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The Bottom Line

The waiting room must mirror the beauty and elegance that patients seek in their cosmetic treatments. Don’t overlook opportunities to use your reception area to attract new patients, reinforce brand loyalty, build trust and confidence, and increase sales. From key layout decisions to subtle design touches, numerous factors can make an impact.

What helps a business stand out to potential patients? And what keeps happy patients returning and shopping with one specific business in today’s oversaturated cosmetic market? The first step as a business owner is to look through the eyes of the ideal patient. The first thing a patient sees when they enter an aesthetic practice’s office is the reception area. Therefore, in order to maximize patient satisfaction and sales, it is essential that the waiting room mirrors the beauty and elegance that patients are seeking in their cosmetic treatments.


Upon entering an aesthetic practice, a calming and beautiful appearance of the reception area means everything, especially when patients may already be nervous about the cosmetic treatments they may be having that day. Thus, having a clean, updated, and aesthetically pleasing reception room can immediately put patients at ease. And using subtle branding cues that utilize all of the senses, like a signature scent, specific office colors, and even using the same branded snack options, will help to provide a warm familiarity to the office for new patients as well as those who return time and time again.

Patient Comfort

Once the scene is set, it is imperative to maintain a high level of comfort for patients. The goal is to always be inviting, not intimidating. This can be done by having front desk staff greet patients warmly when they arrive, keeping reception lively and busy; empty receptions can seem daunting, thereby discouraging walk-in patients and sales. Creating a friendly space even begins outside the office; putting up welcoming sidewalk signs, water bowls for pets, and even simply having staff wave to people passing by the office helps to create an open atmosphere. Further, presenting a concierge menu with in-office amenities, featured product pairings, and ideal add-on treatments allows patients to browse sales options while waiting to enter their treatment room.

Above all, having an attentive staff is the best way to keep patients relaxed throughout their entire office experience, thus aiding reception sales overall. Front office staff should customize each interaction with patients based on their appointment type, previous purchases, and individual skincare concerns to not only assist with any questions they may have, but guide them toward products best suited to their aesthetic goals.


Statistics show time and time again that brand trust drives growth. In fact, 57% of consumers will purchase new products or services from a brand it trusts, even if they are more expensive.1 Further, 43% of consumers will stay loyal to a trusted brand or company, even if they have a negative experience.1 Because of this, building trust from the moment patients walk into a reception is imperative to increasing overall sales. Simple ways to credential the office and providers in a reception area include showcasing select awards, as well as utilizing video clips from previous television appearances.

Retail Design

When considering reception sales, it is important to be conscious of how you are laying out your reception design. When creating a waiting room retail space, pay attention to where patients’ eyes might travel upon first entering the reception area. Then, make sure that respective area features high-impact “hero” products with an attractive merchandising design.

Further, retail sales are most often driven when retail is stimulating to multiple senses. Sight is almost always the first sense to be evoked, and the phrase “eye level, buy level” remains true. Similar to reception appearance as a whole, keeping retail shelves clean and organized will encourage patients to browse while they wait. In addition, keeping shelves fully-stocked allows patients convenience of purchase so they can grab-and-go at any moment during their office visit. Studies show that clients are also more likely to make a retail purchase if they can smell and feel the products on their skin. Therefore, having clean and bright tester bars is essential.

Patients should always be a assisted by a staff member when they are perusing a tester bar; that way, not only do patients sample products, but they obtain product knowledge and guided skincare advice, increasing the likelihood of them making an educated, trusted purchase that they won’t regret. Finally, updating product displays regularly will keep shopping engaging and interesting for returning patients.


It is a known fact that marketing is a continuous driver for sales growth across all retail platforms for a business. Often times, however, offices place so much importance on other areas of marketing that they forget reception areas also need advertising and promotions. Not every patient uses social media or email, so it is crucial that new product features or running specials are also called out in reception.

In addition, an excellent reception design will allow for its own marketing through patients, passers-by, and even staff members. This can be done through two main methods. First, keep your branding at the forefront of patient’s minds. Putting the office logo on any swag offered to patients is a simple way to keep an office top of mind for existing patients, as well as serve as a conversation-starter among potential new patients. Second, the rise of the “Instagrammable moment” photo has proven successful for businesses in all fields to help drive brand awareness across social media and therefore bring in new leads, maximizing sales. In cosmetics and skincare fields specifically, Instagrammable moments like greenery walls, uplifting quotes, neon signs, and more, not only promote an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, but also further the mission to help patients feel confident while helping them look their best.

1. Trust, the new brand equity. Edelman. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2022, from

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