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Sephora unveils multiplatform mobile shopping experience

Sephora North America has launched the SephoraMobile shopping experience, adding a mobile commerce element to let its customers research and buy beauty products while they are on the go.

While Sephora’s original mobile site just featured ratings and reviews, the new SephoraMobile site at offers various additional features, including the ability to search for and buy products via the site. The new site has information about all Sephora products, personalized recommendations and access to consumers’ beauty products purchasing history.

“Our strategy is to provide clients with an on-the-go service that makes their beauty shopping experience even easier and more fun,” said Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of Sephora Direct, San Francisco.

“It also helps to solve age-old beauty purchasing problems—you can’t remember a sample you loved or the color you bought last time, so use your phone to access your purchase history,” she said. “Using the mobile site, you can find the closest store near you and make a convenient shopping list, which is something women like to do in the beauty space.

“In addition to integrating our loyalty program, a new addition is to be able to buy quickly and easily wherever you are.”

Sephora North America operates more than 270 retail stores in the United States and Canada.

SephoraMobile toolkit
SephoraMobile is an extension to what is offered online at the beauty site on the PC Web.

The new mobile site gives Sephora clients a shopping toolkit, with new features and extra perks for the base of Beauty Insiders, Sephora’s loyalty program.

Consumers can pay for products using a debit or credit card from their phone.

The account information of Sephora Beauty Insiders is stored on the mobile Web site to enable quicker check-out.

“The shopping path on the mobile Web site is very quick and efficient,” Ms. Bornstein said.

Mobile site visitors can also access more than 1 million product ratings and reviews from other Sephora consumers.

The site also lets consumers access their past purchase history to help them remember favorites.

SephoraMobile’s Your Shopping List features lets clients create their own shopping list before coming to a store to make their shopping experience more convenient.

Here is a screen grab of the mobile shopping list page:

The site also features alerts on new products as they hit the shelves.

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

Mobile site visitors can post a question on Sephora’s Facebook page for Sephora’s experts and their fellow aficionados to answer and use Facebook Like to show what they think is great.

The GPS Me to the Closest Store feature drives foot traffic to nearby Sephora stores.

Sephora also uses the mobile site to publicize store events.

Other features accessible on SephoraMobile include create or access a gift registry, product search, shop-by-brand and give feedback.

Sephora’s Beauty-to-Go app
While SephoraMobile is accessible from all smartphones, all of the unique functions of SephoraMobile will also be available on the soon-to-be-launched Sephora Beauty-to-Go application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

New features will include the ability to scan a product using all types of technology, including QR codes, and watch video content.

“We’ll be launching an iPhone app later this year leveraging an in-store scanning capability, which will provide quicker, easier access to a lot of these features, such as read a review and add an item to your shopping list, buy an item or watch a video explaining how to use a product,” Ms. Bornstein said.

“We’re targeting any Sephora client with a smartphone,” she said. “There is quite an age-range of shoppers who use smartphones.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily