Cosmetics retailer Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty program launched 12 years ago. Recently, the retailer decided that the program needed a fresh look for 2019.
The updated program is meant to benefit consumers who are already in the program and “show appreciation for its most loyal clients” by offering more options and perks, says Allegra Stanley, vice president of loyalty for Sephora.
“Our aim is to continuously adapt and grow our Beauty Insider program as clients’ needs and wants evolve,” Stanley says. “We are on a multi-year journey focused on raising the bar on client excitement and engagement in a prestige beauty loyalty program.” She declined to share how many shoppers are in Sephora’s loyalty program.
Sephora has three tiers in its loyalty program, each with increasing benefits: Insiders, VIB and Rouge. The higher the level, the more free products shoppers receive, the more reward options shoppers have to choose from and the more points shoppers earn per dollar. (Points are redeemable for products, sets or experiences.)
New to the program is offering shoppers in the top two tiers more options for their free birthday gift. Also new is that shoppers in the top two tiers can choose which benefits they want. For example, a shopper in the top “Rouge” tier can choose between free two-day shipping, 750 free points or four full-face makeover experiences with friends. Shoppers in the second tier also have three similar options to choose from.
This will help make the program more personalized to each shopper, Stanley says.
Sephora is not alone in having a loyalty program with tiers. An Internet Retailer analysis of 31 major online retailers with loyalty programs finds that 10 have at least two levels in their system, according to the forthcoming Internet Retailer/FedEx report, “The new look in retail loyalty programs.”
Free shipping is the most common loyalty program feature among the analyzed retailers. Similar to Sephora, a common tactic among retailers with a tiered program is changing the free shipping minimum and how fast the shipping is based on tiers, according to the Internet Retailers custom loyalty report.
“Retailers absorbing the expense of free shipping for loyalty program members likely are banking on this coveted perk bringing shoppers back,” Internet Retailer writes. “That avoids the considerable cost of acquiring new customers.”
Sephora is owned by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, No. 131 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.