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Two standout beauty and wellness brands – Enrich and milk + honey – have captivated their audiences by employing unique strategies that keep them thriving and standing out in a crowded marketplace.

During an insightful session at Innergize 2023, the premier beauty and wellness event presented by Zenoti, the founders of both brands discussed their strategies for expanding revenue via retail sales. Heavily service-focused businesses can sometimes overlook the power and potential of retail, but it’s an opportunity for the taking.

Retail facts:

At salons and medspas, even the best-performing brands sell retail products on about 1 out of every 5 invoices.

Yet, survey research reveals that 8 out of 10 clients would buy a product recommended by a provider at least sometimes; one third would usually or always make that purchase.

Sources: Zenoti 2023 beauty and wellness benchmark report; Zenoti 2023 consumer survey data

The experts:

Vikram Bhatt, founder, Enrich salons
Alissa Bayer, founder and owner, milk + honey salons and spas

These brand creators share tactics and experiences useful for businesses looking to bolster their retail revenue – or even create an entirely new revenue stream. Read on for details.

Inspire staff to become retail product advocates

Service providers and staff are at the front line of every beauty and wellness business – and can have the most immediate influence on client purchases. With an unwavering commitment to their staff, Enrich invites employees to try products and freely provides samples to them.

They then incentivize the team to maintain energy and enthusiasm by investing in training to fine-tune their product knowledge and sales techniques. With higher commissions tied to the sale of more products and services, Enrich staff members can earn more for their efforts and embrace a sense of ownership.

Moderator Robin Bray, Woodhouse Spas franchise owner, with Alissa Bayer, founder and owner of milk + honey, and Vikram Bhatt, founder of Enrich Salon

Look to staff for retail product insight and expertise

In the process of creating her own retail product line – more on that later – Alissa Bayer looked to milk + honey estheticians to help with development. The providers tested products in the treatment rooms, allowing for easy in-house research and customer feedback. Not only did this give Bayer a combination of practical, expert advice and client response, but it also involved the larger milk + honey team in a major brand initiative.

Have an online strategy to retain customers – and boost sales

If you want to sell more retail product, give your customers easy opportunities to purchase. That’s not only a firm sales strategy, it’s also a customer retention tactic.

Enrich has done just that by fine-tuning their e-commerce business, a combination of convenient online shopping and the personal touch of an in-store interaction. Enrich customers can buy products and services with equal ease via the brand’s mobile app – with same-day and one-hour delivery options for retail products. The result: 40% annual retail sales growth, with product sales accounting for 34% of revenue.

Enrich also has a robust loyalty program where 80% of business comes from members, who receive lower prices through loyalty benefits. Enrich sees an increased lifetime value per customer and more stable recurring revenue.

Salons and spas should focus on skin

The global skin care market is estimated at nearly $110 billion. Enrich taps into that market with a strategy that sets them far ahead of their competition: The brand creates services tailored to specific skin concerns or conditions, and then pairs each service with premium, sustainable products. Each high-quality product emphasizes the Enrich commitment to environmental sustainability with the use of PCR plastic and recycled materials. A testament to the success of this one-of-a-kind approach is that approximately 60-70% of Enrich revenue is from skin-related products.

Make physical space for your retail offerings

You can’t sell what you can’t display (whether that’s in person or online). Enrich, with 110 locations in India, expanded its retail space to accommodate a wider range of products, including fragrances. They added more display racks, showcasing a greater variety of brands and product categories.

Hair, skin, and makeup products now occupy 30-40% of their store space. This shift toward a more significant retail presence has only recently begun for Enrich, a response to changing market demands – and a strategy to keep ahead of industry-wide trends.

Think big: Develop your own branded product line

If you think this is too intimidating, read on. With eight years in the spa industry, milk + honey founder Alissa Bayer took the leap into creating her own product line. Her inspiration? A lack of effective products on the market that have clean ingredients.

Rather than private-label someone else’s products, Bayer chose to partner with formulators and manufacturers to create products from the ground up – and made sure to involve her staff in the formulation. Then, milk + honey rolled out small batches of products, and iterated based on feedback and demand.

This ensured a unique inventory tailored specifically to the milk + honey brand identity. The retail product arm of the brand now contributes between 18% and 22% of their total revenue.

By selling their branded line to retail partners as a wholesaler, milk + honey keeps the brand top-of-mind across other businesses. The product line has not only become profitable but has also significantly contributed to milk + honey brand awareness and the growth of their spas.

The strategy has even yielded an unexpected bestselling hit along the way: milk + honey deodorant.

For those venturing into the branded retail product world, some quick lessons learned from milk + honey owner Alissa Bayer:

  • Ensure you have legal counsel who is well-versed in label compliance and FDA regulations.
  • Consider the implications of wholesale sales versus a direct-to-consumer strategy.
  • Recognize that retail products may have slim profit margins but can serve as powerful brand-building tools.

A final note on retail sales: Keep in mind that a symbiotic relationship exists between in-person and online sales. If a client purchases a product at your salon or spa, you’re more likely to sell to them again online. Just promoting a product as part of an in-person service can generate demand; in fact, Alissa Bayer says that sales pick up only after someone visits a location.

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Dawn Cassidy
Vice President of Marketing
Dawn oversees a variety of key initiatives for Zenoti, with a sharp eye toward connecting brands to their potential greatness. She has deep knowledge of product experience and marketing strategies.
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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