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Up-Close with Sephora’s New Loyalty Program and iPhone App

For all the Sephora beauty junkies out there, get ready to reap more rewards and benefits as Sephora has revamped its traditional Beauty Insider loyalty…

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For all the Sephora beauty junkies out there, get ready to reap more rewards and benefits as Sephora has revamped its traditional Beauty Insider loyalty program. Originally launched in 2007, Beauty Insider offers its frequent users more opportunities for products and events. Sephora has been working to elevate the program’s look and feel and is planning a Beauty Insider launch party this month.

Originally a two-tier program (Beauty Insider and VIB), Sephora has added a third tier called VIB Rouge for its most consistent members. Access to this tier, named “rouge” in homage to Sephora’s French heritage, is gained after spending $1,000 on Sephora products in one calendar year. “We want to reward ‘her’ in a special way,” said Sarah Choi, VP of Ecommerce at Sephora. “This is our chance to reward our most loyal clients and give them insider access to all things beauty.”

Membership benefits of VIB (Very Important Beauty) Rouge include free access to all of Sephora’s in-store services, free online shipping, and admittance to exclusive VIB Rouge beauty events. Sephora has also joined forces with Bite Beauty, an all-natural lipstick company, to create “the shade of exclusivity” – a red lipstick available only to VIB Rouge members.

Beauty Insider, the base tier of Sephora’s loyalty program, is the entrance to the program, and perks for members include a birthday gift, seasonal promotions, and product gifts. After spending $350 with Sephora in one calendar year, Beauty Insiders are upgraded to VIB status. VIB members receive all the perks of Beauty Insiders as well as advanced access to sales, special gifts, and limited edition offers.

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Sephora is also introducing a new version to the iPhone app Sephora to Go. The app now makes on-the-go and in-store shopping much easier for customers. One new addition is the digital beauty insider card, which can replace a user’s physical card, saving wallet space. The app can also now keep track of a customer’s “loves” and past purchases. From products customers may want to try in-store to something they want but are not ready to buy yet, this feature allows them to save the item and keep a list of different products for easy access.

Additionally, customers can now quickly pull up ratings and reviews of different products in-store by simply scanning the item’s barcode with their phones. Sephora is taking strides like this to encourage customers to pull out their phones while shopping. This is further encouraged by the free Wi-Fi offered within all Sephora stores.

Johnna Marcus, director of mobile and digital store marketing, explained where the inspiration for the app’s new updates came from, “We look a lot at what Apple is doing and where the trends are going. We’re really looking at our clients and gathering feedback from them, figuring out what she’d like to see and really just consolidating those ideas.”

“The other piece was thinking about the Beauty Insider program and how we want her to use it, like using your phone in-store. Not a lot of people really do that yet,” stated Marcus. “So it’s also about what we think will be valuable to our users as opposed to just being reactive. We really want to encourage her to take out her phone to help her shop.”

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Even though the app’s new version has only recently been released, Sephora is already working on further changes to enhance its quality and the customer's shopping experience.

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