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Sephora redefines shopping for loyalists with unique mobile app

October 8, 2010

The Sephora mobile app has many features

The Sephora mobile app has many features

Sephora North America is targeting its most loyal customers with a mobile application that not only lets them shop while on the go, but also comes packed with video and scanning capabilities.

The Sephora to Go mobile application melds the ease and functionality of the features available through the retailer’s mobile commerce site at There are additional exclusive features just for the application such as scanning bar codes for product information and how-to videos. 

“Mobile is the ultimate bridge between physical and virtual Sephora experiences,” said Bridget Dolan, vice president of interactive media at Sephora, San Francisco. “Clients will be able to access the breadth of product information available on our site while standing in-store. 

“Plus, it allows the client to immediately see what is new, what we’re buzzing about and beauty videos to help the client with product discovery,” she said. “Clients can pick up any product in our store and find out what other clients think about it. 

“And we have QR codes in our stores and catalog so clients can watch videos showcasing our top holiday products and see how-to makeup tutorials.”

Redefining shopping
The application redefines shopping at Sephora for iPhone users and makes it even more exciting to be a Beauty Insider by providing customers deals on their devices.

The application lets consumers buy products, see the latest launches, check out Sephora how-to video clips, read ratings and reviews, look up previous purchases, access the Beauty Insider account and create shopping lists.

The Today’s Obsession aspect of the application lets users see what products Sephora staffers swear by and read why.

This feature allows Sephora to highlight staff product favorites, Sephora promotions and other cool new trends.  

App users can search by brand

App users can search by brand

“Our clients love to talk about beauty,” Ms. Dolan said. “Our clients have submitted more than 1 million product reviews on and our 800,000 Sephora Facebook fans engage with us and each other every day about beauty on Facebook. 

“We want to allow women to bring that information with them as they shop in-store, or have some multitasking time when they are out and about,” she said.

“The growth of mobile traffic to our site is tremendous, and we found it is primarily accessed by iPhones and iPads.”

Driving commerce
The application is commerce-enabled, meaning consumers can make purchases within it.

Sephora Beauty Insiders get up-to-the-minute info on their reward status and great products chosen just for them by Sephora’s experts, based on their personal beauty profile.

The application uses GPS to help users find the closest Sephora store.

Not new to mobile
Sephora was one of the first retailers to launch a mobile site of just ratings and reviews more than two years ago. 

This summer, the retailer launched its mobile commerce site, which can be accessed by all smartphones. 

It allows customers to do many of Sephora’s core shopping and discovery activities, turning their mobile phones into a useful tool even when in-store.

Customers can shop, see product ratings and reviews and information, plus access their past purchases, which is especially helpful when they are just quickly trying to reorder something.

“Sephora will continue to innovate in the mobile space based on feedback from our clients,” Ms. Dolan said. “Between Facebook and the new community on our site, BeautyTalk, we have given our clients a direct line to tell us how we can make our mobile experience even more relevant, and we are listening.”

Final take
Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor of Mobile Commerce Daily

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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