Sephora Realizes 150 Percent Growth in Mobile

Sephora's shoppers' use of mobile devices for research and purchasing has exploded over the past year, according to Johnna Marcus, director of Mobile & Digital Store Marketing for Sephora.

"We've seen 150 percent growth in the mobile space this past year, and we're seeing that continue, which is really outpacing the industry," Marcus told eMarketer.

Sephora has stepped up a number of mobile strategies over the past year, including adding tablets in-store to improve customer service. "Color IQ and Skincare IQ are two examples where we're using screen devices. With Color IQ, you come in to have your color matched and then use an iPad in a consultation to go through and actually filter and pick the products that are best for you. You're using an iPad, but it's really more about using data to augment that customer service relationship," Marcus said.

However, Sephora does not focus on mobile for just one channel or purpose. Rather, mobile is the seamless glue across all channels, according to Marcus.

"This purchase process and consideration has become more meandering, and we're using mobile as the thing that jumps into those places. The big thing is not to think of mobile as just shopping on the go. Mobile is a tool for in-store. It's a tool certainly for shopping on the go. It's a tool for research and consideration," she said.

For example, a Sephora customer may be browsing through unrelated boards and photos and Pinterest, and then happen upon a Sephora product she likes. "Maybe it starts with her doing something fun [such as] browsing on Pinterest…Maybe she's not ready to throw something in her cart right now…so she takes the products she likes, throws a heart on those to put them into her Loves list to save them, and comes back later," Marcus said.

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