Sephora Revamps Retail Experience

Posted on April 10, 2012 @ 07:53 am

Sephora has revamped its retail approach to online and in-store shopping. Its social and mobile makeover, unveiled this week, includes: a new personalized web experience, new mobile website, iPhone app and iOS devices added in more than 100 stores. The beauty store has integrated with Pinterest, adding "Pin It" buttons to every product and brand page. Fans can also check out Sephora inspiration boards, highlighting current looks and new products.

"Digital is a must for the future of retailing," said Julie Bornstein, senior vice president, Sephora Direct. "With the social, digital, mobile and website updates, we're giving our clients the most customizable experience in the beauty industry, and connecting clients with our experts in the ways that are most relevant to them. We're excited to makeover the future of shopping."

Sephora also launched its faster, “smarter” website that offers targeted product searches. Each product on has been tagged and indexed with 25 different characteristics – from data like target age group, to specific ingredients, formulations, fragrance, price and more. According to the company, it took a team of 50 people and 5,000 hours to index and tag every single product, and the result is a targeted, personal experience.

The makeover also includes 80,000 additional images, product quick-views, more color views and time-saving checkout. From clients can also check in-store availability for any of Sephora's more than 300 stores, create favorite product lists, learn the latest trends, get personalized advice, watch tutorials from Sephora's editors, and interact with experts.

Sephora's new feed on Instagram gives followers a behind-the-scenes look at the company and its staff, and what trends and products are driving buzz in the beauty world, says Bornstein.

As part of Sephora's mobile focus, it is testing iPads in stores. Twenty stores in the U.S. have been outfitted with iPads so clients get another way to navigate Sephora's products and interact with a menu of services offered. Sephora is also distributing an iPod Touch to allow sales associates to help clients find and research products through the Sephora app, and allow for faster, mobile checkout.

"Some retailers are afraid to allow devices in their stores, but we embrace it," said Bridget Dolan, vice president, Interactive Media, Sephora. "We're bridging the online and offline world, and making it as easy as possible to find the products you want, in a way that's cool, familiar, and helpful."