Medesthetics

MAY-JUN 2014

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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GIFT CARD STRATEGIES But there's more to gift card sales than meets the eye. While they offer the potential for increased branding and revenue, these potential windfalls also can create fi nancial snafus and scheduling mayhem if a system for managing them is not put in place ahead of time. To help practice and medspa owners set their gift card programs up for success, we asked spa industry profes- sionals to share their strategies for handling the logistics and fi nances of gift card sales and redemptions. S h o u l d o w n e r s u s e c a s h - b a s e d o r Sh u ld wn ers u se ca sh- ba sed r s e r v i c e - b a s e d c a r d s ? service- ba sed ca rds? The defi nition of a cash-based gift card is clear-cut: the dollar amount stated on the card is the exact value of that card, and it doesn't change. A second option is a service- based gift card that entitles the recipient to a specifi c ser- vice, such as laser hair removal or an esthetic facial. Leslie Lyon, president of Spas2b (spas2b.com), a full-service spa development and consulting company in Ontario, Canada, recommends that practices offer gift cards with specifi c dollar amounts, because they retain their full value, even if treatment prices go up. Additionally, "Clients are more likely to upgrade their purchases as well as their budgets when they are starting out with a supplemental base dollar amount," she says. "Dollar amounts are easier to deal with and less risky," concurs Nina Ummel, owner of Ummelina International Day Spa in Seattle. "With services, such as a facial, if the price goes up in the future, then we have to eat the difference. And remember that even if a person never redeems a card you still have to pay taxes on it." Some recipients and gift givers fi nd cash-based cards impersonal, whereas a service-based card for a Botox treatment, massage or an IPL photofacial sends a personal message, such as, "I know you've really been wanting to try this treatment" or "I know you've been stressed out and you deserve a break." If your practice decides to offer service-based gift cards, make sure the card clearly indicates the treatment purchased and number of sessions. Felicia Brown, LMBT, business and marketing coach, and founder/owner of Spalutions! in Greensboro, North Carolina, says the decisions boils down to your prefer- ences and the culture of your practice. "Personally, I like selling cards for particular services because it seems like some thought actually went into it on the part of the buyer. I also like to sell multi-session packages of a specifi c service to encourage regular visits and loyalty." 58 MAY/JUNE 2014 | Med Esthetics I f y o u r p r a c t i c e d e c i d e s t o o f f e r s e r v i c e - b a s e d g i f t f y u r pra ctice decides t ffer service-ba sed gift c a r d s , m a k e s u r e t h e c a r d c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s t h e t r e a t m e n t ca rds, ma ke su re the ca rd clea rly in dicates the treat ment p u r c h a s e d a n d n u m b e r o f s e s s i o n s . pu rcha sed a n d n u mber f sessi ns. Cash-based gift cards are less personal, yet less risky, for practice owners. © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM G i f t C a r d S t r a t e g i e s M E D 5 - 6 1 4 . i n d d 5 8 Gift Card Strategies MED5-614.indd 58 4 / 1 6 / 1 4 4 : 5 0 P M 4/16/14 4:50 PM

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