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Webinar highlights: Retention, resilience and recovery

22 Jun 2020
In some of the latest wellness-focused webinars, speakers highlighted the value of looking to other industries for inspiration on how to cope with challenges presented by the COVID crisis.

Topics also focused on retention tips, consumer behaviour insights and mindfulness. Lisa Starr rounds up her key takeaways from the recent sessions.

GWI Collaboration call Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Many of us in the spa and wellness world would consider ourselves “healthy eaters” of one sort or another, and it would appear that the pandemic will have a positive impact on eating habits globally – probably beginning with awareness of sourcing and hygiene as never before, given how this current situation started. But the broader result has been that since we’ve been quarantined with our families, we’re re-discovering home cooking and the joys of preparing and eating meals with your family.

One participant mentioned how large CPG companies would market their foods on the idea of convenience; i.e. you don’t want to spend all that time cooking, buy this and have more time to yourself, but we’ve learned that being in the kitchen with family is more important. And it’s where everyone congregates anyway!

Topics discussed included:
  • Inflammation, and the concept of anti-inflammatory diets and ingredients

  • Nutritional transition and the globalisation of western fast foods

  • Trust; since COVID-19, consumers are mistrustful of governments that regulate our foods and the big corporations that create them

  • Seasonal eating; eating what is in season and grown locally, wherever you are

  • Nutrigenomics, the science of understanding how the biology of the human body is affected by food, and the relationship between nutrition, health and the human genome


This webinar was not recorded but click here to read more about the GWI 2019 trend of personalised nutrition.

Green Spa Network #10, Business Resilience and Recovery with Scott Duffy
This presentation was done in the style of a master class, with entrepreneur Duffy presenting a strategy for leaders in these difficult times.

Duffy is very personable and shared his own rags to riches story about building a business, losing everything, and building it back up again. His personal advice is to be accountable, forgive yourself, and work to find the lesson to build and move forward.

He shared that twice daily, at 7:30 in the morning and the evening, he takes the time to pause and consider three things for which he is grateful, or that he loves about himself, highlighting the fact that few of us take the time to consider ourselves when we’re busy worrying about others in our purview.

He outlined three recommendations for moving forward through the crisis:
  • Effectively learn how to pivot and adapt: Products and services that worked for us 12 weeks ago may not work going forward. We need to have detailed communications with our clients about both what is important to them, and what “has to happen” to develop your “buyer blueprint”.

  • Rethink the customer journey: The best place for us to go for inspiration is not our own industry, it is important to look outside to ideate and innovate. Map out the customer journey through your facility in the current situation, and think about how to make it different and better. How do we communicate safety and cleanliness along with our core competencies?

  • Be conscious of staying relevant today, especially on a personal basis: Whether you are still working or have been furloughed or laid-off, keep adding value to your network. Get up, get dressed, get on the phone and webinars, listen, learn, be involved online. If you’re invited to something, be the first to show up. Impressions matter. There has never been an easier time to stand out digitally, do one thing every day.

The replay can be watched here.

The Great Cessation: Consumers in the Next Normal, by Technogym
In an apt illustration of the previous example of staying relevant, this webinar from Technogym did not discuss fitness or gym equipment. Technogym’s Head of Digital Solutions Francesco Arlotti gave a brief company overview but then turned the program over to Swedish author and trend-spotter Magnus Lindkvist.

Plenty of Lindkvists’s thoughts can be found online in podcasts, articles and TED talks, so it was a delight to have him personally address this audience. Regarding the current pandemic and envisioning our future, he remarked that we should be conscious of our “Present blindness; when we wake up after a hangover, we say we will never drink alcohol again. But of course, we do. Reality’s job is not to correspond to our predictions”.

Lindkvist also noted that fitness businesses do not typically have “innovation officers,” so it is crucial to pay attention to consumer behaviours in other industries as we navigate our way forward. As for consumer segmentation, he counselled that we look for the new blue ocean spaces, such as hybrid concepts and physical outlets that are in more rural areas.

He closed with five things to do now:
  • Divide up your day and examine how you use it.

  • Find the pain, follow the money.

  • When you have a “great” idea, use Google, make sure no one else has already thought of it.

  • Dare to innovate with not-yet-invented ideas and solutions.

  • Enjoy laughter, and the sound of a good idea.


To follow up on the webinar, click here.

GWI Initiative Collaboration: Pause and Listen
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this collaboration of five of the Global Wellness Institute’s initiatives (Coaching, Immersion, Social Impact, Sound, Sustainability), but it turned out to be a delightful self-care experience, billed as “time to take care of ourselves”.

These initiative members put on a carefully choreographed and well-thought-out breath and sound experience intended to help us “tune into our body, quiet our mind and elevate our spirit.”

Representatives of each initiative spoke for a few minutes, seamlessly passing the baton from one to the next, describing what their initiatives do and how they were all connected.

Debra Dunier helped to set the stage and advised attendees of how to situate themselves in their space according to Feng Shui principles, and to make sure to try to use headphones for the experience. Then, the mic was handed over to Josh and Eliza Peck from the DOJO Upstate, part of the Sound Wellness Initiative, who used gongs and bowls in a specially-designed listening room to create a wonderful sound experience which lasted about 30 minutes.

Definitely worth listening to when you need a personal break. To listen back to the webinar, follow this link.

Consumer Behavior Insights and Retention Strategies, part of the COVID-19 Business Insights Series by Women’s Wear Daily
Hosted by Arthur Zackiewicz and presented by Sherene Hilal of Bluecore

Bluecore is a marketing technology company that uses predictive data to connect casual online shoppers to products and offers that transform them into regular customers.

According to the company website, their suite of products enables companies to “deliver two times the revenue and one-quarter of the time as other marketing platforms”.

Hilal certainly knows her stuff and trotted out any number of statistics and acronyms which would be unfamiliar to many not versed in the world of e-commerce, but still makes one consider what more we could be doing in our industry.

The ability of current technology to drill down and create marketing campaigns based on lifecycle staging, to segment, to avoid using promotions and discounts to drive customer acquisition and to leverage social media into converted clients is certainly impressive.

According to Hilal, subscription buying is the next generation of replenishment, but it also prohibits the brand’s ability to drive $ purchases in the shopping cart, so is not the solution for everyone.

She advises retailers to shoot for a 50/50 online/offline split in revenue; the complete shift to digital has been accelerated by the pandemic and infrastructure for those retailing online needs to be ready.

So, what does this have to do with beauty, spa and wellness?

When I listened to this webinar, it made me realise how hard retailers have to work to create sales, either brick and mortar or online, compared to what we do in the spa and wellness silo, where our main revenue is built around existing appointment bookings.

When we open up in the morning, we already have a good concept of the revenue we’ll be able to hit that day, just based on our bookings. This made me think that we need to make better use of our technology to attract and retain clients over the long term.


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