Sorting Makeup By Age, Hair Color And Ingredients. Sephora's Customization Effort

When Sephora, the global cosmetic chain, updated its Web site on Monday (April 9), it made some very impressive tagging decisions to enable personalization at the age and makeup ingredient level. Below the stats the 300-store chain released—such as that each product will now be tagged with 25 different characteristics and that this tagging took 50 people 5,000 hours to complete—is the obvious in hindsight observation that a 16-year-old girl is probably not interested in seeing the same cosmetics that would appeal to a 70-year-old woman.

The goals of hiding different things—say wrinkles versus pimples—would suggest different products, as would skin tone, hair color, eye color, lighting (office versus nightclub) and even clothing. Sephora will also enable searches by ingredients—for consumers who are allergic to specific chemicals—and fragrance. (It also enables search by price, but Sephora doesn't get any brownie points for that.) And although it certainly helps the customers find the right product, it does even more for CRM files. Age, hair color, allergies and full cosmetics preferences? Welcome to CRM heaven, cosmetics-style.