Forging a link. That’s the goal of Ulta Beauty’s digital efforts as outlined by Prama Bhatt, its vice president of Digital and eCommerce, during a presentation at Cosmoprof North America. “No matter what happens in seamless omnichannel retailing, product is at the core. You have to have the newness and innovation,” she said. Digital helps give consumers access to those products whenever she desires to buy.
Ulta is investing heavily in the digital experience. A new e-commerce site debuted in 2013 elevating the online shopping experience. That was followed by apps for iPhone and Android phones enhancements and then an iPad version. Ulta is active on all social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Why is omnichannel so crucial? According to Bhatt, Ulta finds that consumers who use all options spend two to four times more than those who either buy only online or those who stick to bricks and mortar. “They are a highly engaged shopper and we feel we can grow that group of beauty enthusiasts,” she said.
Similar to the in-store experience, Ulta executives believe that there are times when a visitor wants extra help and times when they want a quick purchase. To that end, Ulta Beauty’s mobile app is designed to provide the ability to scan a product barcode to see videos or get prod- uct information. The company’s UltaMate reward is designed to allow members to track their points and review purchases.
Ulta’s site was engineered to provide myriad opportunities to reach out to guests such as the ability to share hair- styles, trends or product tips. “We allow her to engage in beauty the way she loves to,” said Bhatt. Another popular feature is online chats with beauty company found- ers from Ulta Beauty’s brand partners.
Ulta Beauty’s online efforts don’t stop with merchandise. The company supports the salon business with features like online appointment booking and opportunities to share hairstyles.