Belfast skin clinic goes digital in lockdown

Fiona Barr from Beyond Skin Clinic.

A BELFAST skin care clinic has adapted to new ways of doing business with the help of mentoring support from the South Eastern Regional College (SERC) resulting in spike in new customers.

Beyond Skin Clinic co-founder Jennie Wallace set up the city centre business four years ago with business partner Gillian Rossborough. But with their shutters pulled down amid the Covid-19 lockdown and their staff on furlough, they went digital.

Availing of digital mentoring offered by SERC, a staff member returned from furlough to deliver client consultations using Zoom and social media.

Fiona Barr said: “I've been overwhelmed by the response. Many clients are concerned about stress breakouts, changes in their skin due to diet or rosacea also known as the curse of the Celts as a result of the particularly sunnier weather.

“In recent weeks we've experienced a huge growth in our online footprint as a result of our new online consultations and tutorials. Instagram engagement has risen 127 per cent and 149 per cent on Facebook. Our new digital focus has really boosted our online sales too.”

Business co-founder Jennie Wallace said: ‘We decided to bring back one of our senior aesthetic therapists from furlough offering Fiona the opportunity to upskill and train in digital consultations and facial demonstrations. We invested a small amount in an iPad and a tripod and are so pleased Fiona has embraced a new way of working and discovered a hidden talent as a social media star.

"Lockdown has created a huge range of challenges for our business and has changed the economic landscape which we are trying to survive in. But it is important to remember that just as there are real challenges, there are also fantastic opportunities.

"Our business continues to thrive with our loyal client base. New customers are accounting for 75 per cent of online consultations and we hope to expand our digital offering into the future."

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