Even as consumers return to brick-and-mortar stores, they continue to shop online as well, Ulta Beauty reported Thursday (Aug. 25) during its quarterly earnings call.
What’s more, the beauty retailer reported that the number of consumers using both physical and digital channels is still increasing, with buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) now accounting for 25% of its eCommerce sales, up from 20% last year. More than one-third of the company’s digital orders were fulfilled by stores during the quarter via BOPIS, same-day delivery or ship from store.
“We continue to incentivize guests to try alternative delivery options for eCommerce orders while also investing to improve the guest experience,” Ulta Beauty CEO Dave Kimbell said during the call.
Store traffic continues to improve, though it remains below pre-pandemic levels, Kimbell said. At the same time, the company’s eCommerce channel saw mid-single-digit growth, returning to normal levels of growth after the surge seen earlier in the pandemic.
Aiming to continue to expand and enhance the customer experience across all channels, Ulta Beauty has rolled out a number of new initiatives.
In digital channels, these include a Digital Store of the Future that is designed to deliver a more seamless experience and new product pages on both the website and mobile app that are meant to be more engaging.
In Ulta Beauty’s physical stores, new initiatives include a new front-of-store presentation that will enable enhanced “storytelling” around news, events and trends and a new layout in select stores that will spotlight key growth categories. The former is to be launched in September, while the latter is to debut later this fall.
The company also continues to expand its partnership with Target, opening another 59 Ulta Beauty at Target shops during the quarter, bringing the total to 186.
During the quarter, Ulta Beauty also launched a $20 million fund called Prisma Ventures that will invest in startups and tech entrepreneurs developing innovations in beauty and retail.
“Longer term, we are exploring innovative ways to connect our digital and physical stores and deliver forward-thinking guest experiences,” Kimbell said.
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