Prama Bhatt, chief digital officer of Ulta Beauty, is one of the notable speakers set to take the virtual stage June 30 for the WWD x FN x Beauty Inc Tech Forum. Titled “Retail 4.0: The Next Five Years,” the event features thought leaders and influencers from Selfridges, The Estée Lauder Cos., Nordstrom, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, among others.
Attendees can expect “big picture” conversations and thought leadership, case studies and best practices around technologies such as AI and AR — and the latest trends in e-commerce and digitalization. Here, Bhatt shares insights into how Ulta Beauty uses data and some of the lessons learned from the pandemic.
WWD: How does Ulta Beauty succeed with innovation?
Prama Bhatt: When we think about innovation, we do it through a guest-lens first and foremost. Sitting in their shoes, what do they need to really transform their shopping experience? Beauty is a category that blurs physical, digital, emotional and personal elements so to succeed with innovation, we must be consumer-first to elevate Ulta Beauty experiences.
WWD: How is Ulta Beauty leveraging data?
P.B.: Data is more than a strategic asset to us, it’s a competitive differentiator. As the largest beauty retailer with an incredible loyalty program, an unparalleled assortment and salon services at every location, we have a truly unique data set specific to beauty.
Tapping into this is a privilege as it drives insights and informs the experiences we create for our guests to navigate their personal beauty journeys.
WWD: What has Ulta Beauty learned during the pandemic that has helped set the company up for the future?
P.B.: Throughout the pandemic, our focus on people and safety has been the highest priority. At the same time, it accelerated our innovation pipeline as a catalyst to create new experiences for today and the future.
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