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Going Head-to-Head in Beauty Retailing: A Comparison of Sephora and Ulta

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Coresight Research

Key Points

  • Both Sephora and Ulta shoppers cite selection and quality as the most important reasons they shop at the respective retailers, according to Prosper’s survey. Service is more important among Sephora shoppers surveyed, while prices and promotions, as well as location, are more important among Ulta shoppers.
  • Sephora shoppers spend, on average, $33.17 per month on skincare and cosmetics across all retailers, while Ulta shoppers spend an average of $28.78 per month across all retailers, according to the survey.
  • Shopper loyalty programs are important to roughly equal percentages of Sephora and Ulta shoppers, but Sephora has seen a much more substantial rise in this metric in the past two years.
  • Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty program has fewer members than Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards program, but it is growing faster. Beauty Insider membership is forecast to grow by 47% between 2016 and the end of the company’s 2018 fiscal year, from 17 million to 25 million. Ultamate Rewards membership has grown by 28% since 2016, from 23.4 million to 30 million.
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