Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 21, 2014 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on December 8, 2017.
With extremely high purchase frequency, the beauty industry is one of the most competitive markets out there. So what makes them choose you? As advertising costs continue to skyrocket, more and more beauty ecommerce sites are turning to customer loyalty and retention marketing to retain customers and increase customer lifetime value.
The following brands have taken this challenge seriously, building incredible customer experiences with loyalty programs that provide real value for customers all over the world.
e.l.f.’s Beauty Squad
With the launch of their loyalty program in 2016, e.l.f. quickly put themselves on the loyalty map. In fact, it was one of our favourite programs of the year – and we’re not just saying that because we love working with them!
e.l.f.’s Beauty Squad is an excellent example of how to leverage status to appeal to customers with any type of budget. Status is an important motivator in the beauty industry because shoppers associate beauty products with high class and style. With three glamorous tiers, customers are given additional rewards as they buy more from the site.
From enrolment rewards, points per purchase, birthday rewards and early access to sales, e.l.f.’s program combines customer tiers with easy-to-see value. The result is a world-class loyalty program customers can’t wait to join.
Philip Kingsley’s PK Points
Philip Kingsley is a loyalty program example from the haircare side of the beauty industry. While e.l.f. focuses on developing a community through their rewards program, Philip Kingsley invests their efforts into making their program as engaging as possible. They do this by rewarding their customers for a wide range of different actions that encourage shoppers to stay engaged at all times!
PK Points makes this process even more enjoyable by keeping the earning and spending rules simple: for every dollar customers spend they get one points. Once they’ve earned 20 PK points, they receive $1 off.
Part of the reason this program is so easy to understand is because Philip Kingsley has created a great explainer page. Having a well-developed program page makes it easier for customers to understand and participate in your program. By keeping it simple, clean, and elegant, Philip Kingsley has made their program accessible and easy to find for every customer.
Pixi Beauty’s VIP Rewards
Pixi Beauty has branded their rewards program to perfection. With a creative points name like "pixi dust", this program is the perfect example of a fully-branded rewards experience. However, their fantastic points name isn’t the only thing that makes Pixi a fantastic loyalty program example!
Not only can customers use points to get discounts on products, but they can also get other great benefits by enrolling in the program. Pixi refers to their enrolment process as “becoming a VIP”, which is appropriate given that the customer gets access to special offers and exclusive tips and tricks unavailable to non-members.
Pixi awards customers with points for a variety of actions, and as a result these engaged customers feel special and valued because of the rewards they receive. For these reasons, it’s obvious that Pixi’s customers are truly treated as VIPs, making Pixi another outstanding beauty industry loyalty example.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider and VIB Rouge
Sephora’s VIB program is a very unique loyalty program example. With three exclusive tiers, customers have the opportunity to earn points and redeem exclusive gifts for shopping with the retailer.
The allure of this exclusive status is ultimately what drives the success of the program. Customers are divided into three distinct groups – each of which have very specific rewards. This first stage is called Beauty Insider, where customers receive a few basic loyalty rewards for free. From there, customers can move to the VIB tier and receive additional rewards after spending $350 in one year, or VIB Rouge for spending $1,000.
The experiential rewards offered at the highest level of this program are what really motivate Sephora’s customers, so if you’re looking for a fantastic loyalty program based on status rewards, this is the one for you!
Glow Recipe’s Glow Miles
If you’re looking for a fun and unique loyalty experience, look no further than Glow Recipe. Glow Recipe has designed their Glow Miles program as a cohesive extension of their brand, using consistent brand icons and colours to communicate the benefits of their three-tiered program. Whether customers are a Glow-Getter, Glow-Jetter, or Glow First member, they’re treated a consistent branded experience that extends the value of the products beyond the initial transaction.
This value is easiest to see when you consider the experiential rewards customers are able to earn. Where other programs only give customers points or standard free products as rewards, Glow Recipe actually offers their loyal customers diversified rewards, including the opportunity to preview exclusive new products or become a member of their product Tester Panel.
These exclusive rewards demonstrate Glow Recipe’s understanding of their customers base and what they look for in a program. With Glow Miles, Glow Recipe goes the extra mile to show their customers how much they appreciate their business and how valuable that business is to their overall success.
tarte Cosmetics' tarte Rewards
tarte Rewards is another well-named program in the beauty industry. tarte offers customers points for social engagement, product purchases, clicking promotional emails and more. These elements might not sound very special, but the rewards they hand out most definitely are.
When you join the tarte program, you will receive an exclusive birthday gift, $1 loyalty samples and exclusive early access to new arrivals. Talk about feeling valued! That is a huge customer reward that requires no action to be taken by the customer (except for signing up).
Alongside the birthday gifts, tarte also has a variety of ways for customers to cash in points. From discounts off purchases to deluxe sized products, there's something for every customer in tarte's Rewards Shop. In addition to the rewards catalogue, tarte Cosmetics also offers program members access to $1 loyalty samples in their first program tier, with $1 deluxe loyalty samples in their second and third tiers!
This is a fantastic idea because it encourages customers to order more frequently while also adding a unique value proposition to customers considering whether or not to sign up. After all, the samples could convince the customer to buy a full size of that product next time! This two-way value is an excellent example of how a loyalty program can benefit both a brand and its customers.
Tips for Loyalty Programs in the Beauty Industry
Now that you've had a chance to discover loyalty examples in the beauty industry, we hope they gave you some ideas and inspiration for your own program! Regardless of what type of program you hope to design, there are a couple of loyalty tips that we’ve noticed work well for any business in the beauty and cosmetics industry.
1. Discounts Are Not the Most Effective Reward
Beauty industry shoppers do not value discounts as much as shoppers in other industries. Since they are looking for products that make them look and feel better than those around them, price is not necessarily the greatest motivator for these shoppers.
We have seen exclusive products like Glow Recipe’s and experiential rewards like Sephora’s work extremely well as motivators in the beauty industry.
2. Give First Access to Loyalty Members
Shoppers in this industry love to feel like they are the first to know and get new products. Make your members feel valued by giving them first access to new products that come out. You can also give them exclusive access to promotions that are not available to non-members.