e.l.f. Cosmetics influences the beauty regimen with personalization

Digitally-native cosmetics brand puts customers at the heart of its shopping experience and generates an 18% increase in engagement
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increase in revenue per user by optimizing product detail page (PDP) recommendations using Dynamic Yield’s recommendation algorithms
increase in mobile menu clicks after personalizing the menu based on users’ past shopping behavior


Founded in 2004, e.l.f. Cosmetics launched with a simple mission to create high-quality products at an accessible price point. Not only one of the earliest digitally-native beauty brands, e.l.f. was also one of the first to adopt a direct-to-consumer model. In order to stay true to its business model, the cosmetics line places its customers at the core of all product and marketing decisions. So when e.l.f. sought to ensure every shopper was met with experiences tailored to their unique beauty regimen, the team partnered with Dynamic Yield to help them deliver. After utilizing the first-party integration in Experience OS, recommendations, and personalization capabilities, e.l.f. witnessed a 4.2% increase in revenue per user and an 18% uplift in customer engagement.

“Dynamic Yield has been instrumental in helping us uncover the different types of audiences coming to and interacting with the e.l.f. site, enabling us to truly cater to each beauty lover’s specific needs. The platform has allowed us to easily test new strategies and optimize on the fly for quick, meaningful results.”
Shana Rungsarangnont, Digital Products Manager, e.l.f. Cosmetics

The Challenge

e.l.f. products are sold at big-box retailers including Target, Walmart, and Ulta. Motivated to double down on e.l.f.’s digital presence, the eCommerce team set out to create a better shopping experience online and required a solution that could assist in:

  • Ingesting first-party data
  • Identifying high-value audience segments
  • Surfacing the best product recommendations for each visitor
  • Optimizing the mobile experience for product discovery


Onboarded and activated historical first-party customer data from day one
Before integrating with Dynamic Yield, e.l.f. used Custora, a cloud-based customer analytics software to help identify insightful audience segments. However, the team wanted to further leverage the Custora segments to take immediate action on the site and customize experiences. The ability to ingest Custora’s first-party data with Dynamic Yield ensured the beauty retailer would be able to create highly-targeted campaigns while not losing the rich first-party historical data.

First-party audience examples:
Optimized recommendations on PDPs after a bakeoff between DY and alternative recommendation vendor
Knowing PDPs are a valuable piece of the product discovery phase, e.l.f. chose this space to optimize its recommendations. And to ensure the most relevant products were shown to each visitor, the team decided to run a bakeoff between its two recommendation engines. Each vendor served a “Viewed Together” strategy in e.l.f.’s “You May Love” section and after reaching statistical significance at 95% in two weeks, Dynamic Yield proved the strongest engine, generating a significant uplift in CTR (+ 23.2%) and revenue per user (+4.2%) compared to the other vendor.
Customized mobile menu based on user affinity and browsing behavior
With limited real estate, e.l.f. wanted its mobile menu to resonate with each shopper. To effectively do this, the team decided to personalize the menu based on browsing history, allowing customers to quickly find products best suited to their needs. New visitors were shown high-level categories while returning visitors were exposed to subcategories of the main category they had previously shown interest in. For example, if a shopper had browsed the “skincare” category, the menu bar would include “cleanser,” “face masks,” and “treatments.” With these menu optimizations, e.l.f. saw a 17.6% increase in clickthrough rate, driving visitors deeper into its product catalog.

The Key Takeaway

e.l.f.’s customers have always been influential to the beauty brand. Yet, there was still a large opportunity for the team to better reflect the needs and preferences of shoppers throughout the customer journey. After deploying Dynamic Yield’s technology, e.l.f. was able to truly tap into the important audiences engaging with the brand to ensure each cosmetic lover received the most relevant experiences. And through strategically implementing several desktop and mobile web personalization campaigns, saw site engagement boost and revenue increase.