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This is another short post about a feature I don’t like about a website. I really hope to find good things to talk about soon!

I have recently been rearranging some things in my home and it became necessary to shop for a small desk to be utilized as a vanity. Naturally, I head over to IKEA’s website to look at options, because I know that they will have at least a few for me to look at and compare.

When I get into the searching, I realize that I should pin a few of the ones I like, because I don’t know exactly how wide I want this item to be.

This one looks like an option. I click the “Pin it” button so that I can put it on my Home board on Pinterest.

This is weird. Why isn’t it showing me the product photo? It also isn’t offering me a chance to pin any of the secondary images for this product. I add it anyway, hoping that it will suddenly work when actually pinned.

Not so much. I pinned 3 desks to my Home board just to make sure that this was happening, and it did, every time.

IKEA is WAY TOO BIG to have an error of this magnitude on their website. I am frankly stunned that I am finding this issue.

Even more stunned when I see IKEA’s significant presence on Pinterest:

That’s a lot of followers, and they have a lot of content. I am stunned at this discovery.

Here’s hoping that someone at IKEA will see me tweet about this and reply.

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This was going to be a product review, but my experience created questions that I think are better fitted to a brand experience post.

I am a big fan of Kat Von D Beauty products. I have a number of eyeshadow palettes and powder foundation, all that I greatly enjoy. During a random trip to TJ Maxx a few weeks back, I was super excited to see some Kat Von D Shade & Light blushes in the beauty section, and quickly scooped up a “Bonnie & Clyde” blush.

Here’s where things get unfortunate.

So much promise.

The focus here is questionable, but you can see the swatches of these 2 blushes on my arm. I expected a LOT more pigmentation than this.

Wow. This is how they looked after I blended over them with a brush. Where did they go? This is a major quality issue.

Beyond this, the product packaging was also a bit disappointing. I am going to directly compare the packaging of this blush with my Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation.

It certainly looks like a lot more thought went into the packaging for the foundation. There is a lot more detail.

The sticker is actually pretty good on the blush, especially with 2 shades of product in the compact.

The packaging quality on the foundation looks much more expensive.

So, if I were reviewing this blush, it would be 0 stars. If I try to put it on my face and it just disappears, is isn’t actually blush. I went online after discovering the issue with this product, and found out that it had actually been pulled from both Sephora and the Kat Von D Beauty website.

Also found this on Reddit:

Here’s where I get to the heart of my issues with my experience.

Why did this product that had CLEARLY been identified as sub-par, get sold to a discount store? As a Kat Von D Beauty fan, I was excited to see what I figured was just excess stock being sold to TJ Maxx, and so I scooped it up. It didn’t occur to me that I should be looking online to find out that this is crap. I know what they say about assumptions, but I didn’t expect a Kat Von D Beauty product to be this terrible.

This makes me REALLY wonder who at Kat Von D Beauty decided to let this product into the wild in discount stores. Excess stock is one thing, but to release product of terrible quality to a discount store is a huge miss. Shoppers in a discount store might be really excited to see Kat Von D Beauty products at a discounted price. This could be a gateway product for someone who is interested in the brand but doesn’t think that they want to spend X dollars on a makeup product, and that opportunity to convince them that the cost is valid would be ruined by this product. The idea of samples from Ulta or Sephora, and perhaps even selling excess stock to discount stores, is to increase exposure of those products, to convince a shopper who isn’t sure about the brand or who isn’t sure about the price that the quality of the products is well worth the attached dollar amount. This blush is going to have the complete opposite effect.

I would love to hear comments from anyone on what you think about placement of problematic products into discount stores. Do you shop in a store like Marshall’s or TJ Maxx with a thought in your mind that you might be getting X product from a well-known brand because it might be of lesser quality?

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Missing the Mark #4 | Sephora’s Epic Rewards

by Jamie Sanford on August 25, 2015

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I did not expect to be writing a Missing the Mark post so soon after I had such good things to say about the Sephora Epic Rewards in this Brand Experience post. I, like Sephora, grossly underestimated the fervor for the epic rewards, because when I went back the day after they launched, hoping to get the Dior eye kit that I saw for 1,000 points, ALL of the epic rewards at the 1,000-point level were gone. I did some poking around and found out that all of the Epic Rewards had been scooped up almost immediately after launch.

Soon enough, lots of stories popped up online about angry customers. One particularly angry customer decided to take advantage of Sephora’s wonderful return policy (you can take back items even after you have used them, if the item isn’t working for you), and return everything she had purchased within the last 60 days. Lots of other customers joined in for good measure.

It took a while for me to find an official statement from Sephora on my own. I finally got a link in the comments on their Facebook page. I could not find an actual post from them with this information, which is a big miss. If they are owning up to the fact that this wasn’t handled well, they should go all out and share. There should also be something about this on the Epic Rewards link, but there is not. Here’s the message they posted:


I find the “despite our best efforts to predict the response” pretty suspect. I am absolutely certain that Sephora is utilizing any and all tracking methods to see performance on their email campaigns, and they can easily pull customer data and segment customers by the amount of points they have in total, as well as what they have earned in the past 3 months, 6 months, etc. (I am assuming they have this power, given the volume of their online business.) Many blogs other than mine were talking about the Epic Rewards and how exciting it was, which I’m sure only led to more people making more purchases. I can only imagine the response rate on the email regarding the points multiplier, especially given the suggestion that “you should load up on points now, because we are about to launch these amazing rewards!” There were a few moving pieces in this scenario, and they did not line up very well.

I’ve been trying to come up with other options that Sephora could have explored to avoid this sort of scenario.

My favorite idea is to create giveaways for the rewards, and limit entry to only those with a certain amount of points. At 1,087 points, I could have a small entry widget on my Beauty Insider account page, allowing me to enter to win one of the 1,000-point prizes. (Since the resulting rush for the tiny number of available reward items was like a giveaway, this isn’t that different than what actually happened – just a lot more fair and balanced.) Telling people up front that having 10,000 points would simply make you eligible to win one of these fantasy trips might have culled those sales a bit, but the backlash happening now (not to mention the mass returns taking place) is likely not the preferred outcome.

Sephora is supposed to get in touch with everyone who submitted a complaint about this by September 1st. I’m sure we will see follow-up stories to see how they intend on addressing the unhappy customers they now have, and how they will amend future programs to avoid such issues.

If you were part of the Sephora team, how would you have gone about this? What would you do in the aftermath?

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