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A Deeper Look into Sephora's Digital Makeover to Drive Customer Engagement

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Over the past two years or so, there has been an exponential shift towards the e-commerce space. Other than existing brick-and-mortar retailers that took their operations online to continue sales when everything was locked down, there has also been a substantial number of completely new businesses being established in the online space.

With every new e-commerce business sprouting up, competition for sales has increased across most (if not all) retail sectors. So in such a competitive environment, how is it possible to not just survive but thrive? One beauty retailer, Sephora, has done exactly that by focusing on the consumer journey to drive customer engagement with their brand and products.

A data-led decision to enhance the Sephora customers’ experience

Sephora didn’t just decide one day that they were going to “bridge the gap” between online and offline. Instead, they utilised statistical analyses of their customer base to make that decision because the need was there to do so.

For example, mobile shopping app visits are going to increase 22% year-on-year, according to app and mobile experts, data.ai. This showed Sephora that creating a highly engaging and useful app for their customers’ journeys could be a fantastic way to bring their brand to the front of consumers’ minds. The app which included Virtual Artist and other great features was precisely the solution.

Another fantastic example of how Sephora used consumer data to further personalise the consumer journey is assessing the timeline in which the customer’s particular products would be close to running out. This then triggered an automated and personalised message to be sent out reminding the customer it was time to stock up again.

How does Sephora engage with customers? 

Using research findings to determine consumer needs, Sephora realised that a high percentage of shoppers were looking for a more personalised approach by brands in terms of both products and customer experience.

Shopping for makeup and skincare products is a very personal experience and each customer is unique to one another. Sephora realised that they could tap into these findings and provide something no other brand did by  offering a personalised omni-channel experience.

So they looked at every single channel and pushed for personalisation through available technologies wherever possible within the Sephora app:

  • Beauty Insider Community: An online community enabling beauty-lovers to connect with each other and ask questions, find inspiration, and get recommendations.

  • Virtual Artist: Customers can try on products from various categories to see how they look before making a purchase decision.

  • BeautyFeed: This feed offers endless tips, tricks, and tutorials related to beauty.

  • Scan to Interact: Customers can instantly read product information and reviews when they scan the products’ barcodes in-store via the app.

  • Sephora Skincare Advisor: Consumers can connect with the Sephora Skincare Advisor to ask about skincare tips and find out more about their skin types using a smart home device.

  • In-store events: Events that are or will be happening across various stores.

What makes Sephora successful?

The rise of Sephora comes from its ability to utilise data and research to better understand its customers’ journeys and determine where their needs were not being met.

Beyond this, Sephora has the determination to actually make the changes needed to drive customer engagement – spending the time and money required to build a customer experience with Sephora that has most certainly brought the brand to the forefront of the beauty retail industry around the world. 

Sephora’s first-class customer engagement experience includes the following:

  • Personalisation in as many areas as possible

  • An easy, refined in-store experience

  • Rewarding customer loyalty

  • An understanding of and collaboration with customer culture

  • Utilisation of digital technology available

  • More “human”interaction with customers online

The goal of all of these experiences is to create a more engaging experience that will keep customers coming back to Sephora not only for products but also for advice and inspiration.

Sephora sure is an inspiring example of what it means to offer stellar customer service. Supporting its intricate customer service strategy is a strong logistics plan that ensures its products are swiftly delivered to its consumers all over the world. To get a taste of it, why not create a DHL Express account to learn more?