New Roads to Loyalty in the Beauty and Cosmetics Industry

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on August 10, 2021

The beauty and cosmetic industry has successfully banked on making people feel and look good for centuries. It’s a business where both curious beauty seekers and savvy beauty enthusiasts have willingly opened their wallets and paid at any cost — even if said beauty caused them pain. So it’s really no wonder why beauty is big business.

By: Janis MVK

The marketing of beauty products has escaped traditional methods and is exploding in new channels. With everyone seeming to be an expert makeup artist and beauty influencer on social channels like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, celebrities and influencers alike are hocking makeup lines and beauty products, encouraging followers to satisfy their vanities with everything but filler. It’s true guerilla marketing and advertising at its very finest. And with all this digital marketing at brands' disposal and with so many products for consumers to choose from, beauty brands are trying to keep newly acquired customers loyal, an especially remarkable challenge in this superficial market.

The beauty and cosmetics industry has a history operating loyalty programs and as of late, the industry has revamped its loyalty program offers to amp up customer loyalty and engagement more than ever to keep on top of competitors. Here we take a look at how the beauty industry has recently tailored its approach to customer loyalty.

Personalized Approach to Loyalty in Beauty

Multi-brand retailers and individual brands have taken a personalized approach when it comes to increasing customer engagement and loyalty. Using critical data analytics and metrics, brands have successfully drilled down consumer interests, personal information and spending habits to engage shoppers with a targeted approach. If executed properly, personalization encourages consumers to return for more, while keeping the brand top of mind.

Aveda has been a pillar of the beauty and hair game for decades, and for the first time in 20 years, they’ve revamped the Aveda Pure Privilege loyalty program. The new program, now known as Aveda Plus Rewards, offers amplified benefits to members that have a more personalized rewards approach. To entice members to redeem rewards more frequently, they now offer members a birthday gift and free (or discounted) services as redemption options. In addition, customers now have the option to convert accumulated rewards points to dollars to take off a purchase. To really connect with its customer base, Aveda has even partnered up with like-minded brands such as plant-based meal services and fitness memberships, honing in on what matters most to their customers. And with continued analysis of customer’s shopping habits, Aveda added product recommendations based on customer’s purchase history.

Sephora, a French multi-brand retailer known worldwide as a one-stop shop for beauty and personal care products, has a personalized three-tier loyalty program, Beauty Insider. It’s designed to offer a sense of status and exclusivity to repeat customers. The program is free and anyone can sign up. The more you spend per year, the higher your status and the more offers you receive. What Sephora has mastered is the art of knowing the demographics of its customer base. So much so, they revolve their loyalty program around critical data like members’ shopping behaviors and purchase history to personalize the shopping experience.

By personalizing the Beauty Insider program, loyalty members enjoy curated birthday gifts and free samples based on their purchase history. Sephora takes pride in focusing its loyalty program on exclusivity and emotional components that drive customer loyalty. Thoughtless incentives only impact the short term, whereas emotional incentives, like personalization, impact the long term, making it easy for consumers to be loyal.

Engagement in the Modern Age

Building a rapport with consumers face-to-face is already a challenge, especially in this digital age. So when it comes to building a relationship with consumers through modern devices, it can prove to be even more difficult. It’s important for brands to consistently engage with consumers to keep them active. By having brands be easily accessible, consumers often leave the experience with lasting impressions. What better way to keep them on the hook than to make the overall shopping experience easy and accessible?

Sephora (Southeast Asia) wanted to expand its marketing reach and decided to target its customer base that shopped primarily at brick-and-mortar stores. This particular demographic had not downloaded the mobile app, however by establishing an SMS opt-in call-to-action during new member sign-ups, Sephora was able to reach a new audience with a 50 percent digital brand engagement increase and increase in app downloads.

Estee Lauder, a leader in the luxury beauty and cosmetics industry, has also successfully engaged with its consumers through its E-List loyalty program. They offer surprise and bonus points, points for writing product reviews, bonus points for auto-replenishment orders, events where consumers can earn double the points, and more.

Experience The Lifestyle

Some beauty brands are thinking of alternative loyalty solutions by offering VIP experiences or offers for consumers who spend more than the average.

For example, Kiehl’s, an American cosmetics retailer specializing in skin, hair, and body products since 1891 does this via Kiehl's Rewards. Not only are members rewarded with spending, but also with invitations to special events. These VIP events not only serve as a way to thank and acknowledge members for their business, but it’s a way for Kiehl’s to promote and educate a lifestyle concept. 

With French luxury perfume and cosmetic brand, Lancome, part of its customer experience is sustainability, recycling, recharging, and empowering women. Lancome Elite Rewards has been successful by studying its demographics and staying true to its brand’s core values. In the process, they’ve refined what matters to its consumers and shaped its future in the industry.

With data analytics, these cosmetic and beauty brands have accelerated their ability to personalize their approach, deliver experiences, and build engagement. Layer in education plus great service, and you have the spectrum of key components by which these beauty brands have created successful loyalty programs.

Janis MVK is a content writer and manager, journalist, marketing and communications professional and mom of two beautiful girls, based in the suburbs of Chicago.