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Sephora boosts in-store services with mobile booking capability

In the latest sign that Sephora is putting more stock in mobile-enabled services, users of its application can now schedule appointments at nearby locations, a move that follows the launch of a quiz on Kik about users’ in-store interests.

The beauty retailer is bringing its bricks-and-mortar services more into focus for consumers by listing prices and what is available with a booking feature on its mobile app. The app update follows the launch of a new contest on Kik in which users must answer a series of questions regarding their interests for in-store services.

“Sephora has been a leader in the iPhone app business for years, with their new updates that include booking in-store classes, services, and events within the app; along with viewing appointment history and upcoming class schedules they continue to excel,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. “The beauty of the new additions is that these will drive in store traffic which in turn will help the overall footprint of the brand.

Mobile booking
Users on the Sephora app can now browse services that the retailer provides on location, along with their corresponding prices and the ability to secure an appointment. For instance, the app will list nearby locations based on GPS, under the Store Locator & Services tab, of which users can then browse services available at that store.

A wide range of beauty services is available such as a custom makeover for 45 minutes with a product purchase of $50, a free 15-minute session with advisors and mini makeovers. Each service has a small summary on the app to give users an idea of what will be done, which features a book now button underneath.

After selecting a service and book now, users can select the nearby location they would like to visit if they have not already. Available dates and times are listed, prompting users to select their preferred time.

Sephora then requests users to fill out a series of information regarding name, phone number, loyalty status and special requests to gain more insights on their customers.

Sephora services
The beauty retailer is realizing the value in further developing its in-store services. The new update comes amidst a new contest Sephora recently launched to garner more information on what consumers are looking for in in-store services.

Sephora launched a contest to drive customers to mobile messaging platform Kik, asking users to answer three questions and enabling the retailer to build its audience on the platform while gaining shopper insights (see more).

The retailer also recently brought live 3D facial recognition to the existing Virtual Artist feature on its and Web site, a move expected to boost conversion rates through more accurate facial tracking and rendering (see more).

“With several million downloads of the app, Sephora has an attentive audience, it only makes sense to cater to these consumers with an even deeper engagement,” Ms. Troutman said.