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EXCLUSIVE: Sephora Kicks Off Same-day Unlimited Shipping Subscription

Members of the retailer's loyalty program can pay $49 annually for unlimited same-day shipping.

Sephora is upping the ante on the convenience factor.

The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned specialty beauty retailer is evolving its convenience offerings, starting with same-day delivery. For $49 annually, members of Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty program can get unlimited same-day delivery on and Sephora app purchases. It’s an evolution from pandemic-era features like curbside pickup.

“It’s critical that we’re always evolving and that we’re innovative in what we’re delivering for clients,” said Nadine Graham, senior vice president and general manager of e-commerce at Sephora. “Convenience is top-of-mind, and it’s the number-one thing they ask for.”

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More recently, Sephora also started offering all beauty insiders free shipping — no minimum spend required — as well as auto-replenishment on repeat purchases. Last year, Sephora introduced same-day delivery with a $6.95 fee which, like the new unlimited offering, promises delivery in as little as two hours.

“What we’ve heard loud and clear over the past few years is that convenience is paramount. It is top of mind for our customers every day,” Graham said, adding that 90 percent of customers would use same-day delivery again. Shoppers also can sign up for a free 30-day trial on the unlimited same-day shipping before committing to the subscription.

“They’re asking for this on-demand beauty, we see them in our market research putting this as their number one priority. We are really trying to built that ultimate kind of ecosystem for them to make shopping as easy and seamless as possible,” Graham continued. “It also allows us to build this kind of ecosystem with our local stores; stores can serve these clients by delivering straight to their homes. It just deepens that connection that we have with our clients.”

Graham reasoned that the benefits are twofold: both attracting new consumers while servicing existing ones. “For us, attracting new clients is a goal, it’s always a goal. We want to bring more clients into the Sephora ecosystem. We know that same-day unlimited is going to do that, but we also think it’s a huge, huge benefit for our existing beauty community,” she said.

The move also comes as competition in beauty retail is heating up. Sephora inaugurated its partnership with Kohl’s last year, which entails hundreds of shops-in-shop in the mid-tier department store. In a virtual event with Kohl’s chief Michelle Gass and Sephora CEO Jean-André Rougeot, Rougeot counted Amazon as a key competitor in beauty. Amazon offers same-day delivery for a slew of categories, including beauty.

“From a beauty point of view, Amazon today is not yet significant, but they have a very decent business, especially in hair care. [Amazon] is very good at many other things, like convenience and speed,” Rougeot. “I understand their traction, but we have to be super careful in our industry because we have a lot of examples of industries that were demolished by Amazon.”