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Survival of the savviest

As spas closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, milk + honey pivoted to focus on its e-commerce business.

Milk + honey had to flex a different muscle when stay-at-home orders set in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milk + honey has six day spas in Texas and an e-commerce platform with a proprietary line of bath, body and skin care products that are sold in the U.S. and 28 other countries. When milk + honey’s spas were forced to close temporarily, the company had to rely on the e-commerce side of the business as its only source of revenue. Before the pandemic, about 90% of milk + honey’s revenue came from the spa side of the business.

The company started with one core question to determine its marketing strategy during the pandemic, says Marisa Tom, marketing director for milk + honey: How can we be a valuable resource for wellness and calm during a time of uncertainty?

In addition to its existing social media and email strategies focused on self-care, milk + honey launched free virtual master classes on at-home beauty care taught by its massage therapists, stylists and aestheticians. Its employees also joined the affiliate program for milkandhoney.com to provide staff with a source of income by earning commission on sales generated from their own networks.

“Our employees have become incredibly engaged,” Tom says. “We’ve seen a significant conversion and uptick in affiliates and in revenue generated based on affiliate links.”

While many businesses floundered, March and April were two of the most successful months for milk + honey’s product company—largely due to sales of its alcohol-based hand purifier, which became the focus of its paid media campaigns. In addition, milk + honey partnered with vendors that exclusively sold products in its spas to expand retail offerings online. Month over month, the company was up 272% in sales and 210% in new customer acquisition for its online store.

“If we’ve all learned one life skill, it’s how to just accept the change in our lives and adapt as quickly as possible to it,” Tom says.

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Image credit: Photo by Josh Huskin