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09/07/2022

Ulta Doubles Down on Shoppers' Digital Experiences

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Ulta Beauty has deepened its relationship with Iterate.ai, an enterprise technology development platform provider, to develop, deploy and scale innovative digital experiences for its shoppers using pre-built modules.

Ulta first partnered with Iterate.ai in 2016 to help the beauty giant’s digital innovation team experiment with technologies while reducing the resources needed to hardcode in new capabilities. The process led to numerous experiences now familiar to Ulta shoppers, including the company’s guest services chatbot, AI-powered virtual beauty advisor and curbside pickup.

Ulta’s partnership with Iterate.ai made the retailer an early adopter of a low-code strategy for rapid application development and iteration, according to a news release. Low code is a visual approach to software development that optimizes the entire process and makes it easier to get businesses’ apps and workflows to market faster than traditional hard coding.

Powered by Interplay, Iterate.ai’s middleware software, Ulta’s guest services chatbot provides a virtual assistant interface to help shoppers track orders, ask questions, learn about beauty services and understand shopping options across channels and categories.

Ulta’s AI-powered virtual beauty advisor provides personalized skincare recommendations based on individual results to a questionnaire.

Curbside pickup, which ramped up during the COVID-19 pandemic, was quickly built and deployed within weeks, according to the release.

“We could not have built the cutting-edge applications as efficiently as we did without our partners at Iterate.ai,” said Michelle Pacynski, vice president of digital innovation, Ulta Beauty, in the release. “The ability to experiment rapidly allowed us to make confident, data-backed decisions that have allowed us to capitalize on opportunities where we can authentically and directly engage our guests in various experiences.”

Interplay delivers a low-code environment, including extensive tooling and drag-and-drop capabilities, to enable rapid application development and large-scale production deployments. The low-code platform includes 475 pre-built modules that offers users full command of advanced AI/machine learning, IoT, voice, headless commerce, blockchain, data integration and API connections to both startups and legacy systems.