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Mystery Shop Report: Men Shop Sephora & Ulta Beauty Retailers

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What do beauty specialty retailers Sephora and Ulta Beauty look like through the eyes of male shoppers? Field Agent enlisted 43 men to mystery shop the stores, where they interacted with employees and assessed the retailers on several dimensions. Check out the results.

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Mystery Shop Report: Men Shop Sephora & Ulta Beauty Retailers

  1. 1. SEPHORA & ULTA BEAUTY M Y S T E R Y S H O P R E P O R T M E N S H O P
  2. 2. MEET THE SHOPPERS INCOME 13% 29% 18% 16% 24% RACE Caucasian Hispanic African American Asian American Other Less than $35,000 $35,000 - $49,999 $50,000 - $74,999 $75,000 - $99,999 $100,000+ 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 2% 33% 40% 19% 7% AGE GENDER Male 100% 65% 14% 12% 7% 2% All mystery shoppers were versed on the following scenario prior to entering their assigned store: Field Agent sent 43 male mystery shoppers to Sephora and Ulta Beauty to interact with employees and assess both beauty retailers on several dimensions, as detailed on the pages to follow. The mystery shop was conducted entirely through the Field Agent mobile app, February 15-17, 2019. You're gift-shopping for a special woman in your life (e.g., wife, mother, girlfriend). You want to buy her some perfume between, ideally, $75-100, but you really don't know what to buy her. This perfume could be for an anniversary, birthday, or holiday (e.g., Mother's Day). AGENTS: N = 43 STUDY DATES: 2/15/19 - 2/17/19 2
  3. 3. MEET THE SHOPPERS WHERE DID WE SEND THE SHOPPERS? Sephora (n = 23) Ulta Beauty (n = 20) 3
  4. 4. 4 How long did it take to receive assistance from an employee? Less than a minute 1-3 minutes 4-5 minutes 5+ minutes 12% 7% 44% 37% 20% 5% 45% 30% 4% 9% 43% 43% Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall Mystery shoppers were instructed to visit their assigned retailer's fragrance section, and, upon arriving, to simply stand in one place and look as if they needed help. They were directed to wait at least five minutes (to see if any employee would approach them) before going to find an employee. “I waited over six minutes at this section without being helped by an associate.” - Ulta Beauty Shopper
  5. 5. 5 Did an employee approach you, or did you have to find an employee to receive assistance? “Attentive service...as soon as I walked in, I was greeted by an associate.” - Sephora Shopper Employee approached me Had to find an employee 14% 86% 25% 75% 4% 96% Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall Mystery shoppers were instructed to visit their assigned retailer's fragrance section, and, upon arriving, to simply stand in one place and look as if they needed help. They were directed to wait at least five minutes (to see if any employee would approach them) before going to find an employee.
  6. 6. 6 Was there a line at the checkout in or closest to the fragrance section? No, there was not a line Yes, a short line Yes, a long line 5% 56% 40% 0% 60% 40% 9% 52% 39% Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall Although agents were not required to make a purchase, we asked them to assess the length of the checkout line (i.e., wait time) "I didn't waste a lot of time guessing around! She knew what she was doing!" - Sephora Shopper
  7. 7. 7 LOOK FABULOUS FOR SHOPPERS Field Agent serves beauty brands and retailers with fast, affordable audit, mystery shop, and research solutions. So you always look your best for shoppers. LEARN MORE →
  8. 8. 8 On a scale from 1-5, where 5 is "excellent" and 1 is "poor," how would you rate the employee's response to your question about the store's return policy? Men were directed to ask the employee the following question: “If my wife, etc. doesn’t like the perfume, can she return it?” “The employees were all very nice, well-dressed, extremely helpful, and very knowledgeable.” Overall 4.7 4.65 4.74 - Ulta Beauty Shopper
  9. 9. 9 On a scale from 1-5, where 5 is “excellent” and 1 is “poor,” rate the employee who helped you select a perfume on the following dimensions. Knowledge of fragrances Friendliness Professional appearance Overall service Untitled 1 4.64.64.64.5 4.5 4.74.6 4.4 0.0 4.74.54.74.7 Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall
  10. 10. 10 SEPHORAULTABEAUTY Agent Photos
  11. 11. 11 On a scale from 1-5, where 5 is “excellent” and 1 is “poor,” rate the fragrance section on the following dimensions. Shopability/organization Cleanliness/upkeep Selection/variety Stock-level Lighting Overall 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.5 4.74.7 4.3 4.6 4.74.7 4.7 4.9 4.6 Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall
  12. 12. 12 Did the employee recommend one or more perfumes specifically by name? Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall 16% 20% 13% 84% 80% 87% Yes No Did the employee recommend one and only one perfume above all the others? Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall 53% 65% 43% 47% 35% 57% Yes No If a mystery shopper responded “YES” to this question, he was then asked to record the ONE perfume most highly recommended by the employee. Perfumes cited more than once included… • Daisy Love by Marc Jacobs • Joy by Christian Dior • Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent • Chanel No. 5 • Chloé • Tory Burch
  13. 13. 13 Agent Photos Take a picture of the perfume you’d be most likely to purchase today based on the employee’s guidance.
  14. 14. 14 After your experience today, if you were going to purchase perfume as a gift for a woman in your life, how likely would you be to visit THIS store to make that purchase? Completely likely Very likely Moderately likely Not very likely Not at all likely 2% 0% 16% 37% 44% 0%0% 15% 45% 40% 4% 0% 17% 30% 48% Sephora Ulta Beauty Overall
  15. 15. 15 "It was a little intimidating at times as it was very busy and there was a lot of staff there." MALE MYSTERY SHOPPERS ANSWERED THIS QUESTION WITH A FREE-FORM RESPONSE. BELOW ARE SOME OF THEIR MORE DESCRIPTIVE YET REPRESENTATIVE QUOTES. As a man, how did you feel shopping in this store today? "I was extremely comfortable as the associate took the fear out of buying such a personal gift." "Not my favorite thing being the only dude in a women's store. That said, [the employee] was awesome and very professional and helpful." "The design of the store made it very easy not to get lost in and feel out of place. The fragrance section was very easy to find." "I felt very uncomfortable at first when I entered the store, however the employee was very friendly and willing to help me." "I thought I might feel uncomfortable but I didn't. They were very welcoming." - Sephora Shopper - Sephora Shopper - Sephora Shopper - Ulta Beauty Shopper - Ulta Beauty Shopper - Ulta Beauty Shopper
  16. 16. 16 "I think they hit the nail on the head - the best buying experience that I've had." MALE MYSTERY SHOPPERS ANSWERED THIS QUESTION WITH A FREE-FORM RESPONSE. BELOW ARE SUGGESTIONS OFFERED BY TWO OR MORE MEN. OVERWHELMINGLY, HOWEVER, MEN WERE COMPLIMENTARY ABOUT THE STORES THEY VISITED, AND MANY MEN SAID THEY HAD NO SUGGESTIONS WHATSOEVER FOR THE RETAILER. Is there anything this store can do to better serve men buying gifts for women? "More assistance and not just staring at men walk around." "Perhaps just having people trained to specifically help men when they arrive, find out what they want and help them get the right product…" "A gift idea guide would be great." "Maybe market to men and show them how easy it can be to buy things for the woman in their life." "Know when you see a man, he's probably going to need help so go over to him quickly and make yourself available for assistance." TRAINED PERSONNEL TO HELP MEN MORE (OR MORE RESPONSIVE) PERSONNEL NO SUGGESTIONS OFFERING A “GUY-FRIENDLY” EXPERIENCE MARKET TO MEN OFFER A GIFT GUIDE/MORE GIFT BOXES - Ulta Beauty Shopper - Sephora Shopper - Sephora Shopper - Sephora Shopper - Sephora Shopper - Ulta Beauty Shopper
  17. 17. 17 IS YOUR STORE ATTRACTIVE TO SHOPPERS? CONTACT US → Field Agent offers retailers of all kinds a fast, affordable, simple alternative to conventional mystery shopping methods. So you can see your operations through shoppers' eyes.

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