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Sephora boosts relevancy of Beauty Board recommendations with personalized search

Sephora maximizes mobile commerce possibilities with more relevant and personal content in a recent update to its iPhone application, which introduces a beauty match search feature into Beauty Board.

The beauty retailer’s latest app refresh launches new features such as an in-store scanner and a new search capability in its Beauty Board to capitalize on product relevancy and customer recommendations. The scanner allows for customers to scan products in-store to seamlessly receive information and reviews, while the search feature allows for Beauty Board users to find images of Sephora customers with similar facial features and which products they are using.

“It’s all about being relevant,” said Jeff Hasen, CEO and founder of Gotta Mobilize, Seattle. “The easier it is for a user to find similar looks and to get ideas to reach their beauty goals, the more it’s a win for the consumer and for Sephora.”

Mobile makeovers
Sephora is an innovator in the mobile, digital and social media space and is consistently implementing modernized features to its app, Web site and social channels. The retailer’s efforts are focused on creating the most optimized experience for consumers to further drive sales, but also to secure its brand image as a provider of engaging and unique content for its customers.

The two new features coincide with Sephora’s ideals, and offer a more intimate, relevant and simple shopping experience for customers.

The Beauty Board invention was added to the Sephora To Go app last year and with this new release makeup fans can search various looks of those with similar features. The board showcases user-generated images in which customers tag the beauty products used in the respective photo.

Users of the Sephora app enter in their skin, hair and eye colors

App users were able to browse through these galleries and see what these products looked like on real people, with real reviews. The new search allows for users to search through factors such as hair color, eye color, skin tone or incorporate information from their beauty profile, which is comprised of purchase history and consumer info.

The search generates a list of images from users with similar features. The beauty matches gives the individual user products they are more likely interested in or need, and opens up a broader inventory list for them while creating a more personal feel to the user experience.

For a Sephora customer while at bricks-and-mortar locations, she is now able to scan a product she is interested in to pull up product details and reviews. The feature is located on the homepage, for faster access and the user can scan the barcode or take a picture of the product.

The product page through the app pops up for the consumer to have access to information she needs to make a more informed decision such as customer reviews, related products, greater product descriptions and product details. It can be overwhelming for an in-store shopper to choose from such a wide array of products.

Many in-store customers are already using their mobile devices to make informed purchasing decisions. Sephora is simply keeping these users from having to go elsewhere, and offering a customer need.

Mobile inventions 
Sephora, again, recently freshened up its commitment to being a leader in digital beauty retail with mobile tactics playing a key role, including the introduction of in-store beacons to send birthday alerts and loyalty program updates as well as an augmented reality application (see more). 

The retailer also introduced Apple Pay in stores recently and an executive at the Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2015 said Apple Pay received a warm welcome from its customers who are early adopters, but mainstream shoppers will need both help from educated staff and an experimentation period to grow comfortable with the technology (see more).

“Given the prevalence of selfies, getting pictures to review should be as easy as a comb through the hair,” Mr. Hasen said.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistnat at Mobile Marketer