Understanding Wellness Travel and how it can drive sales and build new client loyalty in a post-vaccine world

Edyta Satchell, Founder & CEO of Satchelle Global Travel Wellness, brings her expertise in wellness to creating training programs for store managers and associates, individual travelers and corporations who want to implement travel wellness programs for their employees. Her specialized, one-of-a kind programs concentrate on considering what the travelers of today (and tomorrow) will need and what travel stores will need to do to meet this need. Here she shares some game-changing tactics that can help improve sales in a post- COVID world.

Edyta Satchell

Everything has changed for travel retail operators and suppliers over the past 12 months.

A year ago traveling customers recognized your brand and rushed to make their last-minute purchases before catching that flight or that cruise. Now, the product is only one piece of a complicated set of behaviors that travelers will come to expect in their travel experience, with client service taking a much more important role in the shopping decision.

Client service now includes understanding the concept of “wellness during travel,” and adapting sales techniques to cater to this need will be a critical sales skill that could help a store double and even triple sales.

Travelers are looking for guidance, reassurance, and expertise at every turn.

That previously trusted moisturizer or hand sanitizer is now intensely questioned, for example: the consumer wants to know what’s in it, how it’s manufactured, by whom, and whether or not it’s safe to use in a post-vaccine world. And in addition to having these answers (or guiding the client to one who does), the retailer will need to show confidence, patience, empathy and trust.

This new approach to client service can make the difference between closing the sale and watching a potential customer walk out the door. It’s about being ready for change, embracing it, and growing your skill sets.

Here are five steps a retailer can take to start the transformation.

Step 1: Understanding the “post – vaccine” traveler psychology

To sell more, you need to understand your clients. How much do you know about the new normal traveler? Their pain points, and travel experiences, matter – and should resonate in your messaging.

Even before the pandemic hit, frequent travelers tended to work long hours under a lot of pressure, compounded by lack of sleep due to jet lag, irregular hours, stress and anxiety. Most frequent travelers don’t have any wellness routines and tend to overeat, gain weight, and are always in a rush.

In today’s “new normal” the level of stress, anxiety and uncertainty is twice as high. Multiply this with social distancing, wearing masks and quarantining. Unlike in the past, the frequent travelers are probably traveling alone, to the worry of friends and families, under heavy medical scrutiny, with the stakes not only surrounding their job performance, but their health and wellness too.

Step 2: Understanding the need for wellness during travel

Under the current COVID environment, traveling with a focus on health and well-being has become a top-of- mind trend. Travel wellness is no longer a trip to a health spa, meditation or retreat.

Travel wellness in a COVID-19 world is about minimizing anxiety before, during, and after the trip. It’s about preparation and protection through healthy habits, self-care, beauty (yes!), confidence, balance and more. Retailers need to have a strategy in place to articulate these trends effectively if they want to sell more to their clients. It’s no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Keep this focus in mind with your marketing as well. Understanding how people react to messaging, visuals, and placement is key to any meaningful marketing message – and knowing how and when to use it has been key to any successful sales plan. The basics have always been there, you’re just adding a new layer to it.

Edyta Satchell showing the stress and anxiety of travel during the current pandemic.

Step 3: Understand the Before, the During, and the After to triple your sales

The key to selling through every stage of travel is thinking beyond the impulse purchase. Beginning with merchandising, messaging, display, and follow-up marketing, everything should focus on the Before, the During, and the After.

That means that you should be selling items that would be important Before in preparation for a trip, like (plastic bags for food), for During the trip (a couple of different types of face creams and lotions based on climate people travel to) and the After (supplements and minerals to get the healthy balance back).

Make it easy for clients to walk into your store and grab and go. Your expertise can be pre-prepared and easy to buy. There’s a reason why subscription boxes have become so incredibly popular – it makes shopping easy and it allows for a professional’s expertise to influence a purchase, resulting in higher satisfaction. In 2019 alone McKinsey estimated that subscription box sales reached as high as 15 billion dollars.

If you do this right, it is a win-win for everybody. Your clients gain confidence, are armed with the right products to travel like a pro and come back to your store. At the same time, you gain their loyalty and advocacy for life, while tripling your sales every day with each traveler.

Step 4: Finding the right products and partners

After learning the psychology of your clients, their needs, and the current trends, look for the right new products and partners. I’m not talking about face masks or hand sanitizers. Think outside the box. How can you get your clients travel ready? What products will they need on the plane? What products do they need in destination because the trip destination is in a different time zone, climate, and language. How will the destination impact their youthfulness, wellness, productivity and health? Did you know that our beauty and youthfulness

needs are driven by the destination we travel to and climates we live in? What products do you sell to support them as they travel to their destination? What can they buy in your store to bring home?

During my COVID travel I found myself in a situation where I needed a body thermometer to measure my own temperature. The people in the store thought I had COVID and I became stressed and nervous. Avoid this. Think about the frequent travelers’ lives, make a list of all the items they need and ensure you have them in stock.

Step 5: Train your staff

You may have all the knowledge and all the products in your store, but if your staff is not trained you will not succeed. This is the most important step in your new sales strategy.

Your job is not only to ensure that your employees receive salary and benefits, but also to provide the right training and help them gain the expertise they need to sell more. Your team will sell by educating your clients. You need to give them a list of questions they should ask to sell more without sounding salesy. They will not only need to understand the new health and safety rules, but also a refresher on geography, climates, and time zones. Product recommendations need to be based on reasons for travel as well as how people are traveling i.e. solo, group, family. Help your team to become experts in selling by providing the training they need and keep in mind that half-way solutions provide half-way results.

Follow these steps to get started on your path to improve sales in the new normal and keep in mind, you are no longer just selling products. You are selling your ability to provide the right advice, manage travelers’ uncertainty, and make their travel experience as relaxing and safe as possible.

Edyta Satchell, a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, is a renown corporate executive, speaker, and wellness practitioner.

She is a former duty free executive from her native Poland where she
worked at Baltona Duty-Free Foreign Trade Company. She helps thousands of corporations to rejuvenate their revenue
and profit in the new normal, by creating highly customized, modern, comprehensive programs to companies and their employees that help them gain confidence, productivity, client loyalty, and boost their profit.

Edyta is the Founder of Satchelle Global Travel Wellness. She has more than 20 years of global leadership experience working with dozens of A-listers including CEOs of key Fortune 500 companies and has been featured in many media.

Contact details: esatchell@satchelleglobal.com satchelleglobal.com edytasatchell.com @edytasatchell