Increasingly Experimental Sephora Introduces Credit Card Program

The Sephora credit card is now a reality.
The prestige beauty retailer is launching a credit card program for North America that will give Sephora customers more points, and Sephora more data. According to Andrea Zaretsky, senior vice president of loyalty, CRM, insights and analytics, the credit card program is expected to increase loyalty and help "unlock the power" of customer data. "We want to use that data to anticipate our clients needs and understand them better so we can deliver against their needs and overdeliver against their expectations," Zaretsky said.
The credit card is just one of many new things Sephora North America is unveiling as it works to evolve in an ever-competitive beauty landscape. Over the course of the past few years, the retailer has gone higher (La Mer) and lower (Bye Felicia lip balm) in price points, revamped its loyalty program to give bigger spenders more points, launched a smaller store format, expanded into the wellness category and debuted a beauty festival.
The credit card is meant to build on Sephora's revamped loyalty program, according to Zaretsky, who said that each of the three card options provide shoppers with additional points on top of their loyalty program points.
The program has three different options. The Sephora Credit Card can be used only to make Sephora purchases, both in store and online. Then, there are two Visa options, one of which allows customers to get Visa Signature perks alongside Sephora points. None of the cards have annual fee, and customers will get a discount on their first Sephora purchase using the card.
"The launch of the Sephora credit card was the natural next step in our loyalty journey, giving our clients even more ways to engage in our vibrant ecosystem and enjoy the value that comes along with it," said Deborah Yeh, Sephora senior vice president of marketing and brand.
The cards will launch in select U.S. markets in March, before rolling out broadly across North America this summer. Ulta Beauty, a big competitor to Sephora in the U.S. market, launched a credit card program in 2016, and has seen a lift in sales from shoppers who hold the credit card.
Sephora's card program coincides with the opening of a new Sephora location at Hudson Yards, the first of 35 new locations slated for North America in 2019.
The business also plans to launch redesigned Beauty Advisor uniforms by Nellie Partow this year, and roll out OrangeTwist skin-care services in three California stores.
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