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Sephora smells fragrance success with personalized mobile quiz

Sephora is ramping up sales for the Pinrose fragrance collection by providing a sneak peek on Snapchat of a mobile-optimized quiz designed to find users’ ideal scents and enabling quiz-takers to click through to make a purchase.

The beauty giant took to its Snapchat account on Wednesday to show users its latest mobile-optimized quiz, which asks consumers to choose between various colors and settings to discover their personalized scent style. Sephora fans can also immediately purchase a bottle of their recommended fragrance at the quiz’s conclusion, showcasing how the retailer capitalizes on millennials’ tendencies of making impulse buys.

“Mobile quizzes are a solid tactic for millennial-focused retailers for a few reasons: first and obviously, mobile is where the consumer is,” said James McNally, senior manager of business development at Prolific Interactive. “Second, what millennial shopper doesn’t love the idea that by answering a few questions, they can unlock some secret about themselves that helps them become more alluring?

“It’s a perfect combination of classic teen mag quiz pseudo-psychology and customized product – two things which are incredibly powerful to a millennial consumer.”

Doling out beauty recommendations
Sephora treated its Snapchat followers to a sneak peek of the new quiz for Pinrose perfumes by asking them, “Did you know you have a scent personality type?”

Consumers could then tap through Sephora’s live Snapchat Story to view an employee taking the quiz. This helped foster excitement among the retailer’s followers, who were then rewarded with the quiz URL at the conclusion of the Story.

Beauty fans can visit on their mobile devices or desktops to take the quiz, which asks participants to choose their favorite of two choices for each question. Questions employ a “what would you rather?” format, with many asking consumers to select their favorite setting, shape or color.

Individuals can tap on their preferred selection to proceed to the next question before receiving their results, which showcase their scent personality type alongside several recommended perfumes for daytime and nighttime wear.

Consumers interested in purchasing a bottle of their recommended fragrance can tap on the desired product to be taken to Sephora’s mobile site.

There, they can read the item’s description and customer reviews before pressing the “Add to Cart” button. Once the item is in their cart, they may check out directly on their smartphones.

The entire process can be completed within several minutes, resulting in the ideal snackable distraction for many individuals.

“The quiz is a great funnel: users may start with medium level of engagement (‘sure, I’m willing to waste 5 minutes on this quiz’), but their engagement intensity ideally builds through the experience, as the quiz gets the user thinking more and more about how Sephora can help them be their most attractive, alluring self,” Mr. McNally said.

“These tools are a good way ramp up engagement, and to play up to users that Sephora is their special ally in being/becoming attractive.”

Banking on quizzes
The Pinrose quiz also serves as an optimal way of promoting the new fragrance collection. Consumers who take the quiz but do not purchase a bottle at the end may still be inclined to browse the scented products next time they visit a Sephora bricks-and-mortar store.

Sephora has recently been ramping up its focus on mobile-optimized quizzes with increased fervor, suggesting that the bite-sized pieces of content are resonating strongly with its target audience of millennials and Generation Z members.

Several weeks ago, Sephora drove customers to mobile messaging platform Kik with a new contest asking users to answer three questions, enabling the retailer to build its audience on the platform while gaining shopper insights (see story).

The brand is also continuing its efforts to tap into new ways of monetizing millennial-friendly mobile platforms, allowing its Snapchat followers to purchase products featured in live stories by taking a screenshot and downloading the ShopStyle app (see story).

“Over the past few years, Sephora has consistently been an early adopter and leader on the platforms du jour, and its embrace of Snapchat (including shoppable Stories) is just one example,” Mr. McNally said. “Sephora isn’t winning in digital or social because it’s gotten lucky – the brand puts time and resources into its overall digital strategy, and has been doing so for years – and smart competitors would do well to try to catch up.

“Sephora’s social presence for the most part is strong, cohesive, fun, on-brand, and adds value for the user, and these are the benchmarks that lifestyle brands targeting millennials (or other demographics) need to meet or exceed.”