Low touch therapies allow health-seeking individuals to feel they’re doing something proactive for their wellness without coming into close contact with therapists In 2020, we were wondering if guests would ever return to spas for hands-on therapies, but these results reveal that we cannot underestimate the importance of physical touch to our guests. In comparison, 31 per cent of people are more interested in trying ‘low-touch’ options, such as cryotherapy, infrared saunas, red light therapy and floatation. Yet these are the least popular choice of treatments since the pandemic started, with only 12 per cent of consumers trying one of these services. The only exception was meditation, which became more popular. Seventeen per cent of respondents practice it and a quarter of that group report they’ve meditated more since the pandemic started. Ten per cent of Americans tried health or life coaching last year and 6 per cent of Brits and Australians did the same. Of those who received coaching, 14 per cent of Americans received it more frequently since the start of the pandemic compared to 9 per cent of Brits and Australians. We expected to see significant gains in relation to services such as cryotherapy, infrared sauna, red light therapy and floatation, as they allow health-seeking individuals to feel they’re doing something proactive for their wellness during complicated times without coming into close contact with therapists. However, it’s likely that the majority of spas do not have many low-touch options and there may be less awareness of these services generally. It’s still encouraging that almost a third of clients are willing to try low-touch options and this may still be the time to introduce such services.
Nearly a third of clients are willing to try low-touch options, such as red light therapy
Beauty & grooming Consumers across the three countries, the UK, US and Australia, report similar relationships with beauty and grooming, as shown in Graph 2. Sixty per cent say beauty and grooming, which includes services like haircuts, facials and skin treatments, are part of wellness. Fifty-one per cent of respondents say they feel more confident when they receive regular beauty treatments and 40 per cent say facials and hair services are a necessity. Thirty per cent say specialised beauty treatments such as lash extensions and blowouts make them “feel more like themselves”. This suggests that spas and salons which offer beauty and grooming could reap the benefits as economies reopen and clients resume their former activities. When asked why they book beauty or grooming services, the number one reason was to relax and ‘take care of oneself’ (28 per cent book for this reason), 23 per cent do so to maintain their appearance, 20 per cent to boost self-confidence and 11 per cent to prepare for an event or special occasion.
Relationship with beauty / grooming
n US n UK n AU Agree/strongly agree with beauty/grooming
59% 57% 56%
42% 35% 35%
Beauty/grooming Beauty/grooming is I prefer to do most of I believe that beauty/ During the pandemic, I feel more confident I am LESS interested grooming is a when I get regular treatments and services a big part of my life my beauty/grooming in trying “high-touch beauty treatments are a luxury I cannot part of wellness treatments at home spa services” afford at this time Source: 2021 Mindbody Wellness Index
80 spabusiness.com issue 2 2021
Beauty/grooming During the pandemic, treatments like facials I am MORE interested and hair services in trying “low-touch are a necessity spa services”
I continue getting specialised beauty treatments because they make me feel like myself