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Mac Cosmetics’ new members-only app includes tiered loyalty levels, offers

Mac Cosmetics is differentiating its new application from other makeup brands’ mobile offerings by opting to hone in on rewarding existing loyalty members with tiered benefits, personalized updates and exclusive deals instead of including tried-and-true features such as virtual try-on options.

The beauty marketer’s new iOS and Android apps enable Mac Select members to access their memberships while on-the-go, receive customized updates, locate nearby stores and enjoy exclusive offers, among other features. Mac Cosmetics’ strong loyalty focus is a departure from other similar brands’ recent app rollouts, which have mainly highlighted the use of technologies such as augmented reality.

“Mobile shopping applications are extremely well-suited for cosmetics brands, as they make buying easy and encourage impulse purchasing,” said Laura Sossong, manager at Boston Retail Partners. “They are particularly effective when they offer content that is not available elsewhere, such as exclusive benefits, personalized product suggestions, and application-only exclusive collections.

“Whether used to research options before shopping in-store or to finalize the sale, they serve as an important platform for extending brand exposure and enhancing consumers’ personal connection with the brand.”

Mac makeup on-the-go
The new Mac Cosmetics app lets users access their Mac Select memberships at any time – even by scanning their member ID in-store. This will enable customers to view or redeem any offers they have.

The app includes all of the beauty brand’s latest collections and collaborations – some of which will be available for early purchase by loyalty members. The notion of receiving first access to new collections could be enough of an incentive to prompt more individuals to sign up for the Mac Select program.

Consumers can also leverage the app for all of their shopping needs and take advantage of the purchase history tool. If an individual wants to reorder a favorite shade of lipstick but cannot remember its name, for instance, she can simply revisit her purchase history to find the shade and place an order through the app.

Additionally, users can receive members-only deals and locate their nearest Mac counter if they prefer to make purchases in-person.

The app will also likely help spur more sales for Mac Cosmetics, thanks to its tiered loyalty levels. Consumers may be enticed to spend more to hit a specific points threshold, each of which offers different perks.

For example, individuals who spend $500 or more on cosmetics in a year will earn two complimentary 60-minute makeup applications, early access to shop new collections and a deluxe anniversary gift.

Points of differentiation
Whereas Mac Cosmetics’ new apps are more focused on loyalty perks and its existing rewards program, other beauty giants have been implementing a slew of new technologies into their mobile offerings – all designed to incite impulse buys.

Sephora’s latest mobile offering is an Android application that enables users to shop its inventory, scan products in-store to access how-to tutorials and watch videos, underscoring the beauty giant’s efforts to drive commerce with education-based content (see story).

Also, Sephora doubled down on augmented reality and artificial intelligence sales tactics earlier this summer by allowing shoppers to virtually try on false lashes, watch tutorials using their own image and engage via a chatbot to trial and purchase lip color (see story).

Sephora’s mobile platforms may be more effective at reaching new customers, but Mac Cosmetics’ new apps will likely continue fostering loyalty among the brand’s current fans, especially if it eventually implements virtually try-on features as well.

“As it continues to build out its applications’ functionalities, Mac should strongly consider personalized features, such as a virtual reality try-on, to match the ‘look and feel’ element of an in-store shopping experience,” Ms. Sossong said. “Consumers are far more likely to invest in cosmetics that they know with certainty will suit their individual preferences.”