Sephora on Wednesday opened up on Instagram checkout through a digital storefront that allows shoppers to buy products directly from a user's Instagram feed or stories, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The beauty retailer is selling more than 80 brands on Instagram checkout, including Drunk Elephant, Milk Makeup and others, and shoppers will be able to make purchases either on Sephora's Instagram account or on "several" of its brand partners' accounts without leaving the Instagram platform.
Instagram shoppers who are loyalty members will still get perks, including earning Beauty Insider points on their purchases.
Sephora's move to Instagram checkout is a further indication of the growing importance of social commerce, especially as brands attempt to meet young consumers where they are.
Launched a year ago with 20 brand partners, including Adidas, Nike and H&M, the social platform's commerce feature has since continued to attract new retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch and Target. It's a way for many retailers to take advantage of trends that have pushed more online spending to mobile devices over the years, including at key shopping periods like Black Friday.
For Sephora, however, selling on Instagram has the added benefit of continuing to grow its relationship with the popular brands it sells. Both Sephora and rival Ulta have been intently focused on cultivating relationships with up-and-coming brands and DTC beauty sellers, often going after exclusive selling partnerships.
In recent months, Sephora has highlighted new brands through in-store merchandising initiatives, while Ulta launched a platform built specifically to highlight digitally native brands entering brick and mortar for the first time.
Instagram checkout may be able to help Sephora further the growth of the brands that it sells by opening up another channel, and one that's frequently turned to for discovery. Sephora said in its press release that the platform "allows these brands to scale their business" while also providing a "connected beauty buying experience" across the different accounts.
But it's not just Sephora's brand partners that will likely benefit from selling through the popular social platform. Sephora itself has a strong social media presence, with 20 million followers, and its customers are active on those platforms, according to Carolyn Bojanowski, senior vice president and general manager of eCommerce at Sephora.
"Our clients engage with social media in so many ways, like drawing inspiration from the community, getting tips from experts or learning about new beauty trends so we're always looking for new ways to enhance that beauty journey," Bojanowski said in a statement.