6 Loyalty Program Examples in the Beauty Industry

November 21, 2014

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.

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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 Squadexamples in the beauty industry elf homepage

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.  examples in the beauty industry elf tiers

From enrolment rewards and points per purchase to birthday rewards and early access to sales, e.l.f.’s program combines customer tiers and easy to see value to create a world-class loyalty program customers can’t wait to join.examples in the beauty industry tiers CTA

Philip Kingsley’s PK Pointsexamples in the beauty industry PK homepage

Philip Kingsley is a loyalty program example from the hair care side of the beauty industry coin. While e.l.f. focuses on the community aspects of their program, Philip Kingsley invests their efforts into make 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.examples in the beauty industry PK earn

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.  examples in the beauty industry PK loyalty programme

Part of the reason the program is so easy to understand is their 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.examples in the beauty industry PK CTA


Pixi Beauty’s VIP Rewards

examples in the beauty industry pixi homepagePixi’s program has one of the most creative points names I have ever come across. They call their points “pixi dust”. However, their fantastic points name isn’t the only thing that makes Pixi a fantastic loyalty program example!

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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.examples in the beauty industry pixi earn

Pixi rewards lots of actions which keeps customers engaged, 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 Rougeexamples in the beauty industry sephora homepage

Sephora’s VIB program is a very unique loyalty program example. Unlike the programs we’ve already mentioned, Sephora’s is not points based.  Instead, Beauty Insider and VIB Rouge rewards customers with 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 will receive a few basic loyalty rewards.  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.examples in the beauty industry sephora tiers

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!examples in the beauty industry sephora case study CTA


Glow Recipe’s Glow Miles

examples in the beauty industry glow recipe homepageIf 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.examples in the beauty industry glow recipe modal

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 the opportunity to preview exclusive new products or become a member of their product Tester Panel.examples in the beauty industry free products reward CTA

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’s tarte tokens

examples in the beauty industry tarte homepagetarte is another well-named program in the beauty industry. tarte gives points for reviewing products on the site and for referring friends, in addition to dollars spent.  These elements might not sound very special, but therewards they hand out most definitely are.

When you join the tarte program, you will receive a birthday gift and an automatic 20% discount. Talk about feeling valued! That is a huge customer reward that requires no action to be taken by the customer (except for signing up).examples in the beauty industry tarte how it works

Alongside the birthday gifts, tarte also has very unique ways for customers to cash in points. When a customer accumulates 100 Tokens, they can redeem it for deluxe samples with every purchase. This means that the customer can try something new every time they order.

This is a fantastic idea because it encourages customers to order more frequently and clears point balances in a way that provides additional marketing value. 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

Hopefully the loyalty examples above 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.examples in the beauty industry motivations CTA

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.

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