There’s a lot of makeup and skincare brands in America but Sephora has managed to stand out with a whopping net worth of $37.2 billion.
Bridget Dolan, VP of Interactive Media at Sephora, believes that its loyalty program is the key to its success. In an interview with Forbes, she said, “One of the smartest things Sephora has done is that we created a robust loyalty program. I think it was 2007. We created the Beauty Insider program and we made it compelling for our clients to tell who she is at every touch point.”
As a testament to its success, 80 percent of Sephora’s transactions are run through their Beauty Insiders program. What makes it so compelling? Let’s look at what they offer:
1. Free beauty classes
Why join Sephora’s Beauty Insiders loyalty program? Members can enroll in free beauty classes!
Classes range from makeup tutorials like finding your foundation match to skincare sessions such as how to achieve a youthful glow.
If you click a class that you’re interested in, you can find a description and a map to the Sephora store location. Once you register, you can choose your ideal date, location and time then enter your phone number to get text message reminders about your appointment.
2. Tiered rewards – gives great perks to loyal customers
Sephora is an example of a tiered loyalty program; the higher the tier, the better the rewards. Customers are encouraged to buy more in order to get better rewards.
The most basic one is the Insider tier followed by VIB and Rouge.
The Insider tier lets you earn points and exchange it for products in the Rewards Bazaar. You can also get a few choices for your birthday gift and seasonal savings.
Beauty Insider (VIB) status is given to customers with a minimum online purchase of $350 within one year. Once members qualify for this tier, they receive a gift. The perks of this tier include all the benefits from the Insider tier plus full-size products, more birthday gift options and tier celebration options and more seasonal savings.
Rouge tier is the highest loyalty program tier and it is conferred after a minimum purchase of $1000 within one year. Of course, members belonging in this tier earn the most points and get the most rewards. New members can choose from three tier celebration gifts like 750 bonus points, flash shipping or up to 4 Makeup Deluxe: The Full-Face Makeover to share. They also have access to exclusive rewards such as full-size products and the $100 Rouge Reward.
3. Sephora Beauty Insider – offers great incentives
Why upgrade to Sephora’s VIB or Rogue tier?
In January 2019, Sephora let VIB and Rogue members choose from one of three possible benefits. These options are:
- Rouge members can add 750 points to their account
- VIB can add 500 points to their account
- Rouge members can choose to share four Makeup Deluxe Full-Face Makeover experiences worth $200 value—with friends or family
- VIB members may keep or share two worth $100 value
- Rouge members may choose free Flash (2-day) shipping
- VIB members can get free shipping for orders worth more than $35
Now, that’s how you motivate customers to get an upgrade.
4. Rewards Bazaar
Sephora’s lets customers redeem points for products.
While Beauty Insiders receive 1 point for every $1 spent, VIB members receive 1.25 points and Rouge members receives 1.5 points per $1.
The great thing about earning points is that you can use them to redeem rewards. If you hoard enough, you could get premium products from Youth to the People, Tarte and Buxom.
Don’t fret if you don’t have too many points. You can also cash them in for a set of makeup and skincare products from Kiehl’s, Benefit Cosmetics and other popular brands.
5. Birthday Rewards
What better way to let customers know that you love them than by making them feel special on their birthday?
Sephora understands this too which is why they let customers pick the gifts that they prefer. VIB members can get two full-face makeovers which they can share with friends. They can also earn 500 VIB points or free standard shipping with a minimum purchase of $35.
On the other hand, Rogue members can get four full-face makeovers, 750 points and free 2-day flash shipping. These are certainly great gifts for every makeup obsessed female.
6. Personalised product recommendations
It’s often hard to find a product that suits your skin type, age and needs.
Sephora understands that the struggle is real which is why they let customers answers quizzes about skincare, foundation, mascara and many more.
Here’s a peek at their skincare finder:
By the end of the quiz, consumers get personalised product recommendations based on their answers.
While it’s possible to answer quizzes without a Beauty Insider account, customers can better reap the benefits if they’re part of the loyalty program. Since Sephora has a record of their personal data and browsing behaviour, they can get more accurate product recommendations as they browse the e-commerce store.
7. Loyalty-Inspired Content
Sephora’s loyalty program has garnered a cult-like following.
Many beauty influencers take advantage of the loyalty program offerings by creating Youtube videos about Sephora’s VIB sales from product recommendation videos to haul videos. For example, KathleenLights regularly posts VIB sale recommendations which have garnered 500 thousand to 700 thousand views each!
Through offering great deals, Sephora is able to inspire influencers to create content that will engage with their loyalty members.
The Secret to Sephora’s loyalty program success:
Here’s what we’ve learned from Sephora’s loyalty strategy:
1. Create a loyalty program with tiered rewards based on the amount of customer spend
2. Offer great rewards for loyalty members to keep them engaged
3. Make customers feel special by giving them generous birthday rewards
4. Create quizzes and use customer behaviour to develop personalised product recommendations.
5. Incentivize customers to join or upgrade their tiers through rewards and perks like beauty classes.