The Pride Of Personalization: Sephora, Nordstrom Head Top 10 List

Beauty brand Sephora has for the third year topped the Sailthru Retail Personalization Index. Nordstrom jumped to second place, and Amazon hit only 57, despite a strong website score.  

The study is based on a survey of 1,500 consumers, who tell what they like, and an evaluation of 250 retailers based on 78 attributes by Sailthru, a provider of automation technology.

The top 25 brands share certain traits in common. For instance, 96% provide personalized product recommendations in email, versus 23% of brands that did not make the top 100.

In addition, 88% provide personalized suggestions on their sites, versus 21% of unranked retailers. And 84% personalize push notifications, versus 10% of brands. 

Walmart, which has a strong website, placed 25, pulling only average scores in other channels. 



In general, the brands that performed best “deliver deep personalization on individual channels,” states Jason Grunberg, VP of Marketing at Sailthru. “And they deliver experiences between channels that keep customers coming back.”

Here are the top 10 brands, including their scores and what they are seen to be doing right:

1. Sephora — 79

  • Best-in-class mobile app with in-store, site and mobile connectivity
  • Tri-tiered, generous Beauty Insider program with free gifts at every turn
  • Triggered emails, like back in stock and abandoned cart messages, all offer deep personalization

2. Nordstrom — 77

  • Well-designed product filtering options
  • Engaging in-store shoppers with location-based services
  • Integration of in-store and digital channels

3. Rent the Runway — 73 

  • Social images provided by users complement in-depth clothing reviews
  • Most robust and intelligent customer profile settings on the index 
  • Editorial guides are comprehensive, full of style tips and on-brand curation

4. Home Depot — 68

  • Seamless product recommendations across every channel
  • Dynamic content for beginners and experts alike
  • 'Frequently bought together' and 'related products' ensure that DIYers never miss an important item at checkout

5. Best Buy  67 

  • Generous My Best Buy rewards program
  • Well-timed push notifications with personalized product recommendations
  • Emails personalize by timing, frequency and products 

6. DSW — 67

  • Extensive onboarding quiz 
  • Flawless and multifaceted email personalization
  • Well-timed push notifications that complement the customer journey

7. Ulta — 66 

  • “Ultamate” rewards program showers shoppers with perks 
  • Collaborative-filtered product recommendations
  • Personalized emails with relevant recommendations and offers

8. Urban Outfitters — 66

  • Generous UO rewards program is the backbone of the brand’s omni-channel approach
  • 4.9-rate app with highly curated feed
  • Dynamic, customizable filters make search a bohemian breeze

9. Adidas — 64

  • Expansive product search and filtering criteria 
  • Robust communication preference center that’s applied on all channels 
  • Ability to check in-store availability online.

10. Wayfair — 64 

  • Dynamic email recommendations
  • AR-enhanced mobile app 
  • Versatile shopping options



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