve your guest experience and business efficiency with a Zenoti AI bot integration.

Predictive technology that simplifies scheduling

Think about how an overbooked schedule impacts your salon. Now, think about your slowest day. If your mind immediately registers the pressures and stresses of both situations, you’re not alone.

What if your technology could recognize past trends to help you optimize every available time slot? The most sophisticated software now includes an algorithm that can analyze appointments currently on your books and use that intelligence to help you maximize every opening and match services with the right stylists.

This is the kind of efficiency every salon owner, stylist, and technician dreams about—and can now find and implement in their business. See how Zenoti helps you manage and engage employees.

Self check-in and checkout

Most guests know they face longer wait times during the holidays. Reducing that time can be one of your greatest gifts to them, now and in the future.

It all starts online and works best with your brand’s handy mobile app.

Via the app or a guest portal, guests check in just as they arrive at your spa or salon. This helps free up your waiting area and reduce unnecessary interactions at the front desk. The right people on your staff can receive notifications when guests arrive, look up service details and sales opportunities—and even have the guest’s favorite beverage ready.

During the visit, providers can upsell additional services or products right from the chair. And when it’s time to check out, guests can use their phone to pay their bill, tip the stylist, and book their next appointment.

An automated payment system

Speed up your check-out process with a digital point of sale (POS) system that allows guests to pay online via their smartphone.

An automated system also takes the pressure off spa or salon owners and managers by integrating payments with other systems at one store or all your locations.

A retail guest waits at the front desk while an attendant inserts his card into a credit card reader. Source: Clay Banks on Unsplash (Zenoti blog post, October 19, 2022).
Source: Clay Banks on Unsplash

When your schedule is fully booked— or overbooked— for the holidays, multiple guests may be waiting to check out. And your team may be too busy to reduce those bottlenecks at the front desk.

If you want to improve efficiency, ask your guests to store their credit card on file. Then, they can pay automatically upon check-out (think Uber) and can instead focus on the tip. Everybody wins.

Want more options? In addition to mobile pay, guests can also pay at a payment kiosk. You can also enable a single-click subscription that allows guests to pay without further authentication using their card details on file.

High-impact tip:

Whenever possible, automate your marketing campaigns, booking, scheduling, payment, and tip processes. An all-in-one management platform can take care of the minutia, letting your aestheticians and technicians spend more quality time with guests.

Now that’s a holiday gift that keeps giving, long after the holiday season is past.

Simplify your salon or spa’s operations with the Zenoti platform, the industry’s complete software solution. To see how it can work for you, click here.


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Ruth Angerbauer
Senior Content Specialist
As a professional writer, Ruth creates stories that enlighten, educate, and engage audiences. A staunch defender of the Oxford comma, Ruth is equally passionate about empowering beauty and wellness professionals with resources that help them streamline their work processes and spend more time with clients.
Cullie Poseria
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fitness
Coming from a healthcare family, growing up as a competitive athlete, and being trained as a filmmaker, and MBA, Cullie brings diverse experience to her storytelling and digital business-to-business product marketing. Her writing focuses on sharing trends and insights from her experience in software, entertainment, wellness, and fitness.

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