How Sephora is leveraging AR and AI to transform retail and help customers buy cosmetics

Summary:

  1. Customers can leverage tutorials and Sephora Virtual Artist technology on integrated iPad stations, or gather inspiration from The Beauty Board, Sephora’s shoppable gallery showcasing user-generated content via a large digital screen.
  2. While other cosmetic companies rely heavily on department store sales, Sephora offers customers a number of tech options that allow them to personalize their shopping experience by trying on makeup virtually using AR, matching their skin tone to a foundation with AI, and sampling a fragrance via a touchscreen and scented air.
  3. In response, the company partnered with Pantone to develop a shade-matching technology called Color IQ, a handheld device that will soon be in all North American Sephora stores that provides a read of each customer’s skin tone.
  4. Further, in Sephora’s Innovation Lab, launched in 2015, a team of executives hired from the marketing, product development, and technology industries source, develop, evaluate, test, and ultimately launch new offerings and technologies for shopping in the store and online.
  5. Perhaps its most innovative and accessible mobile offering is Sephora Virtual Artist, an AR tool that allows customers to try on thousands of shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, false lashes, and many other makeup products sold at Sephora.
  6. It’s Sephora, the industry-leading chain of cosmetic stores that has leveraged digital transformation to take pole position as the number one speciality beauty retailer in the world.
  7. “Sephora is also diversifying its approach to digital transformation by focusing on the areas where other companies are struggling,” Solis said.

Source: sephora_cover_story_final

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