"A retailer's work is never done, especially at Sephora — we never hit pause on our innovation pipeline." Deborah Yeh
Deborah Yeh, SVP of marketing and brand at Sephora, gave Retail Dive a glimpse into three of the retailer's most dynamic marketing moves.
The floor is a checkerboard of glossy black and white tiles leading to a central red table with five bar stools per side and accompanying iPads. This is where customers come to learn more about products, how to use them for various purposes and, perhaps most importantly, to experiment.
Store associates are there to answer questions and help the customer's experience along, keeping a record of the products tested and talked about for the shopper to take with them. That way, a customer will remember which products they tried out, what worked and what didn't, without having to rely too much on their own memory.
Is this the store of the future? No, it's a Sephora Beauty TIP workshop. In fact, it's not even the newest concept from the beauty retailer. The Beauty TIP concept was introduced in 2015, with the first store opening in San Francisco, and later rolling out to more locations. Since then, Sephora has launched the first "Sephora Studio," a small-format store on Boston's Newbury Street which opened this July, and the Beauty Insider Community, a social platform for Sephora's clients to talk about everything from product recommendations to styling techniques, which launched in August.
Each concept has been laser-focused on the experiential, the engaging, the often overlooked element of fun that goes into the shopping process — and it's working. The concepts are winning over customers (or, beauty lovers, if you're Sephora), leading the beauty retailer to expand concepts and drive ever more innovation.
So what's the purpose behind these stores, what do they add to the 'Sephora experience' and where is Sephora striking next? Deborah Yeh, senior vice president of marketing and brand at Sephora, gave Retail Dive a glimpse into Sephora's strategy to drive the customer experience and form personal customer connections.
Beauty TIP Workshop
Sephora Studio: generating an "inclusive neighborhood feel"
The Beauty Insider Community: a forum for "real talk"