Sephora Beauty Insider Loyalty Program Review

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Sephora's Beauty Insider Loyalty Program, boasting over 17 million members globally, stands as a hallmark in the beauty retail industry. Launched in 2007, it has evolved to offer a personalized and rewarding experience for customers. Similar to the Starbucks Rewards program's success, Sephora's program has become integral to its business, fostering customer loyalty and contributing to business growth. With exclusive benefits and a tiered structure, the Beauty Insider Program reflects Sephora's commitment to providing a unique and engaging beauty shopping experience for its diverse and dedicated customer base. It is by far one of the most popular rewards programs in both ecommerce and retail.

Program type

  • Points system 
  • Points for discount
  • Points for rewards 
  • Tiered system

Points system 

The Sephora Beauty Insider program is anchored in a straightforward yet effective points system. Members are rewarded with points for every dollar spent on purchases, encapsulating the essence of simplicity in earning rewards. The program further incentivizes members by offering double points on transactions made with the Sephora credit card and extra points when shopping specific collections.

  • Earn 1 Point per dollar spent.
  • Earn 2 Points per dollar spent using the Sephora Credit Card.
  • Earn up to 4 Points per dollar spent on specific collections.
  • Points earned are valid as long as you are active over an 18-month period.
Beauty Insider Benefits: Earn points per dollar spent.

Tiered system

The Sephora Beauty Insider loyalty program features a tiered system that offers escalating benefits and rewards based on the member's level of spending. The system is divided into three main tiers:

  • Insider: This is the entry-level tier and is free to join for anyone. Insiders earn one point for every dollar spent. They have access to the Beauty Insider Community, free beauty classes, and a birthday gift. This tier introduces members to the basic benefits of the program and encourages them to start accumulating points through purchases.
  • VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider): To reach the VIB status, members need to spend a certain amount at Sephora within a calendar year. VIB members earn more points and enjoy additional benefits such as monthly gifts, early access to products and sales, and enhanced birthday gifts. This tier is designed to reward more frequent shoppers with more substantial perks.
  • Rouge: This is the highest tier in the Sephora Beauty Insider program. Rouge members earn the most points per dollar spent, and they receive the most exclusive benefits. These include free standard shipping, access to exclusive events and experiences, early access to major sales, and a premium birthday gift. The Rouge tier is a recognition of the most loyal and high-spending customers, offering them the most exclusive and valuable rewards.
Beauty Insider Tiers


The Beauty Insider Program offers a range of rewards, including exclusive gifts, custom makeovers, and access to special events. Rewards are tier-specific, providing a personalized experience.

Beauty Insider Rewards
  • Exclusive rewards bazaar: Introduced in 2016, the Rewards Bazaar allows members to redeem earned points for a variety of curated products, enhancing the flexibility of the rewards system.
  • Seasonal Promotions: Throughout the year, Sephora runs various promotions exclusive to Beauty Insider members. These can include discounts, double-point events, and early access to sales.
  • Birthday Gifts: All tiers of the Beauty Insider program offer a special birthday gift, which typically includes a choice of mini beauty products. Higher tiers, like VIB and Rouge, often have more exclusive or premium options for their birthday gift.
  • Beauty Insider Community: Launched in 2017, the Beauty Insider Community provides a platform for members to engage, share beauty tips, and connect with like-minded enthusiasts, fostering a sense of community.
  • Beauty Classes: Sephora offers complimentary beauty classes to its members. These classes can range from makeup application techniques to skincare routines, allowing members to learn more about beauty and personal care.
  • Free Samples: Members can choose free samples with their purchases, with a wider selection and more samples available to higher-tier members.
  • Exclusive Events and Experiences: VIB and Rouge members often have access to exclusive in-store events, which can include meet-and-greets with beauty influencers, brand launches, and other special events.
  • Custom Makeovers: Higher-tier members, particularly those in the Rouge category, receive complimentary custom makeovers. These sessions with beauty experts offer personalized advice and application techniques.
  • Exclusive Product Access: Higher-tier members sometimes get early access to new products or exclusive products not available to the general public.
Beauty Insider Rewards - Experiences

Interesting takeaways

Effective tier system

The entry-level tier being free allows new customers to immediately engage with the program and perceive its benefits, fostering a quick sense of belonging and value. The clear differentiation between the tiers (Insider, VIB, Rouge) effectively caters to a diverse customer base. Each tier is uniquely positioned to offer increasing value, creating a compelling reason for members to aspire to move up the tiers. The upper tiers, particularly Rouge, are designed to reward and acknowledge the most loyal and high-spending customers. By offering exclusive perks, Sephora not only retains these valuable customers but also turns them into brand champions.

Promoting product discovery through rewards

Allowing customers to redeem points for discounts simplifies the value proposition of the points, making it easy for members to understand and appreciate the tangible benefits of their loyalty. The option to redeem points for specific products serves multiple purposes. It encourages trial of new or premium products, potentially leading to future purchases. This strategy also enhances the perceived value of points, as customers can directly relate points to specific items.

Delivering a real VIP experience

Sephora's approach of offering exclusive experiences and services, like same-day delivery, special events, and early product access, elevates the program from a basic transactional loyalty system to an experiential one. These unique experiences allow for deep brand immersion. Members feel a stronger emotional connection to Sephora, which is key in transforming them into brand ambassadors. It's not just about the savings; it's about feeling part of the Sephora community. High-tier members receiving personalized services such as beauty classes or makeovers enhances their individual experience with the brand. This personal touch is crucial in creating a VIP feeling and fosters a deeper, more loyal relationship with the brand.

Areas of Improvement

Limited post-purchase interaction

Sephora's program lacks consistent post-purchase engagement strategies, especially for customers outside the top tiers. While exclusive events for high-tier members are beneficial, they leave a gap in ongoing engagement for the majority of the customer base. Implementing activities or interactions that keep customers engaged with the brand even when they're not actively shopping could enhance overall loyalty. 

Lack of personalized rewards

The current one-size-fits-all approach to rewards may not resonate with all segments of Sephora's diverse customer base. Social media feedback indicates some dissatisfaction among top-tier members regarding the relevance and appeal of the rewards offered. In the era of personalized marketing, it's crucial for Sephora to leverage customer data to offer more individualized rewards and experiences. This could significantly enhance customer satisfaction and the perceived value of the loyalty program.

Gamification and fun elements

Sephora's program predominantly rewards purchases, lacking alternative, fun ways to earn points. This could limit the program's appeal, especially to younger, more digitally-engaged demographics. The introduction of “Beauty Insider Challenges” is a step towards addressing the need for more engaging, non-purchase-based activities. However, more information and data on its effectiveness and reception are needed. Expanding on gamification and fun elements, such as challenges, competitions, or interactive tasks, could greatly increase the program's appeal. This approach could particularly resonate with a younger audience that values experiential and engaging interactions.

This article is part of our series of case studies of loyalty programs implemented by the world's most famous brands.

Case Studies: Loyalty Programs
Read our analysis of some of the most popular loyalty and rewards programs in the world. Learn how to create the most effective loyalty strategies and avoid pitfalls.

Learn from our library of loyalty program case studies

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