Sephora is making changes to its robust loyalty program starting Tuesday, adding more benefits for its Rouge, VIB and Insider loyalty members, the company said in a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
Under the new model, Insiders will continue to receive one point per $1 spent, but VIB and Rouge tier members will receive 1.25 and 1.50 points respectively. Rewards are also shifting, with five times more 750+ point rewards for VIB and Rouge members, as well as two to three full-size products, according to the release. Rouge members will also now be able to exchange 2,500 points for a $100 Rouge Reward.
In addition, the beauty retailer is expanding rewards items to include more color, skincare, haircare, fragrance and wellness products, as well as offering customers a choice between a "birthday gift offering" or 250 points to redeem.
Sephora's loyalty program and strong community of followers is part of what has made the company — and beauty retail in general — stand out in the past. In particular, Sephora and rival Ulta have both offered loyalty programs that are appealing and useful for customers, with free classes, salon services and other experiences to draw customers into stores.
These changes to Sephora's loyalty program, though minor, indicate the company is still betting big on Beauty Insiders — a community which has had its own social platform for a year. In addition to giving customers a space to discuss products, trends and other beauty-related subjects, Sephora has long pledged itself to experiential retail as well, opening store concepts that emphasize touch, feel and learning, and encourage customers to test products before purchasing.
"Our goal has and will continue to be evolving our prestige loyalty program to meet our client's beauty needs," Deborah Yeh, senior vice president of marketing and brand at Sephora, said in a statement. "By fostering personal connections and generating brand love over the years, it was only natural that we leveraged their input to further strengthen the program and impart a renewed experience, beyond just perks and discounts."
A strong approach to loyalty could be key for Sephora going forward as the beauty space becomes ever more crowded. Not only have the likes of Birchbox and Glossier made waves for their innovative approaches to beauty, but big-box retailer Target has also made an effort to diversify its offerings and Ulta continues to open stores and expand. Even drugstore retailers have made more efforts in the space as of late, including a more beauty-focused concept from Walgreens and L'Oréal's drugstore reinvention in Paris.
Continuing to improve a loyalty program that both draws customers in and gives them the rewards they want is a smart way for Sephora to retain shoppers and get more lifetime value out of them going forward.