Spa Professionals Guild

Spa Trends 2020



With an industry that is ever-evolving combined with an economy that is unpredictable, trying to predict trends for 2020 is almost an impossible task.

2019 has proven to be the most unpredictable year in our spa and salon industry specifically in South Africa. What is happening internationally is not what is hitting the spot locally.

So, I am going to base my trend prediction for 2020 on the thousands of hours of coaching and discussion with various players in our industry ranging from therapists, investors, owners, hotel general managers, spa managers and of course very importantly the consumer.

I have listened for hours on end this year and coached for hours and hours to try and find solutions to a whirlwind of a business year in the beauty industry.

Let’s look at the strongest trends to look out for:

  1. Individuality
  2. Aroma psychology
  3. Virtual reality
  4. Air quality awareness
  5. Hero ingredients: CBD, ashwagandha, mushrooms, berries
  6. Better results, no downtime with proof
  7. Sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly initiatives
  8. Package deals
  9. Online shopping delivery to door
  10. Specialization


One size fits all approach is gone, personalization and solutionist offering is what the consumer wants.

The more you make the client feel like an individual with their own needs that will be looked after and show them that you have a solution and plan specifically for them, the more they will spend with you and they will return.

Everything you do must revolve around each individual client needs and how you can help them find solutions. For example, if you are offering memberships, completely tailor-make them to each client taking into account their individual needs and don’t offer the standard.

You need to become a private banker to your clients if you want loyalty and spend.

Aroma Psychology

This trend is the most powerful of all as the sense of smell has the ability to create an everlasting memory, smell has the ability to make you fall in love or absolutely hate something it’s that powerful.

So, aroma psychology is applying aromas for the desired outcome. For example, a specific car dealership brand in SA has a specific scent that is found in their showroom which makes the potential buyer feel important and wealthy, like royalty all feelings you want to evoke when trying to sell a car.

So, in your spas and with your product offering aroma profiling is critical and having a specific scent for your spa brand is also critical as it has the power to evoke feelings in the client they may have never felt before.

Virtual reality

The power of including VR into your treatment offering or package deals is so important as it has the ability to induce a state of mind in the client that will enhance your treatments once again creating loyalty.

VR in the spa does not have to a free enhancer but like any VR device whether in gaming or for therapeutic reasons is a charged for service in itself.

Since the SA spa-goer is not familiar with the power of VR yet, I would recommend you include it in a package offering to expose the consumer to how much more benefit your spa visit had because of the VR experience.

This is not a huge costly investment but will give the client the results and individuality they are looking for.

Air quality awareness

This is a trend that started this year but fast getting more and more attention. What are you doing about it? Spas can jump on this initiative by starting with the type of plants they choose to have at the spa.

There is a large range of air-purifying plants available to put in the store and say something about them don’t just put them on display to look pretty.

Any equipment to enhance the quality of air being pushed out is a good buy as this is a real treatment enhancer to some degree without the extra charge.

Watch out though as a growing trend overseas is to offer treatments in a purified air pod at a surcharge due to the quality of air the treatment is performed in.

Hero ingredients

So, mushrooms were the hit last year with CBD booming this year and set to continue booming for 2020 with spas getting more creative by even offering weed-infused drinks and food to the spa cuisine menu.

Turmeric, matcha, ashwagandha and berries are on the skin and body ingredient trend radar so look out for this and find ways to include this into your spa treatment offering as part of your individuality offering, once again giving each client what they specifically need or want.

Better results, no downtime and show me the proof

If you do not have a portfolio of case studies with before and after pictures showing results of what your treatments offer, then you can forget the repeat business.

Consumers want to physically see the results you can offer. Partner with a brand that is committed to continuous updating of their case studies and can support you with this. Facials for relaxation are a thing of the past, well, of course, the client wants to relax but she wants to physically see what she is spending her money on so be sure to be able to show her.

A treatment menu with pictures that are real have far more value than any words. Even body treatments such as massage are now needing to offer a value add for them to be regularly booked. So, if you can add a 10-minute virtual reality destress with the last few minutes of a body massage you are on-trend.

Sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly initiatives

Today’s clients need a humanitarian reason to be loyal to a brand. So, if you want loyal clients to get involved and partner with brands that run initiatives to recycle, to be environmentally friendly and get greener.

Start by looking at your dustbins in your spa space. Is there a recycling bin? Is there any form of sustainable signage up showing any initiatives you follow for example something as simple as the washing powder or liquid you use to wash your linen or how you encourage recycling by offering clients a few Rands when they return the box or empty tube of product.

Package deals

If you can find a way to have a permanent Black Friday on a few selected treatments that pair well together and promote retail sales well then you are on-trend. In South Africa currently, I am sure you will notice that the grocery stores offer on a regular basis, buy three of an item for a reduced amount and they rotate this offer around 20 or 30 items around the store.

Well speak to the store managers and they will tell you that these deals are their best sellers and revenue drivers. Learn from where it is working and implement this today. A buying trend that is being missed by the beauty industry.

Online shopping

Still tiny in SA but on the rise with consumers sometimes needing skin or body product top-ups and not wanting to go instore to buy it. partner with brands that will allow you to use their e-commerce sites but where your business is not left out of the deal.

So the purchase happens through your specific salon through their e-commerce site and delivered to your client door direct from supplier warehouse.

Watch this trend get huge legs! Be careful though not to send your clients to online stores selling the brands you stock but where your business makes no money from that sale.


Find your niche and work it! don’t offer all treatments and services as you cannot be all things to everyone. Or if you can offer a huge variety of treatments ensure then that you have specialist therapists doing those treatments as some therapists stronger in certain treatments. Take the strengths and build on them.

Becoming more specialized is a trend to watch as it is much more profitable and less costly to run.

I would love to hear from you, your thoughts and if any of these trends are working or growing in your business. [email protected]

Spa Professionals Guild is now Wellness Professionals Club.


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