Sephora announced on Friday the launch of a loyalty members-only mobile and online social platform entitled the "Beauty Insider Community," where customers can get beauty recommendations, look for inspiration and get answers to beauty-related questions, according to a company press release.
The platform includes "Home," "Profile," "Groups," "Conversations" and "Gallery" tabs, which allow users to build a public profile, update their favorite looks and personal interests, join a variety of groups that discuss beauty-related topics, swap beauty tips in real time and browse the looks and videos of other clients, according to the press release.
An additional feature, "Live Community Chat," will be launched on August 22 and will allow clients on any given product page to chat with other Sephora customers about their experience with that item before committing to the purchase.
Sephora, as ever, is at the forefront of the digital marketing game with the launch of its new social platform, the "Beauty Insider Community."
This latest move builds on Sephora’s digital-focused marketing strategy. The beauty retailer’s emphasis on technology is visible in almost every aspect of the brand, from its Virtual Artist app complete with augmented reality features, to its use of mobile-only offers to launch subscription services and status as one of the first retailers to use chatbots.
"As with any digital innovation that we bring to our clients, we look not only at how we can optimize our client’s online journey for a seamless on and offline experience, but also at how we can make our digital offerings truly essential, intuitive and fun to use," Mary Beth Laughton, senior vice president of digital at Sephora, said in a press release. "For our Beauty Insider Community, we set out to take all the things that were working really well across our various digital platforms and combine them for a unified, mobile-friendly experience. Community is for those clients who crave a deeper level of beauty connection and inspiration from people just like her, whom she can trust."
The social platform continues Sephora’s push toward experiential retail, found in the new small-format stores, as well as the Beauty TIP (Teach, Inspire, Play) Workshop concept stores, both of which emphasize the idea of a beauty community over a traditional shopping experience by offering beauty classes, consultations and other services.
And Sephora’s got a good reason to hone in on these experiences. Studies have shown time and time again that millennials prefer brands that offer an experience and Gen Z seems to be trending in a similar direction. A recent study by the IBM Institute of Business Value and the NRF showed that Gen Z actually wants more interaction with the brands that they purchase from, making Sephora’s new social platform a perfect fit for the social-heavy Gen Z.
If you’re not convinced yet, 80% of Gen Zers are influenced by social media when making purchase decisions and the young generation converts twice as much on mobile as any other generation. By allowing shoppers to interact with the brand in a social, mobile and experiential atmosphere, Sephora seems to be constructing the perfect storm to attract — and make loyal customers out of — Gen Z.