Heyday, a beauty startup that offers affordable facials outside of the spa setting, is launching an updated website later this summer that will use its wealth of consumer data to bring its in-store experience online.
The company, which gives 30-, 50- and 75-minute facials for $65, $95 and $140, respectively, undercuts the high price typically ascribed to facials at premium spas. Since launching in 2015, Heyday has collected customer data from the 150,000 facials that have been done in its five brick-and-mortar locations (a sixth is opening in Los Angeles mid-July). That data has helped shape a personalized experience in stores by creating a historical profile of every client’s skin quality, concerns and product usage, and now, it’s tapping into that data to beef-up the consumer’s e-commerce journey.
When clients first visit Heyday, they fill out a survey detailing their skin type and experience with facials, which is followed by a conversation with an aesthetician. The aesthetician then devises a customized facial around the customer’s skin needs and, following the appointment, sends an email detailing what was discussed, recommended products, and suggestions for how to care for the skin for the next 30 days and what type of facial to receive next. As customers continue to return to Heyday, more information about their skin is collected during the various times of the year and after certain events (like a sunburn), which allows Heyday to become more sophisticated in tailoring its experiences.
“When you extract the facial out of the spa, it allows you to reframe the conversation around health and wellness, and change the way people engage with it,” co-founder Adam Ross said.
The untethering of the spa and salon experience to focus on one particular service is a larger underlying trend at play as more consumers seek an experience for their time and money. Heyday is part of a slew of competitors and peers offering on-demand services that break down the traditional spa or salon dynamic, like Drybar, which separated the blowout from the larger salon experience. Alchemy 43 aims to unbundle Botox injectables and fillers from the doctor’s office, while The Ritualist serves as a kind of Uber-for-facials by bringing them to the convenience of your home. Larger industry players have taken notice, with Unilever Ventures and U.K.-based retailer Debenhams investing in on-demand beauty platform Blow in 2017, for example.
And as the experiential and customized beauty space sees more players, Heyday is looking to distinguish itself by deepening engagement with clients through its online and e-commerce experience.
The updated website will be able to take the same information from the brick-and-mortar stores and provide customers with a personalized digital experience based on their past skin concerns, product recommendations, seasonal changes, environmental factors and skin reactions to certain life events like stress. Specifically, the backend of the website will provide a more seamless experience between e-commerce, facial bookings and its skin-care database, co-founder Michael Pollak said. For example, customers currently receive an email following their appointment, and if they desire to shop on the Heyday website, a new tab will open up for the separate storefront; with the update, they will be able to login to Heyday, track their skin history and see product recommendations, as well as message Heyday team members if they are unable to access a physical location.
“We have a comprehensive database, so when a customer comes in to visit, every facial and product [used] is digitized, and it’s used behind the scenes to better customize an experience,” Ross said, adding that it provides the business a “high degree of sophistication” that other spas do not offer.
While the new site will close the loop on the service and recommendation experience by selling featured products, Heyday is not offering its own private-label products. Instead, it sells from brands like Herbivore Botanicals and Naturopathica. Ross and his team believe venturing into private-label would undermine its personalized and customized services, since different products from a variety of brands and price points can address more skin issues than one singular brand. Additionally, Heyday could lose the trust of customers if they feel there is a bait-and-switch, where the facial experience feels more like a funnel to just sell them on private-label products.
That is why the e-commerce push is meant to improve the brick-and-mortar experience for Heyday, not undermine it. Currently, Heyday sees 40 percent of clients visiting once a month, and 60 percent of new clients as referrals from existing ones, Ross said. This kind of customer loyalty and trust can be leveraged to enrich the online experience, he said, but that the business needs to be “careful and methodical” about how it approaches this.
“E-commerce is a minimal part of the business, and we deliberately haven’t focused on it because the first couple of [years] were about creating an in-store brand. There’s time for e-commerce,” he said.