Aveda updates its loyalty program after nearly 20 years

Aveda hair care is overhauling its loyalty program for the first time.

Aveda’s loyalty program, previously called Aveda Pure Privilege, is a central pillar of its business and has been operational for two decades. It has 1 million members across the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. The new program, called Aveda Plus Rewards, offers more benefits to its members, including new personalized reward options and the ability to redeem rewards more frequently. Signing up for both the previous and current program costs $10. The previous program included an annual birthday gift worth $23 and free or discounted services as redemption rewards; these are still available within Pure Privilege.

“Our loyalty program is unique because it stretches over multiple channels to reach our guests and members,” said Barbara De Laere, Aveda global brand president. “It is also part of a bigger strategy to provide the best consumer experience that we can, alongside [improved] e-commerce, and to [enhance] our personalization.”

De Laere declined to share any sales or growth figures, but Aveda’s parent company The Estée Lauder Companies reported a 5% decline in hair care sales during its second-quarter earnings in February; this was attributed mostly to a decline in sales of its Bumble and Bumble brand. Recently, loyalty programs have evolved to become more dynamic than traditional points-for-rewards transactions. Additionally, privacy concerns around internet cookies and GDPR have thrust more importance on loyalty programs and first-party data. Notably, the latest iPhone iOS update in April also spotlights data privacy as a major feature.

De Laere said Aveda customers wanted more opportunities within each of the program’s seven tiers to redeem rewards. Now, customers can also convert points to take dollars off a purchase, similar to Sephora’s Beauty Insider program update in June 2020. And, Aveda is adding like-minded brands to its rewards offerings, through new partnerships with plant-based meal services and fitness memberships. De Laere said that customers who engage with and redeem from the loyalty program spend 43% more than customers who do not.

Aveda also wanted to focus on making the program easy to use, as De Laere said it was previously difficult for rewards members to locate their points and tier status online. More than 6,000 Aveda salons now have easier access to a customer’s rewards status prior to their arrival. For customers who sign onto the e-commerce website, they can access their loyalty status after clicking on the “My Account” button. Aveda also launched its first app during the week of April 19. On average, 14% of loyalty enrollment occurs online, while 50% of redemptions occur online, said De Laere.

“What’s great about the cosmetic and beauty industry is the omnichannel experience,” said Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at Wharton School of Business. “Sophisticated retailers like Sephora and Ulta monitor all that [online and offline] behavior and can market to it. And to do that well, you have to have online and offline channels integrated together and access to consumers through a loyalty program.”

Aveda Plus Rewards also focuses more on personalization. De Laere said that in fiscal year 2022, the plan is for 20% of all communications to rewards members to feature personalization, such as product recommendations based on what they have bought or on their Aveda hair and scalp analysis results. Live video chats were also added to Aveda’s e-commerce site in 2020.

So far, Aveda has shared its loyalty program updates through social media announcements, in-store and in-salon signage, banners on its site, and emails to members.

“We were always careful about touching the program, because it was very appreciated,” said De Laere. “But we also know that the world changed…so it was important to look at our loyalty program.” 

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