Spas: New Era, New Consumer

New Era New Consumer

The International Spa Association (ISPA) Foundation has released the 11th volume of its Consumer Snapshot initiative titled ‘New Era, New Consumer’. It examines the habits, attitudes and expectations of consumers (spa-goers and non-spa-goers alike).

Consumer attitudes, like so much else, have shifted significantly in the last two years.

This edition establishes a wide spectrum of habits, concerns and preferences for both spa-goers and non-spa-goers, evaluating them in the context of respondents’ income levels, age and gender.

47% use a hybrid approach to receiving spa services, which includes receiving some services at a spa location and supplementing those with at-home service options.

The study also highlights respondents’ attitudes toward self-care activities, the factors that influence their decision to visit (or not visit) a spa, their spa-going habits, their purchasing trends, their outlook on the future and how they make decisions in the age of high demand for spa services and low staffing levels.

Understanding how consumers view their relationship with spas and, importantly, how that relationship may have been changed by the events of recent years will give the spa industry the opportunity to step into this new era with greater confidence. That starts with understanding who visits the spa, what they want from the experience and why they value it.

The data indicates that the spa industry is well positioned to meet the needs of consumers.

  • 58% visited a spa for the first time in the past two years.
  • 39% visit the spa more often now than before the pandemic. 65% will focus more on their health and wellbeing.

Top reasons for visiting a spa:

  • 24% improving appearance.
  • 17% reducing or relieving stress.

Factors that contribute to reluctance to visit a spa:

  • 40% cost for spa goers.
  • 54% cost for non-spa-goers.
  • 57% cost for lapsed spa goers.

Other frequently cited factors include not having enough time to visit a spa, concerns about COVID-19 and a lack of comfort in spas or familiarity with spa etiquette.

The report shows spa-goers have sought out alternatives to ensure they get their wellness fix, including booking at a less desirable time, booking a different type of service, making appointments at other spas or trying at-home treatment options instead of (or in addition to) a traditional spa visit.