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Sephora Marketing Analytics Success Story


Sephora is a cosmetics retailer that has been a pioneer for a long time in creating and cultivating a trusting community of customers. These customers are not only offline but online as well and Sephora coordinates its approach on one channel to drive results in another. When we talk about the marketing strategy of Sephora, it is focused on blending online and in-store experiences. Sephora promotes its brand via social, mobile, and web platforms.

This article is all about learning the marketing analytics that is behind the success of Sephora and how its strategy is different from others when it comes to the retailers incorporating data into its omnichannel marketing components.

About Sephora

Sephora is a cosmetic brand that has been dealing with the women’s segment of cosmetics for years now. Sephora is a subsidiary of Louis Vuitton (LVMH) and owns around 300 brands having different price ranges. The name Sephora has been derived from “Sephos” which means pretty and “Zipporah” meaning beautiful wife.

At first, Sephora started as a fragrance chain then later it moved towards other cosmetic products. It offers a diverse set of products comprising around 15000+ variance. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Sephora offers the widest range of cosmetics and beauty products and has Ulta as its main competitor.

Now moving towards our main topic where we shall talk about how marketing analytics is helping Sephora stay one step ahead of its competitors and satisfy its customers as well.

The Sephora Mobile App

By doing enough market research, Sephora found out their customers are often using smartphones whenever they shop at the retailer’s brick-and-mortar locations. This shed light on the fact that all these shoppers were searching for outside recommendations, product reviews, and even better prices on the products they were considering purchasing in-store. This armed Sephora with so much data that they developed the Sephora Mobile App. This app was focused on providing shoppers with a mobile experience that could take care of their shopping needs. The app can copy the knowledge of a personal shopping assistant and provides product recommendations, reviews, and pricing information in a format that made it easier for the customer to purchase the products.

In simpler words, this app allowed customers to get all the help they needed to make a purchase whether in-store or online without having to speak to a sales representative.

Increased Sales Through Marketing Data

Sephora has this goal of focusing on creating a high-quality experience for each shopper. Whether they are shopping online or in-store, they need to enjoy the best-ever shopping experience. And to accomplish that, Sephora gathers data from their customer’s shopping habits and then uses it to design informative marketing content. This content is helpful to a wide segment of the audience and is also personalized to an individual shopper’s needs.

Related: Who is a Marketing Analyst? Key Responsibilities, Skills & Salary

Now how does Sephora gather this data? Well, it does that by analyzing the actions that a shopper makes once he goes to the product page. Whatever choices the shopper makes help Sephora understand the customer’s intentions. Based on that, they design a more personalized user experience that accounts for what the shopper is doing. Whether the shopper is planning a purchase for later or is ready to purchase or just comparing products.

More Interesting Success Stories

Use of 4P’s

Product strategy

Sephora uses many product strategies for retaining its customers and making new ones. By offering different services which are free to use, it attracts the attention of many customers. Similarly, beauty insider is a membership-based program that enables members to get access to different products at discounts. It helps the brand create awareness and spread word of mouth for its products. Sephora also offers free makeup tutorials to visitors inside the stores.

Price strategy

The operational efficiencies have given Sephora the freedom to offer competitive pricing as the lower operational costs allow them to have greater margins. Sephora uses this advantage to lure retailers and boost its marketing tactics. Similarly, this also allows Sephora to offer discounts often.

Place strategy

Did you ever get a chance to visit any of the Sephora stores? They have been designed so innovatively that one can spend an entire day without getting bored. All the products can be easily found as they are in a supermarket kind of arrangement. The insides are decorated in a nightclub manner and are specifically selected considering the target audience. You can find a very welcoming sales team inside including beauty experts to guide you through. If you need advice on the type of cosmetics suitable for you, they will happily assist you and even offer makeup tutorials. So you see, a lot of experiential value is attached to the brand thereby making the consumer feel empowered.

Distribution strategy

Sephora proudly follows the “Push Strategy” for marketing and promotion purposes. They follow unique tactics like offering an experience of tutorials and guides in the store. They even apply your favorite products on you to help you decide whether you should buy them or not. Sephora believes in attracting customers rather than pushing them for sales. And thus their promotion also involves the distribution of free samples for women to try on. These samples are given in stores giving customers a chance to sense the product. Sephora believes this strategy increases the willingness of a customer to buy.

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Final Thoughts:

By reading all of this, we can understand that Sephora was able to build customer confidence through product education and apply the best marketing analytics. They were able to address the needs of shoppers and influence more qualified sales while at the same time providing better online and in-store experiences. All of this was the result of the data-driven decisions and enabled Sephora to stay a dominant leader in the retail marketing specie for the past decade.

So that is how we can keep our audience’s needs on the top and by gathering relevant consumer information, we can stay ahead of trends and make better data-driven marketing decisions moving forward.