As shoppers face the prospect of shipping delays across categories this holiday season, Ulta Beauty is the latest beauty retailer to offer same-day delivery.
As of Tuesday, Ulta Beauty is offering same-day delivery in partnership with DoorDash at select locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Boise, Idaho. The service utilizes DoorDash Drive, a white-label fulfillment platform allowing any type of business to do same-day delivery. Users can order from Ulta Beauty’s entire assortment of over 25,000 different products across categories. More store locations will be added in 2022.
“As we enter our busiest time of year, Ulta Beauty could not be more thrilled about our partnership with DoorDash to conveniently deliver the joy of beauty,” said Prama Bhatt, chief digital officer at Ulta Beauty. “We take pride in being leaders that continually deliver personal, fun and seamless omnichannel experiences. This partnership represents two leaders coming together to create a new touchpoint for our guests that importantly connects our physical and digital experiences in a relevant, new way.”
Ulta Beauty joins a wide range of beauty retailers and brands that have launched same-day delivery through third-party apps during the pandemic. In September 2020, Sephora launched its partnership with Instacart. In 2020, Postmates partnered with 11 beauty brands, including MAC Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Le Labo, and Hourglass. Several brands in the Coty portfolio launched 30-minute delivery with GoPuff in August 2020. And in May 2021, Uber Eats launched a partnership with Estée Lauder Companies to offer same-day delivery of Origins and Jo Malone. This followed Uber Eats’ December 2020 partnership launched with The Body Shop. A wide range of DTC beauty and wellness brands are also available on the FastAF app, which either orders inventory itself or partners directly with startup brands. Those brands include PYT Beauty, Uoma Beauty, Moon Juice, Dieux and Dedcool.
Ulta Beauty was one of the first beauty retailers to offer curbside pickup to offset pandemic-related store closures and, once stores reopened, BOPIS. Unlike partnerships that require users to order directly through a third-party app, Ulta Beauty customers can place their same-day order directly through Ulta.com rather than DoorDash.
Sephora also recently launched same-day delivery through its site, allowing users to order online and receive products on the same day through a courier.
Given the expected supply chain difficulties with holiday gifting, brands and retailers see using same-day delivery as a solve. “We see consumers looking for faster and more convenient ways to get their favorite brands delivered same-day,” said Shanna Prevé, vp of strategic partnerships and business development at DoorDash.
While the pandemic has spurred beauty to adopt same-day delivery for the first time, Ulta Beauty is betting on it for the long term. According to a spokesperson, the retailer’s decision-makers “believe that some new behaviors and expectations stemming from the pandemic are here to stay, [as] guests continue to expect engaging experiences balanced with safety and convenience.”