At first, its so exciting, you get to the second tier of a multi-tiered reward structure for a store you love. It is so exciting. You think, what will I get? What will the bonuses be? Sadly, you become disappointed. You next think, I want that top tier! I want to be a part of an elite club! Maybe they will give me champagne? Maybe I will get special discounts? Maybe, just maybe, I will get so many extras. Then comes reality, you get next to nothing but $1000 spent. You feel like a fool. I won’t let this happen again, but than it does. You still get a glimmer of hope….
Let me introduce (if you have been living under a rock), Sephora Beauty Insider Program. Sounds exciting, huh! Well this is a three tiered reward program, it consists of: INSIDER, VIB and ROUGE.
Lets break it down:
INSIDER: No minimum spending limit, all you have to do is sign up and you start earning points immediately.
VIB: Minimum $350CAD spent within a calendar year, you get a fancy new card.
ROUGE: The highest, most elite tier. $1000 spent within a calendar year. You get a fancy red card and a welcome gift for obtaining ROUGE status each year.
ROUGE WELCOME GIFT
ROUGE: Its not a full size product but it is nice. We have received a NARS Blush, Marc Jacobs Lipstick and a Sephora Collection Brush. They are exclusive colours, but it is nice to get a gift when you obtain this status.
THE FANCY CARD
ALL: No one cares about your card. You aren’t going to use it. Everyone has Apple Wallet, or something like this. You hate a million reward cards. You are not going to use nor care about this card. Even if you did pull out your fancy ROUGE card in the middle of Sephora, no one would bat an eyelash.
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ALL: Doesn’t matter which tier you are a part of, you get the exact same gift. 2 NARS lip pencils, Marc Jacobs lip and liner, Tarte Blush and Lip, Caudalie items. You get the exact same thing if you are an INSIDER vs. ROUGE. Doesn’t seem fair does it? You should be getting better birthday gifts if you are a higher tiered member. I think that some kind of “DOUBLE POINTS on your birthday” or 10% off would be amazing. Even if they gave you an extra gift. Something to say thanks for spending an entire paycheck here.
ALL: Everyone gets to see the same rewards. You all redeem the same amount of points. Most often, the good rewards are such limited quantities that you never get a chance to get them. Unfortunately, there are lots of complaints that some of these products are old or have a weird formula. In my opinion, if I have spent $100 at Sephora and all I can get is a tiny little teeny cleanser, its a little disappointing. Again, the higher tiered reward levels should have access to exclusive rewards, or exclusive half point reward weekends, something to really entice shoppers to save their points, spend them, get more points….
ACCESS TO THE BEAUTY INSIDER COMMUNITY
ALL: Wow you get access to a forum. On your website. This is hardly a benefit. Anywhere online that has Makeup Addicts on it, is the same, if not, better. Sephora don’t sell yourself up like that.
INSIDER: You don’t get this.
VIB and ROUGE: Apparently, you get this “gift”. I recently noticed this line in a recent shipment that I just got in from Sephora, interesting, this is something new, how exciting! Then, I realized that I had just taken a part in and redeemed the “monthly gift”. I had to spend at least $40CAD and then my “Mobile Offer” code was for an exciting beauty bag filled with goodies. I was very excited, I made 2 separate purchases but unfortunately, only was able to get one of the two bags that you could select. For this to be a “monthly gift” was disappointing. For this to be a free if you spend $XXX was also equally disappointing. I felt hustled, I got a cheap bag that I don’t need and a bunch of one-time use samples. I have got the “spend $XX on this product and get a free gift” at Ulta and 1 month later, I am still enjoying these products. At Ulta, I got free Dermalogica, and that is hella expensive…so Sephora you are making me sad. ACTUAL GIFTS, BIGGER SAMPLES… that would make this program much better.
FREE CUSTOM MAKEOVERS
INSIDER: You don’t get this, but spend $50 on product and you do.
VIB: You get this once without spending anything, but good luck getting one in store. They will tell you that they don’t have time. It will be next to impossible to get an appointment because they don’t book on weekends, and during the week its crap times.
ROUGE: You get these unlimited. Honestly, if you hold this status, you probably already go to Sephora in full makeup and could care less about the girl with blue hair doing your makeup.
FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS
INSIDER and VIB: Spend $50CAD and get free shipping anyways.
ROUGE: Free 2-4 day shipping on all orders. This is pretty nice. This is the single most satisfying reason, if not only reason to be ROUGE.
ROUGE: You get the highest tiered status and you get an exclusive 1-800 number to call. I’m not too sure who you are calling but unless they messed up your order, I’m not calling you just to chat. I find this disappointing. Maybe give me an exclusive app that I can have a beauty mentor recommend shades or looks for me. Or video chat. But seriously, I’m not getting beauty advice over the phone. Crazy people in marketing at Sephora.
INVITATIONS TO EXCLUSIVE EVENTS
ROUGE: Ok, this is nice, you get invited, sign-up and if there is space you and a friend can go. You get a free bag with a few one-time use samples, but I didn’t have to spend any money, so that’s the key. Give me a beverage at the door (even sparkling water in a champagne glass) and now you have got an event.
The Sephora Beauty Insider Program is in desperate need of an overhaul. It is nothing but underwhelming. Ulta may give me “$OFF” for my points but all I have to do is buy a certain brand and I get awesome mega samples for free with purchase. If I had to chose to buy the same product at Sephora vs. Ulta, the clear winner is Ulta, too bad that I have to travel to the US to shop there!