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Is Your Retail Store Self-Care Ready?

One thing is for sure, the notion of self-care has become a big buzzword over the last year or so.  Google searches for "self-care" are up 25%, and no doubt you’ve heard the term thrown around. Apps aimed at well-being have exploded in the first quarter of 2018.  
The idea behind self-care is being empowered and proactive about your health.  Being intentional about taking time for yourself in order to live as your best self.  Millennials (of which I am one) view practicing self-care as an extension of our health overall.  The good thing about self-care is it can be free (going to sleep on time, saying no), or it can be purchased - manicures, gym memberships, lighting candles when your day is winding down.  
As we have more information, images, and demands coming to us, there is a growing movement to unplug and recharge.  Self-care is both a reaction to the growth of technology in our lives, and powered by it.  The ideas surrounding self-care, like mindfulness, journaling etc all grew out of people sharing online.  
We saw it firsthand when I put together self-care boxes in time for Mother’s Day.  The response was immediate and higher than any previous candle launch.  People want to practice self-care, but they need to be shown how.  And busy women want a shortcut - a kit, on how to put it in practice in their lives.  
The trend shows no sign of slowing down, the wellness sector is only growing, and self-care with it.  It's also important to note that since our healthcare system is somewhat chaotic, people are more focused on prevention than ever before so as not to incur huge hospital bills.  
In order to be prepared, we put together some guidelines and tips to get you thinking about how to maximize the idea that your store is good for your customer's self-care needs.
1.  Come from a genuine place. 
There’s nothing worse then slapping a self-care sticker on everything just to go along with a trend.  Really look to make your store a place where your customer can relax and recharge.  Read up on the origins of the movement, you’ll be much better informed and able to make decisions. Part of this movement is anti-consumerist, so it's best to tread carefully.  
2.  Repurpose what you already have.
The self-care concept is so broad that many things beyond the obvious can be self care.  Is taking time to find an outfit for yourself self-care? It can be!  We view our candles in the self-care category because they are thoughtfully put together with the specific aim to help people change their surroundings with a pleasant scent.  Candles are also closely associated with ritual - as in a nighttime ritual, a bathtubs ritual etc.  Many products and experiences can be a form of self-care.
3.  Make it easy for your customer. 
Most people, especially women, know about this idea. They know self-care is important, and they know they need to take time for it, but life often gets in the way.  When merchandising, think about how to make it easier for your customer to buy something and feel really good about it as an investment in themselves.  Things like self-care kits and baskets are big sellers for a reason. People want the easy solution! 
4.  Make everything about the shopping experience a treat. 
Try and think of everything your customer encounters as they walk in.  Below is a list of questions that would be helpful for you to go through.
- Does it smell nice? 
- What is the lighting like? 
- Is the store pleasant and easily organized with lots of “breathing room”? 
- Is the wall decor cohesive or haphazard? 
- Are your sales people friendly and discreet or pushy and loud? 
- Are the prices and promotions easy to understand or does the customer have to do a lot of mental math?  
- Is there a nice fitting area, with plenty of knobs inside for hanging purses and shopping bags?  
- Could you offer them a bottle of water or tea?  
- Are there little samples or freebies you could put into each purchase to make your customer feel special? 
- Is your packaging / shopping bag special?  We think of every candle purchase as a gift to the customer, and it helps guide a lot of decision making!
Some of these ideas or tips may seem small and not all that significant, but they can go a long way in setting your store.  You can go from being a place to run in and grab a blouse, to a place where customers want to come and spend time on their own.  And the longer they stay in the store, the more likely they will buy something, so think of all these things as an investment, in your own brand!