Ulta Beauty's e-commerce continues to shine, reporting a 72.3% lift in sales for the quarter, similar to the momentum seen in the past two quarters.
In addition, total traffic online grew 73% and mobile 104%, due to investments in digital marketing, paid search and paid social on pages such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
"We continue to update, enhance our mobile apps which at last count has been downloaded by 4.4 million guests and has a 5-star rating in iTunes app store. Traffic for our mobile app is up 450% year over year with 41 million visits during the quarter," said CEO Mary Dillon in a recent investors' conference call.
As a result of online success, the beauty retailer is also testing store to door, its order in-store and pickup at home program for items not readily available in a physical location. The project is being tested in 40 stores and is just one of the merchant's many omnichannel projects.
Ulta's omnichannel guests spend 2.7 times more than in-store-only guests and on average make 9.5 transactions a year, compared to four transactions for in-store-only guests.
Dillon also discussed the push to strengthen Ulta's salon business. Although only 6% of Ulta Beauty's guests use the in-store salons, those guests spent three times more than nan-salon guests. So as a result, she announced that the company launched and is testing an improved salon business model in two markets.
"The key components of the new model are a simplified menu for hair and skin services, more transparent models to clearly and consistently communicate pricing to our guests, and increased training for our stylists," said Dillon.
In the quarter, salon sales grew 15.3% and comparable sales grew 7.7%, a 16% year-over-year growth in the number of 12 months active salon members.
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Overall, Ulta's quarterly sales grew 20.6%, driven by 11.7% growth in comparable store sales. Transactions grew 5.5% and average ticket sales were up 6.2%.
"We posted another double-digit top and bottom line quarter far outpacing the results of any benchmark retailer. We achieved share gains across all categories top 25 million loyalty members performed over 1.4 million beauty services, exceeded new store performance targets and accelerated growth in our highly incremental e-commerce business all while less promotional than a year ago," Dillon concluded. "But we don't rest on our laurels, we all know that shopping behaviors and expectations consumers have for retail are evolving rapidly and we've been on that from the start. Our business model today and our continued focus on innovation in the areas that are relevant and differentiating to our guests provide me with the utmost confidence in our ability to gain share across multiple categories for many years to come."
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