Designing the perfect retail space for skincare

When starting out many clinics overlook the importance of the retail experience for their patients and focus, quite rightly, on the treatment rooms and the clinical aspects of the services they offer.

However, as the business expands, and patient numbers grow many patients can be encouraged to visit the clinic on a more frequent basis for skincare requirements as opposed to visiting for treatments only.

This can have a significant impact on the patient’s aesthetic outcome, number of patient touch points, the patients net value and also can become a major source of revenue and profit for the clinic.

It is therefore worthwhile re-evaluating your clinics retail space to make it fit for purpose and maximising its potential as opposed to having a glass IKEA cabinet, in the corner containing a plethora of out of reach products which makes it impossible for patients to navigate and understand.

It is also very unlikely that they will return to purchase additional products between treatments, tending instead to visit a local competitor with a more welcoming offering or perhaps buy the product you recommended online for convenience or cost saving.

Redesigning your retail space can encourage product discovery, create a better user experience but also generate more sales.

So, if you haven’t refreshed your retail space in a while, perhaps now it is time to take another look at this key element of your business.

Traditional retail is no longer about selling! It is about experiences and education.

Your retail space must convey your brand’s identify first and foremost.

Remember you are a qualified healthcare professional, most of your skincare competitors are not. Clearly displaying your skills and experience as well as analysis tools can really help patients feel that they are finally in safe hands and may at last get a solution to the problems they have been battling for years.

But remember it should also make the patient feel comfortable and relaxed.

Try and make the space unique to you, what is it you offer, how can you express your brand’s personality within the space?

This can take the form of ornaments, pictures, lighting or soft furnishing, conveying to your patients what you are about and that you understand what makes them feel at ease. Making the space personal can also really help with patient comfort

Ensure someone is always available to help. Whilst you may be busy treating clients having a member of staff free to guide patients through the space to identify solutions to their problems and be able to educate them on ingredients is key. Therefore, it is worth investing in all members of staff’s education whether they are directly involved in treatments or not, they should be savvy in the benefits of skincare ingredients.

Don’t be tribal when it comes to brands. Having skincare brands displayed together encourages patients to feel they need to purchase a large range of products. Instead display products by problem, for example, dry skin, oily skin, acne, pigmentation, ageing skin. This will really help patients hone in on their problem and review the products most suitable for them.

Have information cards for each product with prices, ingredients and benefits clearly displayed to add transparency.

Refine your range. Offering patients multiple brands with very similar ingredients at the same concentration will become confusing and probably discourage a buying decision.

Having 3 brands all with 15% Vitamin C will force the patient to enquire about the difference, which inevitably will come down to price which in turn could confuse them further as to why 3 products with the same ingredients are offered at a range of different prices. You will now be in the territory of inferior v superior or even worse, they may feel they are being exploited or conned!!

What is it you are offering and why would someone visit your space as opposed to a competitor’s?

Showcasing products as testers on the shelves encourages interaction and helps patients engage. Store stock for sale elsewhere out of sight clearly informing patients all display products are there for them to experience. Ensure you have plenty of clean hand towels or cloths for patients to use.

Never offer samples, this is a way for patients to communicate they have not been convinced the products will work for them and they are delaying a buying decision. Explain again the benefits of the ingredients for their problem and that skincare products need to be used for a full epidermal cycle to measure their efficacy. Samples can only give an indication of the texture and fragrance of the products and not their efficacy. The texture and fragrance can easily be assessed with the tester on display.

Leave some space to showcase focal products either new hero products and product of the month, this may increase the popularity of an overlooked product and also change up your display for customers. This is important to encourage patients to remember that some skincare issues are seasonal, and it may be time to change their routine.

We have come across many clinics who keep their Ikea glass cabinets locked for fear of thieves! This immediately informs customers that these products are very valuable, prohibitively expensive and you may not trust them.

Whilst theft may be an issue it is highly unlikely anyone will want to steal half a bottle of a tester bottle and you may be restricting your business potential significantly due to lack of trust.

5 Squirrels have worked with many of their customers over the years to redesign their retail space to make it a much more accessible and enjoyable experience for patients and convert it from an insignificant add on to a major part of a successful businesses offering.

If you would like an audit and our support to revisit your retail offering, please get in touch.