Ulta Beauty’s Loyalty Program Rolls Along Impressively

In September, Loyalty360 wrote about Ulta Beauty surpassing 20 million members in its highly successful Ultamate Rewards loyalty program.

Eric Messerschmidt, SVP Marketing Strategy, Loyalty, and CRM at Ulta Beauty talked to Loyalty360 at the time about the prodigious achievement.

 “It really is an exciting milestone,” Messerschmidt said. “According to the 2015 U.S. census, there are 101 million women between the ages of 18-65 in the U.S., which means that approximately 20% of them shop at Ulta Beauty. It’s a wonderful time to be part of a company and in an industry that is relevant to so many women. We are focused on bringing our guest solutions for her beauty needs and satisfying her beauty wants by offering ‘All Things Beauty. All In One Place.’ That’s really what Ulta Beauty is all about and our success shows it.”

Messerschmidt traced the history of the Ultamate Rewards program.

“We started with a different program in 1995 called The Club at Ulta,” he explained. “This program enabled members to earn reward certificates up to four times a year, which they could redeem for free products from a limited menu of items. We gained valuable insights from that program and knew we needed to provide a program that was easier to understand, more flexible, and rewarded our guests with better value. In 2003, we rolled out Ultamate Rewards in three markets, testing different versions of the program. Over the next 11 years, we continued to add markets and refine the program.”

In 2014, the company introduced Ultamate Rewards to all of its stores across the country.
Ulta Beauty CEO Mary Dillon highlighted the loyalty program during the company’s Dec. 1 third-quarter earnings call.

“I would now like to highlight some of the key drivers of our third quarter performance in the context of our strategic imperatives, starting with our loyalty program,” Dillon noted. “We grew rolling 12-month active membership by 28%, to reach 21.7 million active members as our store teams continued to drive excellent conversion at checkout. Similar to the trends we have seen all year, the loyalty program metrics, including retention rate, sales per member, frequency of purchase, and average member ticket all continued to be very strong. We continued to prioritize more personalized CRM offers for our loyalty members versus broad discounts and promotions and as evolution in our marketing strategy continues to benefit margin rate and allows us to invest in other parts of the marketing mix such as television, radio, and digital advertising, which continued to drive awareness and clarity about our brands.”

What’s more, Ulta Beauty continues to see significant growth in its social platforms, especially Instagram and Snapchat. Ulta Beauty surpassed 2.6 million fans on Instagram and held its first-ever Snapchat takeover with YouTube influencer, Jenny Fox. 

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