Published By Upzaar Team
Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program is one of the most well-known rewards programs in the retail and eCommerce loyalty communities, as well as one of the most talked-about loyalty programs in retail. This program is consistently included among the greatest loyalty programs because it gives members access to promotions, extra benefits via store credit cards, and discounts. But what about the VIB program makes it stand out from the competition?
"We are driven by what our customers love and want more of. So it’s not about what their loyalty demonstrates to us, but what we can deliver to our clients that creates the most meaningful and connected experience with our brands"
Sephora VP of Loyalty, Allegra Stanley.
"The way we think about loyalty is that our clients are the core of everything we do"
The Journey So Far
The Beauty Insider program was created to give members free samples of specific items in exchange for purchases when it was first introduced in 2007. Because it allowed customers access to luxury beauty brands and items they ordinarily wouldn’t have or be aware of, it was fresh and unique. A new tier, “Very Important Beauty Insider,” was added to the program in 2009. The tier was only available to the most active members who spent more than $350 annually. 2013 saw the addition of a third category (called Rouge) for those customers who spend $1,000 or more annually. It provided early access to brand-new items, limited editions, and invites to exclusive events. In 2016, an exclusive Rewards Bazaar was established as a platform for members to exchange points for various carefully chosen products and sets.
Continuing the progression of the Beauty Insider Program with more significant savings and more samples, but more crucially, Sephora expanded the experiential component of the program with its most recent update, which was released in May 2020. “The wants and needs of our clients continue to change,” Stanley says. “We are listening to our clients and hearing what is most meaningful to them.” And in the modern era, those experiences offer more emotional and lasting rewards. As of May 29th, the Beauty Insider Cash program allowed users to convert their reward points into cash; 500 points were equal to $10. The update added multiplier events, meet-and-greets with notable company founders, free sessions, facials, and experiential prizes like these, as well as new rewards on the feature Reward Bazaar. Additionally, it offered free shipping to Insider and VIB members on orders above $50 and $35, respectively.
The latest iteration also includes a feature for charity donations, via which customers’ points can be donated to organizations including Coalition and Project Glimmer, which aid teenage girls in need, and National Black Justice, which works with the Black LGBTQ community.
An In-Depth Look at What Makes it Special
1. The Emotional Factor
According to research, emotional benefits account for roughly 75% of what influences customer engagement and loyalty. Customers choose to interact with brands more often than ever based on emotional loyalty factors. The success of Sephora’s loyalty program is more strongly correlated with social and emotional factors. Unlike emotionally driven loyalty, which has a more profound and powerful influence and provides long-term advantages, incentive-driven loyalty operates on need and greed.
Sephora gives an exclusive community a sense of inclusion. Additionally, it customizes its benefits and incentives to create a strong rapport with each member. After carefully examining consumer purchasing history and product preferences, free samples or birthday presents are carefully selected.
There are 17 million members of the Sephora Loyalty program in North America alone. 80% of sales are driven by loyalty program members, who also provide the company’s brand with powerful, organic publicity. Even when customers aren’t shopping, they drive them to the Sephora website thanks to their loyalty program. People are encouraged to spend more money thanks to this brand engagement, which boosts customer loyalty.
2. An Effective Use of Tiers
Sephora has managed an efficient approach to tiers. Members have something to strive for by having many membership tiers, each of which comes with its own set of benefits. It rewards both Sephora and its VIPs when members spend more to advance to higher tiers and receive exclusive rewards. Members of the lower tier always strive to move up the tier ladder due to the competitive nature of the tier system (and eventually end up spending more than anticipated). In addition, Sephora started offering higher-tier members more options for their birthday surprise beginning in 2019: either a rotating gift that changes monthly or an extra 250 points. Thanks to this perk, customers have added motivation to strive to advance to the next tier.
3. Exclusivity and Unique Rewards
Sephora’s top-tier members receive unique benefits like access to limited-edition items and free entry to master classes led by well-known makeup artists worldwide. The ownership of a Sephora membership card is highly prized among makeup aficionados. Sephora offers top-of-the-line items for aspiring cosmetics fans and is a one-stop store for exceptional makeup brands.
Giving customers experiences like this will raise awareness of your brand. Your visitors will be eager to tell their friends and family about the event. Your devoted customers will inevitably become brand ambassadors by sharing their positive interactions with your brand.
The success of Sephora’s loyalty program is more strongly correlated with social and emotional factors. According to research, emotional benefits account for roughly 75% of what influences customer engagement and loyalty. Customers choose to interact with companies more often than ever based on emotional loyalty factors. The reward program at Sephora has many components that contribute to its in-store and online success. Beauty Insider is well-liked by Sephora customers thanks to the effective use of tiers, rewards consistent with the brand, and tailored product recommendations.