Maximising add-on sales on all customer bases…
The average hot tub owner spends at least £250 every year on chemicals, filters and other accessories. Frustratingly, with so much competition in a buoyant market, this money will probably not be spent with the dealer who sold them their spa. In a world dominated by Amazon, E-Bay and notable Internet specialists, switched-on spa retailers will look to maximise the opportunity to capture the spending value of every existing customer on their database to keep the tills ringing both in the showroom and on-line.
“Accessories are a very important part of the sales process and should be taken seriously as this is where we should all be gaining extra margin on every hot tub sale we make,” urges Graham Message, Business Development Manager for Superior Wellness. “It is incredibly important to build value into accessories, always introduce them into your sales presentation and explain the benefits they offer each and every customer.” Graham says initial sales should always include the cost of each essential accessory whether it is a cover lifter, steps, or safety handrail. Dressing a spa in the showroom, also introduces the customer to accessories visually, showing nice steps, handle rail, side table, plastic glasses, fragrances on the side, bathrobes, holders, floating bar or tray, chemicals on the step. “A showroom sales environment enables you also allows you to introduce the benefits of additional accessories,” says Graham. “We often forget the importance of accessories but listening to a customer often tells you what they really require to help them get the full benefits of the product that they are purchasing. “People often struggle to visualise but they very much buy what they see,” says Graham. “Simply displaying items on a shelf or hanging on the wall doesn’t inspire them, seeing them in situ and understanding their importance or the fun element is very tangible,” he adds.
“Dealers are missing a huge opportunity to increase customer spend by not stocking a full range of accessories,” agrees Martin Rigby from Aqua Spa Supplies whose YourSpa range is popular with the trade and consumers alike. “We still have a regular footfall of customers coming to buy that pot of chlorine and test strips like every retailer. “Once you have the customer face to face it gives the showroom salesperson a great chance to demonstrate the various accessories and discuss the benefits of a spa vac or cleaning brush.” But why stop with cleaning accessories what about steps, handrails, tray tables, floating drink holders, novelty thermometers and ducks? Says Martin: “If showrooms don’t display a wide range of accessories, then they are missing out on additional sales. “These will add up over a busy season and I advise all retailers to re- think their showroom and make space for a few more products. “There is nothing worse when a customer comes in and says – I just got one of them on Amazon, I didn’t know you did them.”
Adam Clark, Sales Director at Golden Coast agrees the customer visit to the showroom offers huge opportunity to generate add-on sales. “Showrooms give a company the chance to provide a more personal service,” he believes. “Customers can look at products in person, which is sometimes easier than trying to judge the size and suitability of something when looking at it online.” Displays are a great upselling opportunity, as they can draw the customer over and entice them to browse further, Adam points out. “A striking product display may lead the customer to purchase some filter cleaner, a replacement filter cartridge, or even some fragrance to enhance their hot tub experience. “Fragrances are a great way of increasing profitability. They are an easy upsell as they add a little extra something to make your hot tub more special and fun. The Golden Coast spa accessory range — under the new banner of the ‘tubhub’ covers all aspects of ownership from maintenance to entertainment.
Adam explains: “We have worked hard to ensure that visually the branding looks bold, eye-catching and professional, so will stand out in any showroom. “However, web sales are skyrocketing and were even before the pandemic.” The most successful businesses are the ones that can diversify, and web sales can certainly add value to your bottom line. “A good webshop extends your customer reach on a national scale, and by adding tubhub to your online store, you can provide everything your customer could want,” says Adam. Every engineer visit offers an accessory selling window, Adam points out: “It is important to equip your service engineers with the latest equipment, such as the new ‘tubhub’ spa vac, so they can showcase the product and the value it can bring. “It will intrigue the customer and lead them to enquire about it. Ensure your service engineers take replacement cartridges with them so they can easily upsell a new cartridge there and then. Make sure your engineers have details such as the web link to the catalogue, or the business webpage with all the products on. “They can then invite the customer to browse the website while the engineer works on the hot tub,” adds Adam.
Wayne Green and the Sunbeach Spas team highlight the impact on buying habits during the pandemic. “After the last 18-months or so, when so many people have been relying almost exclusively on online shopping, a large proportion of spa accessory customers won’t be looking to go back to a walk-in retail environment,” believes Wayne. Retailers need to offer a balanced approach offering both traditional and online sales models, Wayne says. He points out: “Price is often the key factor in online sales, with people being offered low-price products such as chemicals which may not have the same quality, reliability or safety offered by large brands. “It is important that we, at the point of hot tub sale, make sure that people are aware that these products exist and know how to avoid being sold something that may not just be useless, but also potentially dangerous.
One area of accessories, Sunbeach is investing strongly in, is bather safety. “Safety, or lack of it, is something our engineers see far too often on home visits, particularly problematic steps,” reveals Wayne. “Either the treads are worn or cracked or, worse still, a replacement step has been improvised out of some other household object! “With this in mind, our engineers always carry a set of steps when attending a repair or service.”
The Sunbeach Spas Easy Step were designed in-house to fit snugly alongside either straight or curved- sided spas. They optionally come with two capacious drawers that fit under the treads, ideal for storing like small towels, test strips and other water testing kit, or even serve as a convenient and safe place to store a phone whilst in the spa – especially useful if it is connected to the spa’s Bluetooth music system. Wayne again: “Other products we have found are ideal for service engineers to carry on their vans with a mind to upselling are items like handrails and cover lifters – anything that needs physically fitting to the tub itself.
“Many people either don’t want the bother of installing these items themselves, or are wary of damaging the tub whilst they do, and instead just make-do without,” says Wayne who adds: “What better opportunity to make the customer’s life easier than offering to install a brand new handrail whilst the engineer is on-site anyway?” Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference – everyone likes a drink whilst using the hot tub, whether it is a glass of pop or that all- important gin and tonic. “We still see many people using actual glassware in their hot tubs, unaware that if that glass were to be broken not only is there the immediate danger to the spa users, but also that they’re facing costs running into hundreds of pounds for new filters, a full drain down and clean,” he points out.
Wayne concludes: “We always advise our customers to use plastic instead of glass and have our own range of stylish tumblers, made from virtually unbreakable plastic, which have the look of glass that people like, with none of the hazards.” Every visit to a spa showroom or spa website presents an opportunity to attract added value sales. Every contact, from telephone calls to e-shots, presents a window to mention a new product promotion.
Without doubt, the accessory sales winners will be the retailers who offer the best balance of both showroom and on-line sales. One last thing that our engineers discuss with our customers when they’re on site is scum build up, particularly that which forms at the water line. Customers don’t like having to clean it and don’t always understand what causes it, but we can help to prevent it with education and simple things like a scum sponge – some customers don’t know about them, or dont clean them often enough so our engineers always carry some of our own Spa Duck in their vans.
Aqua Spa Supplies
Tel. 01245 477 400
Tel. 01271 378 100
Tel. 01623 706185
Tel: +44 (0)1246 932448