There are 2 defining axioms that define marketing to millennials and they are as follows:

  1. Millennials are more likely to spend on experiences than products.
  2. Millennials are value conscious.

ULTA, the multi-billion dollar value cosmetics retailer, has got both these axioms rights. And their loyalty program ULTIMATE REWARDS at the foundation on which the marketing strategy pivots.

In order to enrich the experience for the customers, ULTA has made a number of big investments – they have repositioned their stores which double as product experience centres. In-store salons allow the buyers to try makeup and gadgets before purchase. Buyers can also get samples, read product reviews and expert advice when they are in the store. For the at-home buyers, their Glam lab allows the customer to upload selfies and test products against their skin tones. Tying in-store and at-home buying behaviour with digital tools have been a master stroke for driving growth.

Their loyalty program also allows them to create unique buying experience for the customers. It is the driver behind hyper personalization. Rather than receiving standard blanket loyalty point offers, and discounts on products, the customer receives surprise rewards that are tailor-made for her. It has changed the customer experience and has allowed them to move away from margin killing flat-off discounts. The highly personalized experience combined with mid-range prices given them the edge in the fight for value seeking millennials. With more than 90% of sales coming from 20 million+ loyalty members they are clearly driving loyalty and earning repeat business.

Other retailers can learn a few tricks on how to compete in the new world of retail where experience is the key and digital needs to permeate in-store experience.


If you are looking for ideas to improve your store experience, Manthan can help you. Manthan’s Retail Analytics solutions are built exclusively for retail and tailored to fit unique retail decision-making needs. With the experience of serving 100s of customers across 22 countries, across Fashion & Apparel, Food & Grocery, Specialty and Mass Merchandise, you are bound to get what you are looking for.

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