Customer Snapshot: Overview
Offering 20,000 products online & across 800 stores
Customers turn to ULTA Beauty to help them look their best. And when that top retailer for beauty supplies looked to re-imagine their customer engagement and omnichannel experience for their customers, SAP delivered the solution. ULTA Beauty offers more than 20,000 products, each with its own ingredients, features, benefits, instructions for use, and availability. Keeping track of the products is a mammoth task and could easily detract from an associate’s ability to provide personalized advice.
Line of Business
Commerce, Human Resources, Marketing, Sales, Service, Sourcing and Procurement
Ariba procurement solutions, Concur Travel & Expense, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Customer Activity Repository, SAP ERP, SAP for Retail, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP Point-of-Sale (SAP POS), SAP Service and Support, SAP SuccessFactors
Bolingbrook, Illinois, USA
Number of Employees
Digital Economy, Run Simple, Run Live
Customer Snapshot: History
All Things Beauty, All in One Place™
ULTA Beauty was founded in 1990 as a beauty retailer at a time when prestige, mass, and salon products were sold through distinct channels - department stores for prestige products, drug stores and mass merchandisers for mass products, and salons and authorized retail outlets for professional hair care products.
ULTA Beauty developed a unique specialty retail concept that offers All Things Beauty, All in One Place™, a compelling value proposition, and a convenient and a welcoming shopping environment.
Customer Snapshot: Business Model
Affordable Product and Services
ULTA Beauty is the largest beauty retailer that provides one-stop shopping for prestige, mass, and salon products and services in the United States. The ULTA Beauty focus is on providing affordable indulgence to guests by combining unmatched product breadth, value, and convenience with the distinctive environment and experience of a specialty retailer.
Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy
A Strong Value Proposition
The ULTA Beauty focus on delivering a compelling value proposition to guests across all product categories drives customer loyalty. ULTA Beauty offers a comprehensive loyalty program, Ultamate Rewards, and targeted promotions and also offers frequent promotions and coupons, in-store events, and gifts with purchase.
Understanding their customer needs and preferences and keeping them happy is a prime directive for ULTA Beauty. The company’s goal was to build on that trust and expertise to enhance the consumer experience both in-store and online. Engaging their employees and keeping them motivated is another key initiative that is closely tied to that primary goal.
Employees needed the tools to serve customers well via a thorough knowledge base filled with information about the products they are recommending as well as key inventory data. The system would also need mobility to serve as an outreach tool at community events and charitable initiatives. The need was for one cloud-based solution to easily manage all of this information with a simple interface.
A long-term relationship with SAP made the decision an easy one for ULTA Beauty.
SAP solutions offered scalable solutions to keep up with projected growth of the company as well as cloud-based and on-site upgrades with flexible deployments. Since 1998, ULTA Beauty has been working with SAP software. SAP for Retail Solutions serve as the backbone for all ULTA Beauty’s IT framework. That made it even simpler to transition to SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Point-of-Sale, SAP Mobile, and SAP SuccessFactors HR solutions.
Enter SAP: The SAP Experience
A Customer Service Makeover
Consolidating the company’s technological focus into an easy-to-use mobile system leveraging the digital core powered by SAP HANA has not only revamped customer makeovers, it has made over the sales associate experience, the IT infrastructure, HR management, and helped the whole company Run Simple. The SAP Run Live approach has transformed the way ULTA Beauty does business on all levels.
Technology is giving ULTA the opportunity to strive toward its goals. By giving information at a quicker pace to both our executive team and our store associates, they are able to react in a more timely manner.— Lockie Antonopoulos, IT director of mobility at ULTA Beauty
Better Business: Benefits
Gone is the pencil and paper beauty consultation recommendation sheet. Now guests are treated to personalized cosmetics recommendations that include complete product data, crowd-sourced reviews, and how-to videos. Associates can even take the tool on the road at almost 2,000 events a year, raising brand awareness, and driving customer loyalty outside the brick and mortar stores.
Our new Clienteling app does a couple of things. First, it makes it easy for our associates to execute a cosmetics consultation with a guest, and second they can enroll guests in our rewards program right from the sales floor. That has really improved and simplified the overall guest experience.— Lockie Antonopoulos, IT director of mobility at ULTA Beauty
Better Business: Run Simple
It’s not just the customers who receive the benefit of a makeover. Outdated manual processes were overhauled in favor of a mobile inventory solution. Handheld scanners are gone, replaced by lightweight, multipurpose mobile devices, leaving customer service representatives their hands and time freed up to better serve customer needs.
We are going to see tremendous benefit from our mobile inventory application. We are creating a much easier and more streamlined process for doing daily inventory management tasks, freeing up the associate's time to be on the floor serving guests.— Diane Randolph, CIO at ULTA Beauty
The company is expanding rapidly, with a five-year plan that includes adding 100 stores per year – translating to 2,000 additional employees each year as ULTA grows.
With the new solution in place, talent management is easier, more scalable, and more manageable now and it’s easier than ever to add stores, upgrade systems, and provide compelling personal experiences to their customers. ULTA will be further expanding the platform to provide innovation and quickly pivot in response to changing markets and customer dynamics. With HANA and the SAP Retail solutions, they will get the full package that they need to scale this experience fully across channels, stores, associates, and their customers.
Cloud solutions can be implemented quickly with fewer internal IT resources. That allows the IT department to concentrate on things we feel differentiate ULTA from our competitors.— Lockie Antonopoulos, IT director of mobility at ULTA Beauty