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Walgreens debuts new subset of loyalty app targeting beauty fans

Walgreens is introducing a new subset of its Balance Rewards application, called Beauty Enthusiast, that offers users rewards points and personalized product recommendations, showcasing the potency of targeting specific groups of consumers with relevant content.

The beauty club is housed within the company’s larger rewards app, called Balance Rewards. Beauty Enthusiast offers similar points and redemption offers as the standard app but specified for a beauty-focused audience.

“Walgreens is continually looking for ways to enhance our customers’ beauty shopping experience and to provide greater value for our Balance Rewards members,” said Linda Filler, president of retail products and chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walgreens. “Beauty Enthusiast was created for our customer who enjoys our beauty and personal care offering and looks to us for additional benefits, product offers and recommendations.”

Beauty club
Walgreens’ Balance Rewards app already provides rewards points, which can be redeemed for store credit, to customers who make purchases. Beauty Enthusiast is a subset of the loyalty program that will be housed in the larger app.

Beauty Enthusiast will use the same points system as the regular Balance Rewards app. Existing Balance Rewards users can simply confirm their emails and join Beauty Enthusiast with the tap of a button, while new users will need to enter their information as per usual.

For every 50 dollars spent on cosmetics, skin care, hair care or other beauty products, users will receive 5,000 Balance Rewards points to their accounts. These points can then be used to purchase other products not limited to beauty.

Walgreens is also offering incentives to get users to sign up for the new beauty club. In exchange for signing up for Beauty Enthusiast, users will receive an email coupon that gives them 20 times the amount of points per purchase for one day.

Those points will be good for 36 months on a rolling basis.

Beauty Enthusiast users can also fill out a beauty profile through the Beauty Enthusiast section of the Balance Rewards app. Once the profile has been completed, the user will receive personalized recommendations on beauty products, as well as news about sales and other beauty-related promotions.

Beauty of mobile
The move is an effort on Walgreens’ part to target the growing, mobile-savvy beauty-consuming demographic, which has become increasingly focused on mobile and social as inspiration for its product purchasing.

Beauty bloggers, whether they be on Tumblr, creating tutorials on YouTube or modeling new looks on Instagram, are incredibly popular, boasting many tens of thousands of followers on average and some having millions.

A scan of some of the top beauty YouTubers shows regular subscriber counts of more than six million.

There is a huge audience for beauty content that is being snapped up by consumers eager to get their newest beauty fix.

Beauty brands have already started taking notice, strengthening their mobile app offerings and making use of innovative features such as Rimmel’s recent Get the Look app, which lets users virtually try on different types of makeup through their phone’s camera (see story).

Even more traditional approaches have been quite successful. For example, Sephora recently saw a boost in user engagement when it began to offer beauty tutorials and recommendations through its mobile app (see story).

Walgreens, while not traditionally thought of as a titan in the beauty industry, is looking to get in on that trend with personalized recommendations and an entire subset of its larger loyalty rewards app dedicated to beauty.

“This natural extension of our loyalty program offers easy enrollment, more points and additional rewards to make feeling good easier,” Ms. Filler said.