How Sephora Became The Go-To Make-Up Haven by Word-of-Mouth

Sephora operates a total of 1,900 stores in 29 countries worldwide and has been rapidly expanding in the last years. In 2013, Sephora generated a total of $4 billion in revenue. By 2018, Sephora sales are expected to surpass that of the LVMH conglomerate’s Fashion and Leather Good’s division.

Sephora is highly regarded amongst beauty enthusiasts who regularly head to Sephora as their choice for beauty emporium.

How did Sephora achieve such staggering growth and success?

1. Sephora allowed customers to play a role in shaping their own shopping experience

sephora storefront

One great thing about Sephora’s store layout (other than the beautifully organized makeup) is the fact that every beauty product on offer has a sample available for customers to test out. There are also shop assistants on hand who offer you their help the minute you step into a store.

The Sephora experience beats the bland drugstore experience where oftentimes make-up samples aren’t provided, and no one is on hand to deliver assistance where needed. Yet it also avoids being as stifling as shopping in luxury department stores, where there is often a heavy pressure to not leave the counter empty-handed.

Instead, it allows the experience to be entirely interactive – customers are allowed to feel the different makeup textures and swatch the products on their own skin.

They can take their own time to look through the product and have ownership over their shopping experience.

Word-of-mouth tip: Understand what is lacking in the shopping experience from the customers’ point-of-view. Strive to provide customers with a comfortable and enjoyable shopping experience, one that makes up for what the industry is lacking.

 2. Sephora’s Beauty Insider rewards program personally engages the customer, keeping them coming back for more

Every Sephora customer can sign up for free as a Sephora Beauty Insider.

This basic membership status gives you the inside scoop to the latest seasonal promotions, product rewards and entitles you to a birthday gift during your birthday month.

When signing up, the customer is also requested to enter some information regarding their skin tone and complexion, and other beauty preferences. Sephora then analyses this data to recommend specific products to customers, giving that personalized touch.

The memberships are also broken up into tiers.

If customers spend $350 in a year, they get an upgrade to the ‘Very Important Beauty Insider’ status, which entitles them to VIB-only gifts and exclusive access to sales.

If they spend more than $1000 in a calendar year, they get promoted to the VIB Rouge membership status, an exclusive status that provides exclusive and unlimited access to the Sephora Beauty Studio and Rouge Events.

sephora beauty studio makeover

Not only are these rewards exclusive, but they also allow Sephora to personally interact and connect with their customers, creating brand loyalty.

Word-of-mouth tip: Personalisation is key. The personalisation makes the customer feel valued and appreciated. When customers feel that they are being marketed a specific product that has been designed to suit their specific needs, they will be more compelled to purchase it.

3. Strategic use of social media influencers (such as on YouTube)

Sephora understands that its target demographic are young millennials who are incredibly tech-savvy, not specifically loyal to any one brand, and constantly on the lookout for the next beauty item that’s all the rage.

Sephora has done well in identifying key social media influencers who appeal to this specific demographic.

An example would be their partnership with rising Youtube influencer SoothingSista. With more than 265,000 subscribers on Youtube, she helped spread the Sephora name by creating a unique Blue Smokey Eye Tutorial using Sephora products.

The use of hashtags #TrendingAtSephora helps to generate even more hype, where viewers are encouraged to recreate their own looks using the hashtag. There are over 15,000 posts on the hashtag over at Instagram right now!

Word-of-mouth tip: Influencers are a brand’s most powerful way of extending their reach. By partnering with key industry influencers, a brand can increase their engagement with target consumers multi-fold.

4. Interaction with fans via social media (reposting influencers on Instagram)

sephora instagram fan feature jcharlesbeauty

Fans love it when their carefully curated make-up and beauty looks are well-received by the beauty community and Sephora understands this. Several times a week, Sephora reposts make-up or beauty looks created by fans and friends of Sephora on Instagram.

The number of likes generated by a Sephora-reposted Instagram picture is about ten times as many than that of the original.

Clamoring for the chance to be featured on Sephora’s Instagram page, beauty junkies constantly #Sephora and the make-up brands that they use, generating even more hype for the beauty empire.

Word-of-mouth tip: This process of constantly reaching out to the consumer builds up strong customer rapport, and keeps customer satisfaction levels high.

5. Riding on the waves of the Youtube beauty tutorial obsession

 Sephora’s Youtube channel has close to 500,000 subscribers, comparable to some of the top beauty YouTube artists.

New beauty videos featuring the latest releases of make-up products are launched every day, introducing that new Urban Decay eyeshadow palette or teaching you how to get that Romantic Valentine’s Day look.

Sephora also creates fun and fresh make-up videos, with make-up artists giving insightful tips and tricks like how to achieve that perfect winged liner. And the best part? All of these products mentioned can be purchased online or at your nearest Sephora store.

Many beauty and lifestyle Youtube artists also regularly produce videos featuring their “Sephora Make-up Haul” or “Beauty Monthly Favourites”.

They also attach links to the make-up products they used in the description box below the video, linking directly to the Sephora web store providing Sephora with free publicity!

Word-of-mouth tip: Over the years, Youtube has become the go-to place to find product reviews and beauty how-tos. In an industry where product launches are frequent and variety immense, Youtube becomes the perfect channel to engage the audience, showing them their next must-have.

Recap: How did Sephora revolutionise the make-up industry and achieve such success?

  1. By providing samples and store assistants at hand, they allowed customers to actually experience the products they’re buying and control their own shopping experience
  2. The Beauty Insiders program rewards loyal customers and provides personalised service
  3. Good use of social media influencers gives Sephora products huge publicity
  4. Featuring fans not only allows Sephora to directly connect to fans, but these fans also become ambassadors for the brand
  5. By using YouTube to connect to their fans, they get free publicity when other YouTubers share about their products as well.

Bass Pro: Best Destination for Outdoor Products


Bass Pro is an online private retailer with a reputation of its speciality in hunting, fishing, shooting, as well as boating, camping and outdoor sporting gear.  The company also incorporates the collection of its merchandise with amusement features like uniquely themed restaurants, creative menus as well as fish tanks and video arcades. The company’s headquarters is Springfield, Missouri and its founder, Johnny Morris currently heads it.

Morris founded the company in 1972 after the completion of his degree at local Drury College. It was during his participation in fledgling pro bass fishing tour tournaments that he realized that there was a need for local fishers to easily access high tech tackle and specialized lures from their local stores.

The firm has since experienced exponential growth and surging popularity. Currently, it is the leading North American dealer of outdoor recreational equipment and attires with over 200 retail stores and marine centres.

Product Range

Bass Pro Shops specializes in multifaceted outdoor sporting products. The fishing gear entails lures, rods, terminal tackle, reels as well as sunglasses, accessories and tackles bags and boxes. Also, the hunting products include decoys, ATVs, optics and scopes as well as game cameras and food plots. Others include shooting and archery equipment like guns, ammunition and black powder, as well as bows, archery targets and tree, stands respectively.

Likewise, Bass Pro offers home decor, gift cards, apparel, toys, bargain cave as well as the camping and boating supplies. The industry use shopping resources such as news and tips, online catalogues, embroidery serves as well as the catalogue request and business sales in enlightening and updating its customers.

For instance, hot buys, sales and rebates enable shoppers to get 10 percent discounts off their whole merchandise every Tuesday. Besides, customers who purchase goods over $50 get fast, free 2-day shipping.

In general, Bass Pro is forefront in advocating for the conservation of natural resources, fish and wildlife through the firm-sponsored events, partnerships and research grants.

Organization and Employees

The company has over 7,000 employees who value teamwork, respect, quality and ingenuity in creating memorable customer-friendly experiences.  Staff members enjoy benefits like Bass Pro Shops Care Funds, vacations, capacity building programs and health savings accounts, volunteer opportunities and exclusive health, vision and dental benefits.  That no wonder why the firm was recently recognized as America’s Most Reputable Companies.

Overstock: Cheapest and Trendy Products


Overstock is a public American-based online retailer of diverse merchandise such as home decor, furniture and clothing at affordable and friendly rates. The corporate headquarters is in Midvale, Utah near the Salt Lake City. It is currently headed by its founder Patrick Byrne who is also an advocate for cryptocurrency and Blockchain. For differentiation, Overstock is the online pioneer company that accepts Bitcoin as payment for its products.

Robert Brussel initially founded Overstock in 1997 as D2: Discount Direct and later sold it to Patrick Byrne in 1999 who renamed and relaunched the company to Overstock.  The main goal for creating Overstock was to promote the creation and the optimization of e-commerce marketing for liquidation of inventories.

The company has steadily grown over the years, and it currently earns revenue of more than $1.7 billion because of its slogan of “Dream Homes for All”.

Product Range

Overstock offers superior quality commodities like sleek and comfortable home and office furniture like shabby chic tables and the mid-century rocky chair.

The store also provides its customers with outdoor products such as patio furniture, decor as well as the umbrella and shades. Moreover, the apparel entails men, women and children clothing and shoes as well as beauty and accessories products.

Additionally, Overstock specializes in the sale of rugs as well as jewellery, including rings, necklaces, watches and bracelets.

Furthermore, it is home to trendy and nostalgic interior decor like the art gallery, decorative accessories and throw pillows as well as the lightings and window treatments such as curtains and blinds.

Besides, the company deals with beddings and bath products. The company also specializes in pet supplies, kid toys, sports and outdoor as well as the world stock, electronics and materials for crafting and sewing.

Organization and Customer Service

Overstock has over 1,800 employees who are diligent and passionate towards the provision of the customer– friendly services.  It has won awards like American Business Award and the Top 100 Retailers for its outstanding employee and customer satisfaction.

The company also uses several marketing platforms like their website, newsroom and investor relations firms to inform customers of the latest flash deals, bestselling and the top-rated products as categorized by design and brand. Recently, Overstock launched the Pioneering Mixed Augmented Reality and 3D Models for its consumers in partnership with SeeKView.


When you require any trendy and classic product of your preference, log into Overstock and get it at the best and craziest coupon deals ever.

You Can Get More Savings on Walgreens Pharmaceutical


Sporting over 8,000 stores in all 50 states, Walgreens is one of the biggest pharmaceutical chains in the U.S. So odds are you’ve bought from a Walgreens  Pharmaceuticals at least once — it was to get a prescription filled, grab a few headache pills or pick up hygiene products for the missus.

This pharmacy offers more than medications, groceries, beauty products and an array of everyday essentials, but Walgreens also provides medical care and immunizations at its walk-in clinics in over 400 of its stores. It also offers customers an array of opportunities to cut costs of shopping at its stores or on its website. Here are nine ways to save money at Walgreens.


1. Sign Up For The Balance Rewards Program

“The easiest way to save at Walgreens is to sign up for a Balance Rewards card,” said Kyle Taylor, founder of personal finance blog This program is free to join at any Walgreens store, on or with their free app.

Members will get 10 points for every $1 spent on most mechandise, and extra points on featured items. You also get 100 points when filling 30-day prescriptions at Walgreens, 300 points for 90-day prescriptions and 100 points for vaccinations given at a store.

“Once you earn 5,000 points, you will receive a $5 reward to redeem on your next purchase,” Says Taylor. “The more points you earn, the bigger your reward.”

The maximum redeemable is $50. Points and rewards mean dollars off the bill, and you can redeem points both in stores and online. They’ll expire if you don’t use them within three years or if you don’t make use your Balance Rewards card for half a year.

2. Be Rewarded for Healthy Habits

Being healthy can pay off when you use Walgreens’ Balance Rewards for the healthy choices program. You can join your Balance Rewards account to this program online. Then you can start racking up reward points for setting and achieving health and wellness goals, like losing weight, and for registering activities, like exercising or keeping track of your blood pressure.

You can log activities on the Walgreens site, or automatically get points by syncing fitness apps or devices that record activities to your Balance Rewards account. Ashleigh Evans, of money-saving blog, says she linked her Fitbit to automatically get points for walking. “It’s free money for being active,” she said.

You will earn 250 points for setting a goal, 250 for achieving a goal, 20 points for every mile run or walked and 20 points per day for tracking blood pressure, blood sugar and various other activities.


3. Enjoy Even Further Rewards for Being an AARP Member

AARP members, the organization for adults 50 and older, can gather even Further benefits if they sync their Balance Rewards account with their AARP membership online, in a store. You’ll get 50 points for every buck spent on Walgreens brand health and wellness products, and get 1 1/2 times the points for healthy choices activities.

4. Use Those Register Rewards

“The Register Rewards program at Walgreens is a great money saver,” says Dian Farmer, of Register Rewards are coupons you’ll earn at the register if you purchase chosen items, which are marked in the Walgreens weekly ad, and offer a specific dollar amount off your next purchase.

Think of your Register Rewards like they’re cash, because you can use these coupons to buy almost anything in the store, Farmer said. However, there’re usually only valid for a short period of time. “So be sure to keep an eye on the expiration dates so you don’t miss out on your savings,” she say.

5. Use and Abuse Store Coupons

Every month, Walgreens comes out with a coupon book that’s available at the front of every store and has hundreds of dollars’ worth of coupons, Taylor said. For instance, the April 2016 booklet contained over $460 in coupons, he said. So you should get one as you enter to see all the savings on items you were planning to purchase anyway.

Alternatively, you could be more strategic in your approach. Walgreens also offers these coupons online, and you can join them to your Balance Rewards card when you log into your account. “Rather than carrying around a stack of paper coupons, simply log onto, choose the deals that match your shopping list and click ‘clip to a card,’” Taylor says.


6. Stack Your Savings

Walgreens lets its shoppers use its coupons alongside manufacturer coupons. shoppers can also use manufacturer coupons alongside sale items and Register Rewards promotions to get even more of a discount.

“Walgreens has great clearance sales, so make sure you look for their clearance tags on the shelf — and don’t forget to pair that sale with a coupon and other offers when you can,” Farmer says. Be careful, though, that the amount of manufacturer and Register Rewards coupons you use can’t exceed the amount of items you’re buying.

7. Mark Out-of-Stock Sale Items to Buy Later

When Walgreens puts an item on sale, but is out of stock by the time you get to the store, you can get a rain check to get the item for the sale price at a later date. Or a store worker might let you substitute a similar product of the same brand at the sale price, according to Rain checks may only be used for in-store transactions, and they’re only valid for 60 days.

8. Shop Online

when you only shop at Walgreens stores, you miss out on its online deals. offers up to 50 percent off certain items each week. Or maybe you’ll find special bonus rewards points offers on some online purchases.

9. Arrange Repeat Deliveries

You can save more than 10 percent off select items purchased on when you choose to have them delivered to you on a recurring basis. also, they ship for free.

Items eligible for the Auto-Reorder & Save program are marked as such on the product details page and in the checkout cart. You can still earn Balance Rewards points on Auto-Reorder & Save purchases, but you can only use points on your first recurring shipment.

Nordstrom Local – Sudden Changes Still on Top

nordstrom local

The retail sector probably took the hardest hit over the last few years, with its constant attempts to adjust to the newest, relevant, and effective in giving shoppers the services and products they want. A focus on how it looks instead of what it does for the shopper is a highly shortsighted perspective of the relationship between seller and buyer. Nordstrom, among the rare companies who have been operating since 1901 and with the original family owner still involved in the business, might be the first retailer to realize this, as can be seen in its decision to launch Nordstrom Local, its first store that won’t sell clothes.


In retail, the container is often mistaken for the content (pun intended), and the only way to escape this problem for a retailer is to think like a software company. meaning, accepting that the market is constantly changing and shifting focus to the company’s mission. The former should force retailers to reevaluate the tools in their disposal so as to minimize expenditures and avoid exclusive investment in any technological or other sorts of platform. The latter redirects all company efforts to the emotion their mission has promised the customer.

Nordstrom Local, the latest of the luxury retailer’s ideas as it tinkers with new ways to deliver, guarantees an in-store bar with wine, beer, coffee, and juices; eight fitting rooms; alterations; comfortable merchandise pick-ups and returns; manicures; and expert image consulting tips from its incredible personal stylists. Instead of a point of sale, the Local strives to be a physical representation of the Nordstrom brand, creating top of the line customer experiences that can be completed with buys through any of the retailer’s other channels. That’s how Nordstrom interprets modern fabulousness, and that’s what it will deliver via the Local.

This new format for retail will create more personalized visits with less friction—shorter waiting time, lower return rate, and less frustration on returns and pick-ups in general. In short, it is designed to eliminate multiple shopper pain points and meanwhile provide the retailer with information on tastes, lifestyles, and specific behavior—all of which will lead to improvement of products stocked in its other stores, as well as overall customer experience with the Nordstrom brand. The Local store will build on data collected from Nordstrom’s website and mobile apps (quantitative) additionally actual face-to-face contact via its styling experts (qualitative) while at the same time ensuring that providing for specific needs is achieved through expert advice. Nordstrom Local will be contributing to customer loyalty as the retailer will be reinforcing a key performance metric, the customer’s “intent to return.” Additional information (quantitative and qualitative) will help formalize smarter inventory and processes. It also encourages further innovation in ways of engagement and delivery.

Nordstrom’s mission is to “provide a fabulous customer experience by empowering customers and the employees who serve them.” This huge, Seattle-based retailer has gone through its fair share of problems, including large labor disputes in the 1990s. It was at that all-important point that its leadership refreshed the company’s mission to focus on a culture of companionship, respect, and personal growth, ushering in a time of employee satisfaction and consequently, astounding growth of its customer base all through the early 2000s.


With its mission and now its new concept store, Nordstrom is asking the question: “Who wants to feel fabulous?” old school retailing is based on easier questions. These questions are great examples of older ways of retailing. They may also wrongly represent a business as a whole when in practice they give only partial answers:

“Who needs clothing?” decides the geographic location of a clothing store.

“Who wants clothing?” decides market positioning, customer age etc.

“What type of clothing do you want?” connects the retailer to ways of life that will eventually become obsolete, as is happening with formal corporate attire. With casual Fridays leading to more open office environments, casual dress is now adjusting itself to a moderate form of athleisure. One has not entirely replaced the other, but a shift is going on.

When companies follow one of these product or service questions too closely, they guarantee failure. When they focus on a certain emotion to deliver, they catalyze their own development. Think about Amazon, that delivers instant gratification, or Apple, that delivers temptation.

Retailers after the next technological platform or alternative retail format need to remember that the change to value creation is delivered is real and deeply rooted in human psyche. Each retailer needs a clear mission statement that both directs it now and eases it into the future. Emotions are at the core of human nature and should be the only factor in what a business should do next.

To put in simply, if Nordstrom intends to keep its promise to deliver fabulousness, it will be around for many years. Let’s stop thinking about the container (is it a department store, an e-commerce site, an omnichannel retailer?) and let’s instead think on the content. That’s what the retail market is about.

Hulu: Internet Streaming Service like Netflix

internet streaming service Hulu - onedressgirl

If you happen to be off the internet streaming loop, maybe you heard something about Hulu,  just enough to ponder what’s it about and whether or not it’s worth trying out. For many cord-cutters, Hulu is a solid replacement to cable, a great internet streaming service like Netflix.

So what is Hulu?

Hulu is a video internet streaming service that offers superior video content from television shows to full-length movies. For a symbolic monthly fee, users get access to whatever is on Hulu and can stream as often and as much as they want.


Standing in distinct contrast to user-generated video platforms like YouTube, Hulu offers TV shows and movies using a wide array of partnerships with a collection of studios including MGM, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and others. As a joint venture between NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment, and ABC Inc., Hulu has all the backing it needs to do better than many other video streaming platforms and puts it right at the pinnacle in competition with Netflix.

Hulu is an incredible tool for watching high-quality video content on the web or on any of your Hulu-compatible devices. additionally, to popular episodes and clips from trending TV shows, Hulu has a large variety of older TV shows and movies that would be near impossible to find anywhere else. This makes Hulu more than just the perfect platform on which to watch the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, but also an awesome place to watch golden oldies like Bewitched and News Radio.


Is Internet Streaming Service Hulu better than Netflix?

There are many other streaming platforms we might’ve to compare with Hulu, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll stick to the most popular for now — Netflix. Despite Netflix’s popularity, there are a number of great reasons why you should want to pick Hulu instead.

Here’s what Hulu offers and Netflix doesn’t:

Hulu is cheaper. Both platforms offer some cheap plans. Hulu starts at $5.99/mo for the basic plan without commercials but no live TV. The service rises to $39.99 if you add in live TV online and On Demand TV channels.

Netflix offers three separate membership plans and a DVD-only plan. It doesn’t have any like Television. The most basic membership begins at $7.99 and tops out at $13.99, depending on the how many screens you want to watch at the same time.

Hulu offers near-instant updates of current TV shows. Users have to wait for what feels like an eternity for their favorite TV shows to show up on Netflix. Hulu, however, will update its platform with new episodes of current TV shows within 24 hours of airing.

Like Netflix, Hulu also produces its own original series, although they aren’t as well known as the ones by Netflix. As far as user-friendliness goes, that’s for you to decide, but Hulu may be a bit simpler to use than Netflix as this is written.

If you’re still can’t decide which internet streaming service to go with, you might as well take advantage of Hulu’s free trial to see for yourself that it best suits your needs and your taste in entertainment. Hulu offers a 30-day free trial.