Why This Beauty Retailer is Set to Come out on Top During the Holiday Season
Beauty products can be tricky to sell online during the holidays. Trying on a lipstick or cheek stain is something usually done while shopping in a brick and mortar store – or is it?
Try it, literally virtually
Ulta recently released a new mobile app, dubbed “Glam Lab”, just in time for the holidays. And truthfully, Ulta has been on a roll with their online sales – they were up 59.3% last year, with e-commerce sales accounting for 6.5% (up from 5% the year before). The most telling detail is the fact that their online business amounted $190.5 million, up 50.8% from the $126.3 million made last year. To say Ulta is on fire is an understatement and the introduction of this mobile app will only bring further success to their already impressive online growth.
As the holiday approaches, the Glam Lab mobile app will surely help cosmetic shoppers get through their holiday shopping gift list. Users with an iPhone or Android can simply upload a selfie or use a model of similar complexion to try on Ulta’s various products. For those wondering, ‘How accurate can a virtual makeup app be?’ Ulta’s CEO, Mary Dillon, believes their app stands out easily amongst among the rest . “Our technology partner for this platform is a company known for best-in-class realism and accuracy of color matching,” Dillon boasts. The Glam Lab mobile app also includes other features and services such as are their redesigned product detail page with better product displays, options, information, reviews, and the integration of their new content platform and salon appointment booking option.
With two thirds of their online traffic coming through mobile, Ulta is focusing their innovative ideas on that channel of their business. Ulta’s CFO Scott Settersten states, “Since it’s a different shopping experience on a mobile device, we are continuing to innovate in that space and make it easier through find and pay for products, as well as explore new information and trends. We will continue to evolve the technology. We know that will improve the guest experience and we are excited about that going forward.” With Christmas nearly here, the Glam Lab will no doubt continue to pull in the younger demographic of shoppers that Ulta has been targeting over the last year with their ramped up online and social media efforts. Beauty traditionally does well in e-commerce and tends to pile up on wish lists during the holiday season. Ulta is in a prime position to take advantage during this profitable time of the year.
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