Miles Hammond on the role showrooms play in boosting home wellness sales…

UK HOT TUB Retailers of the Year, 1 Stop Spas run three showrooms out of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

The sales journey for pool and spa retailers, over the past five years, plots something like a white-knuckle roller coaster ride of highs and lows with a smattering of stomach-churning steep twists and turns. Despite the boom in on-line media channels, like You Tube, successful retailers agree that there is no substitute for the hands-on buying experience, giving showrooms a critical role in securing sales.

Akin to buying a luxury car, being able to view or demo a high-ticket product like a spa is very important. Even with the latest technology, without a physical showroom it’s difficult to showpiece a range of products, or encourage enhanced sales like saunas and outdoor kitchens, without a slick showroom display approach.

All Weather Leisure are well-known for the supply of wooden garden buildings and gazebos alongside their hot tubs and spas. “Over the last 27 years we believe we have got one of the best showrooms in the UK,” sales Luke Shelley. “We try to leave enough room around all our hot tubs for customers to be able to get around them to make sure it’s the perfect spa for them and their needs. “We also have one of each range filled and ready for customers to wet test if required.

THERE IS ALWAYS plenty of options for outdoor living on view within Allswim display areas.

When it comes to swim spas we have increased our game over recent years, we now have three different models on display with two of them been able to be wet tested,” Luke continues. “We like to showcase different types of buildings and plants surrounding the hot tubs, so customers can get a better idea of how it will look in their own property,” says Luke.

“Our selection of wooden gazebos and Covana covers offers customers the option of privacy over their hot tubs. “We also have a whole range of cover lifters, steps, filters and chemicals to cater for new or existing hot tub owners and complement tub sales.” Hot Tubs Rock won the title of Showroom Of The Year in the UK Pool & Spa Awards competition for their creatively thought-out Gloucestershire showroom which delighted the competition judges.

“Without a physical showroom, we wouldn’t have sold 75% of the tubs we have in the past few years,” believes Angharad Wrigley. “Our showroom means customers can see and touch the tubs in the flesh, but also they can meet real people – who aren’t just salespeople – and gain reassurance that there is somewhere they can visit post-purchase for advice and support.”

THERE IS ALWAYS plenty of options for outdoor living on view within Allswim display areas.

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to luxury home sector displays” says Carla Massey, co-owner of award-winning Hot Tubs Oxfordshire. “Our Bicester showroom is the key to the success as we celebrate five years of trading,” says Carla.

“Having a showroom where customers can see, touch, and even wet test our hot tubs and swim spas is always the best way to secure sales. Customers often come to the showroom confused by things like the number of jets, running costs, and overall build quality so it’s great to be able to offer informative conversations face to face while demonstrating.” Crucially, the showroom affords the perfect opportunity for effective personal selling.

Sales assistants have the chance to explain the products in detail – and offer potential upgrades and add-on sales. Customers are able to make a better informed and more confident purchase that leads to greater product satisfaction, less post-purchase remorse and stronger retailer / customer relationships for the long term.

Keeping retail business local, 1 Stop Spas & Spa Tech Training ensure that they can look after every single one of their customers in a timely manner. The company now have three showrooms across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, offering customers the choice of two American brands of spa.

NOT JUST SELLING the product, but selling the lifestyle, Hot Tubs Rock present a delightful mix for outdoor scene setting.

“ Having our showrooms open seven days a week, we are always available for products and advice,” says 1 Stop Spas founder Chris Brady. Initially focusing on local repairs and servicing, Chris soon found there was demand for hot tub and swim spa sales so opened his first independent showroom in 2010. “When we took on the Nottinghamshire unit, it was a completely bare shell.

We spent a lot of time planning the build to ensure we utilised the space effectively, that all power cables were discreet and that the showroom reflected the high level of service 1 Stop Spas offers,” Chris explains. “Our aim was to create a showroom that was light and airy, comfortable and relaxed, where customers come in for a chat about their spa and can ask any question, no matter how silly. “

1 Stop showcase two of the best American made brands, American Whirlpool and Tuff Spas, along with a variety of cover options, lifters, chemicals and accessories, giving the customer the choice. All of their team are certified in water hygiene and receive regular training updates to keep their knowledge current.

Says Chris: “We offer a consultative approach to sales to ensure that every customer chooses the spa that is right for them and with every one of our American Whirlpool spas being supplied as standard with an Air Source Heat Pump, they don’t have to worry about running costs either.”

WENSUM POOLS welcomes visitors to its multi- award-winning showroom.

Designing a showroom from scratch during recent times has not been without its challenges. How have they chosen what products to display and achieved a good balance of different models and price points? Creativity is key in helping the customer to fully imagine the new hot tub in their own home.

The right display setting can be crucial in securing the sale and can also lead to installation upgrades. Getting the balance right is key. Too much information or stock and you risk over-stimulating and confusing the customer. It’s also important to give your sales team the opportunity to shine.

First impressions really do count. And for showroom teams, that means having dedicated parking and a friendly face but not overwhelming approach to greet customers as soon as they walk through the door. Carla of Hot Tubs Oxfordshire suggests: “We believe having a welcoming smile and a coffee in hand while browsing is essential in ensuring a high-end shopping experience that only physically being in the showroom can offer.”