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Ulta’s scratch-off giveaway ushers in traditional retail tactics to mobile

August 9, 2016

scratch offUlta Beauty is courting its audience with giveaway incentives that excite the modern beauty fan, mixed with an interesting user experience that serves users a digital scratch off on mobile, enabling them to claim their prize.

Ulta Beauty’s rewards members and newsletter subscribers are now able to enter to win a grand prize, as well as instant-win prizes, in a bid to drum up rewards sign-ups and sales. The retailer is giving extra points for purchases and giving away prizes such as gift cards and discounts to spark more buying.

“Ulta is providing consumers with a large incentive to participate by offering free prizes that are of significance to their target market,” said Laura Sossong, senior consultant at Boston Retail Partners. “The gift card and beauty bags encourage further purchases, as consumers continue to explore and identity new Ulta products to add to their must-have cosmetic collections.

“This campaign is an effective way for Ulta to garner further brand affinity and relevance in the marketplace,” she said.

Scratching off success
The beauty retailer’s new campaign is driving sales as well as positive brand sentiment with exciting calls-to-action and stimulating prizes. Ulta has launched a digital campaign through its email newsletter and social media pages that prompts registered rewards members to enter by logging in, and urges sign-ups for nonmembers.

ulta scratch off

Ulta is offering a trip for two to St. Thomas as a grand prize, including a stay at the Ritz-Carlton on the island. The retailer is also giving away 5,000 rewards points to 20 participants, which can be equated to $300 at Ulta.

The fun still continues for those who may not win the major prizes with its ongoing instant win game, in which members can play day by day. Participants can move their fingers back and forth across a digital scratch off in the same manner they would for a physical scratch and win game to reveal their prize.

The users’ results will appear as they continue to scratch. Users can try once everyday for prizes such as gift cards, coupons and a beauty bag.

ulta scratch off

Rewards members are also receiving deals for two times the points on purchases for shoppers with a regular rewards status, three times for those with platinum and a $3.50 off $15 coupon.

Ultimate beauty retail
Ulta also created a virtual version of the Truth or Dare game to generate hype around its introduction of Urban Decay’s popular Naked Palette while providing a unique take on the typical social media contest (see more).

The retailer’s major competitor Sephora is a brand that also attempted to push mobile innovation by supporting several entrepreneurs with forward-looking takes on the role of smartphones in booking beauty appointments and inspiring shoppers (see more).

“Adding an instant-win component to a traditional giveaway sweepstakes provides instant gratification, making the offer far more compelling,” Ms. Sossong said. “The scratch off mobile avatar plays into the experiential retail model that is finding traction with today’s consumer.

“By allowing participants to directly engage their senses, retailers like Ulta are able to fully maximize on brand interaction and engagement,” she said.

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at

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