Online Store Review: beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (Part 1)

Today and tomorrow only (September 17–18, 2016), beautyBOUTIQUE is holding its first ever online-only Spend Your Points Event for Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Points. I am sitting on a big pile o’ points, having skipped redemption during the last one or two events. I’m also racking up those points like mad—along with the usual diapers and other baby things I have to buy, I’m also doing more grocery shopping at my local Shoppers, which has installed a new grocery section.

So, last night I sorted out my beautyBOUTIQUE shopping cart and headed for checkout around 12:15am.

beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart, fivezero's order, September 2016

Firstly, I’ll just mention that I’m using Mac OS X (10.11, the most recent operating system) and my browser of choice is Mozilla Firefox. Well, beautyBOUTIQUE doesn’t work properly with Firefox. I couldn’t remove things from my shopping cart. With a long sigh, I switched over to Apple’s default Safari browser. Luckily beautyBOUTIQUE saves your shopping cart to your account and not just in your browser cookies, so as soon as I logged in using Safari, everything in my shopping cart was there.

Checkout started smoothly. I picked out my three free samples (Clinique Liquid Soap cleanser, Paco Rabanne Olympéa sample, and one other fragrance sample that escapes me at the moment), plugged in my pertinent shipping and billing info, and arrived at the points redemption section. To my chagrin, when I selected the option to redeem 95k points for $200…nothing happened. I waited for a while, tried clicking it again, etc., but to no avail.

Finally, I gritted my teeth and switched over to Google Chrome, a browser I never use so none of my logins are saved in it—like for ebates.ca (referral link), which was giving 10% cashback for beautyBOUTIQUE!

So I logged into ebates.ca and beautyBOUTIQUE, and everything started to go smoothly on Google Chrome. Again I entered my shipping and billing info, and again I arrived at the points redemption section. But now, there was a website issue instead of a browser issue: beautyBOUTIQUE was only giving me the non-promotional amount of $170, not the event amount of $200. It was just the 95k redemption that wasn’t working; the 50k points redemption was fine. Gah.

Resigned, I shot off an email to beautyBOUTIQUE’s customer service and retired for the night. This morning at a bit past 10am, I received a response:

Thank you for taking the time to contact beautyBOUTIQUE.ca!

Currently we are expierencing a technical issue concerning our current redeem your points event. We are aware that the $200 value is not activating during checkout. We are currently working on a resolution and hope that in the comming hours you will be able to process your beautyBOUTIQUE.ca order. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at our Customer Service Call Centre at 1-866-220-3837 should you have any further questions or comments or require immediate assistance.

Well, no kidding. Thanks for that. No idea on when I should try again, huh? What happens if the products I want are sold out by then? And, they didn’t address the concern I mentioned about their site not working in Firefox and Safari.

When I had a moment around 11:45am, I hopped back onto beautyBOUTIQUE using Google Chrome. This time, every thing went pretty smoothly and I placed my order. I did notice that there were fewer samples this time around, so I had to select some things I didn’t especially want. Oh well—at least none of the actual items I wanted were out-of-stock!

beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart, fivezero's free samples, September 2016

Of course, after I placed my order, I went back to take a screen capture for this post and noticed that they added a bunch of new samples. Typical! Dammit. I’d have preferred Jimmy Choo over Diesel Only the Brave!

beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart, Free Samples, September 2016

In any case, my order subtotal was CA$203.98. Minus $200 + tax (though tax is taken on the full amount pre-discount) + free shipping, and my total was $30.50. This is exactly why Optimum Points are the best!

beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart, fivezero's order total, September 2016

If Shoppers gets their online store working really smoothly, it’ll become a good competitor for Sephora in Canada. Overall, the beautyBOUTIQUE site looks very slick. I prefer the site design to Sephora’s and definitely to that of Hudson’s Bay. I think they need to get it working well across multiple operating systems and browsers, and loading a little faster (it was a bit painful waiting for the points promotion options to load, and there was no visible cue that it worked until you looked at where the price changed at the bottom of the screen). Customer service could be a little more helpful, though they were prompt and that counts for a lot.

Their site is already miles ahead of the Hudson’s Bay online store (I should write an entire ranty blog post about their poor excuses for a site and online customer service) and getting closer to Sephora’s. Improve the selection—like bringing in Chanel, Urban Decay, La Roche-Posay, ArtDeco, those brilliant $19.99 fragrances, and the mass-market lines like Revlon, L’Oréal and Maybelline—and I can see myself shopping here a lot! And the ebates cashback doesn’t hurt, either.

I’ll post Part 2 of my review when my order actually arrives and I can do a Haulage post!

[Edit: And here’s the haulage post! Thanks to Max for the reminder.]

Have you ever shopped with beautyBOUTIQUE.ca? If so, how was your experience?

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4 thoughts on “Online Store Review: beautyBOUTIQUE by Shoppers Drug Mart (Part 1)

  1. Good to know about the browser. I used to be a die-hard Firebox user but it was getting so glitchy. I finally switched over to Chrome. Glad things worked out in the end. I’ll likely test out the site one of these days!
    I still haven’t seen ArtDeco at Shoppers – been meaning to hunt down one of the locations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should switch, but I like the FF plugins I have…guess I should see if they’re on Chrome, as well. Ahhh I just don’t want to use Google stuff. 😛 Sometimes I use Safari, now…it’s definitely better than the bloat that is FF these days.
      ArtDeco has a display at the SDM on Lower Jarvis, by St Lawrence Market. I’m never compelled to get anything, though. The polishes are a bit blah.

      Like

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