Ulta Beauty Named Retail Innovator of the Year

Excellence_in_Customer_Experience_Date1-300x60Ulta Beauty was named Retail Innovator of the Year at the 2nd annual Excellence in Customer Experience Awards, held April 14 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati as part of Multichannel Merchant’s Operations Summit 2016.

The Retailer Innovator of the Year category recognized the most innovative retailer in the past year. The editors at Multichannel Merchant submitted nominations and selected the winner based on their research and reporting in 2015. Innovations in technology, supply chain, inventory, and other facets that led to an enhanced customer experience were evaluated.

In its quest to fulfill consumer demands from all channels, Ulta Beauty has initiated supply chain innovations that are ensuring store stocks are optimally auto-replenished and that DCs have inventory available to fulfill consumers’ anytime, anywhere demand. Ulta Beauty has implemented a host of new IT tool, including a new warehouse management system, merchandise forecasting and replenishment system and product information tool, to support the growth of its omnichannel sales.

Ulta Beauty has also become a leader in clienteling, a technique used by retail sales associates to establish long-term relationships with key customers based on data about their preferences, behaviors and purchases. For Ulta Beauty’s more than 15 million loyalty program members, it means better access to products and in-stores services, more knowledgeable associates and an overall better experience.

“Omnichannel retailing requires an increasingly complex operation to handle a wide range of order, fulfillment and delivery options. And it is not enough to just ‘get it right,’” said Leslie Bacon, Group Publisher, Chief Marketer Network. “Every touch is an opportunity to impress—or even delight–customers and keep them coming back for more. The companies we honor today do just that.”

The awards finalists and winners for five of the six categories were determined by SmartHub, Radial’s extensive benchmarking study of the ecommerce industry. SmartHub places test orders and tracks performance; the data collected from these orders were used to identify the top performers in five of the award categories.

“We want to offer our congratulations to all the 2016 winners and finalists for continuing to explore new ways of delivering consistent excellence across all facets of the customer experience,” Bacon said. “In the process they’re increasing loyalty and driving sales, raising the bar on retail innovation and inspiring others to do so as well.”

The Excellence in Customer Experience Awards recognize companies that consistently deliver a great customer experience from the initial order to the return. The winners by category were:

  • Customer Experience Leader: Bonobos
  • Best Customer Returns: Nordstrom
  • Best Packaging: Bath & Body Works
  • Best Shipping and Delivery Experience: Apple
  • Excellence in Brand Communication: Levi Strauss
  • Retail Innovator of the Year: Ulta Beauty

Smarthub by Innotrac was the award’s Diamond Sponsor for 2016; Global Response was the Gold Sponsor of the 2016 Excellence in Customer Experience Awards.

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