Last year half a million new customers shopped at online beauty retailer Adore Beauty for the first time, now the business is launching a loyalty program to keep them coming back.

Adore Society, available in Australia and New Zealand from today, allocates customers according to their spend across three levels and rewards them with promotions, experiential opportunities and exclusive access to products.

The business is hoping that the loyalty program, which takes into account customers’ previous 12-month spend, will help keep the customers it gained last year when ecommerce boomed due to the pandemic long after restrictions have been lifted and people return to their old routines.

According to Adore Beauty’s financial results, 497,000 new customers came to its store for the 2020 calendar year, up from 251,000 in 2019.

Last year its retention rate was 65.5%, and loyalty and retention manager Miranda Bliss hopes the new program will supercharge that.

“Customers were really asking for a loyalty program, and especially after COVID we acquired a huge number of new customers so it was really about finding a way to retain those new customers to Adore,” Bliss says.

“Once we came up with the framework we put it to market research, including online forums and focus groups, to really understand if the appetite was there and the sort of benefits they were looking for.

“It received great feedback, we definitely made a few tweaks based on the insights that came out of it but essentially it was pretty loud and clear that customers wanted a loyalty program for Adore.”

Adore Beauty loyalty and retention manager Miranda Bliss
Miranda Bliss

Bliss says the benefits customers were interested in varied largely depending on age group, with older customers wanting more promotional benefits, and younger customers more interested in discounts, as well as experiential benefits.

Adore Society had a soft launch on March 15 where existing members were invited to join. A week later the program had more than 20,000 sign-ups.

Businesses are increasingly relying on reward programs to keep customers coming back, including beauty rival Mecca, and even publications such as Vogue Australia, with Bliss calling Adore’s loyalty program its “missing factor”.

“It’s definitely a hygiene factor, that’s why you need those safety financial perks but to make it more interesting and engaging you need more of that experiential side of the benefits as well.

“It was probably one of the missing factors Mecca had that we didn’t necessarily have in play. For us, leveraging the loyalty program to reward and engage customers is a great way to contribute growth to our company but it will also be really valuable at every level.

“It covers benefits from financial to experiential and we will continue to develop and grow to take it deeper to make sure benefits are actually resonating with customers and if not we’ll tweak them.”

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