Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sephora's half hearted Beauty Insider loyalty program

I'm a 'beauty insider' at Sephora. It's Sephora's half hearted attempt at creating a loyalty program. When I spend a certain amount of money at any one of their stores or on-line I earn points that can be traded in for free samples. I can only imagine that Sephora's marketing department felt that they needed a customer loyalty program to help stave off increasing competition, but didn't have the budget to throw at it and instead decided to put those boxes of samples (provided to them for free from the various brands they represent no doubt) to better use. Now instead of feeling rewarded when I visit Sephora I feel like I'm shopping at a store that could care less if I ever come back, because I'm not even worth a free sample unless I've already spent a certain amount of money. I have to wonder if the average person also feels disdain for Sephora's Beauty Insider program. Or if because I'm a marketer I'm more of a cynic. After all, Sephora should be giving everyone free samples, it shouldn't be a condition of loyalty. It just makes sense because free samples bring in more sales. And if Sephora truly wanted to reward its customers it should do so in a more meaningful way such as special shopping events, discounts, free full sized products, priority beauty consultations, etc. Leave the free samples to their purpose - getting people to sample and buy.


Anonymous said...

This is actually untrue, because you CAN go into any sephora and ask for a sample of practicly anything in the store and they will provide you with a small "personalized" sample in a clear bag for no cost and no purchase is required. Those samples differ from the beauty insider rewards gifts because the rewards gifts are larger.

Also, when you reach 500 points, you can choose to recieve a full size gift(one time it was an entire palette, containing 10 eyeshadows, lip glosses, and blush). I would say, your report is "half hearted". All businesses possessing rewards cards including your grocery store do so to promote customer loyalty.

Chantall said...

Sephora also does provide special shopping events, free samples, free consultations (makeup applications). is it possible that the Sephora by you is servicing its clients poorly? They do have client service surveys, and I can say as a past employee of Sephora, that they took those surveys very seriously.

Marketing Engagement said...

It sounds like Sephora has been doing a better job with their loyalty program. This post was originally written 3 years ago, so like anything, comments in posts do become outdated. Thanks for the updates.