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Sephora boosts mcommerce strategy via integrated digital beauty experience

July 25, 2011

Sephora North America has debuted a fully integrated commerce-enabled iPad app that lets consumers shop its beauty products in a magazine-like format.

The Sephora app features up-to-the minute beauty news and information from Sephora’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, its BeautyTalk community, as well as the company’s revamped YouTube channel. The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store.

“We were very impressed at how many people were downloading the iPhone app and how much mobile traffic we were getting,” said Bridget Dolan, vice president of interactive media at Sephora, San Francisco.

“With the iPad you’re probably not standing in the store,” she said. “You’re probably in the lving room and you might be multitasking and we wanted to cater all these features to that customer and marry both commerce and entertainment.

“An obvious win for us was to bring all this content that every customer might not be checking everyday like Facebook, Twitter and our blog.”

Branding Brand developed the app for Sephora.

Mobile beauty
The layout of the application updates each time a consumer accesses it and can be tailored to only show the content users want and helps create a personal experience.

Consumers can read product reviews browse videos to learn more about the items they are interested in buying.

The Sephora app also includes an iPad-only summer catalogue that features the hottest and top seasonal trends.

Consumers can shop the company’s multimedia catalogs, which include expert tips, videos, animation, and the latest hair, makeup, skincare, and fragrance trends.

Savvy shoppers can also get up-to-the-minute news from Sephora’s social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and BeautyTalk via the app.

The app features iPad-only exclusives

“There’s so much content that we create like behind the scenes videos and it’s hard to fit that inot a printed piece,” Ms. Dolan said. “We want to bring that catalogue to a new dimension.

“We are our iPad app in an email, as well as putting it on the Web site,” she said. “We’re also going to put a status update for Facebook fans and we’re going to use all of our channels to get the word out.

Shop till you drop
Consumers can browse, shop and purchase products straight from their iPad 2 device without ever leaving the app.

Shoppers with an iPad 1 can double-click the home button to toggle from Sephora’s app to Safari to seamlessly buy from the company’s Web site.

In addition, the app features instant notifications that lets users get the latest real-time notifications from Sephora about exclusive deals, local events and new features.

The app also features a virtual mirror, which is an exclusive to the iPad 2.

Consumers can learn pro looks and apply them on themselves by using that feature that transforms the iPad 2 into a side-by-side mirror and video player.

Consumers can use the Virtual Mirror feature

“Mobile is truly a reflection of the digital space and where we want to be,” Ms. Dolan said. “The customer experience is multifaceted so that she can shop wherever she wants to and we see it as being as connected as possible.

“It’s the bridge between store and online experience,” she said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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