Sephora dominating online, while Ulta leads in-store: new report

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Sephora dominating online, while Ulta leads in-store: new report

Related tags 2016 Retailing

A new report from 1010data covers data insights for the beauty and personal care industry, revealing that Ulta and Sephora are leading retailers, and key trends defining the market.

Ulta’s in-store share leads the space with 49% of sales, says the report, while Ulta & Sephora’s combined online sales grew 14% YOY, and subscription boxes declined.

Indeed, although beauty subscription boxes experienced significant growth after launching, that growth has moderated in recent years and they only represent 5% of the market.

While in-store represents the lion’s share of sales, growth in the beauty space is headed online. Ulta’s online sales have nearly tripled since Q1 2016 and Sephora’s online sales have more than doubled in the same time,​” says the report.

Although Sephora’s online sales have trended close to in-store in the past, online sales soared past in-store during 2017’s holiday season. That being said, Ulta and Sephora’s in-store sales are up 48% and 38% since Q1 2016, respectively.”

Other key findings

Other key findings include that Birchbox’s returning customers spent 10% less in 2017 than they did in 2016, contributing to a 22% decline in sales YOY.

In terms of market share of sales, Ulta’s retail locations claim the highest share of sales among these beauty retailers, with 49% of sales in 2017. While Sephora’s in-store share trails Ulta’s by 19%, its online share has a healthy lead at 13% vs. Ulta’s 4%.

Based on share, subscription boxes don’t appear to have a significant impact on the health of prominent beauty retailers, and in-store purchases still generate the most sales,​” the report explains.

Finally, the report indicates that 88% of all active beauty shoppers only shopped with one retailer in 2017, with Ulta having the highest customer loyalty.

What was analysed and how?

1010 Dara explains that its analysis was conducted using credit and debit card transactions from January 2016 – December 2017 at beauty retailers, including Sephora, Ulta, Birchbox and Ipsy.

Using a static panel tracking millions of consumers, this analysis evaluated the shopping behavior of over 1 million beauty consumers and how those behaviors changed year over year.

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