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Sephora makes big omnichannel push


Sephora is focusing on developing new strategies and technologies for omnichannel retailing with a new hub situated close to Silicon Velley.

The retailerofficially unveiled its San Francisco-located Innovation Lab, which will focus on the development of new strategies and technologies for both in-store and mobile shopping. In conjunction with the debut of the Lab, the beauty retailer announced the rollout of four new digital programs:

Beacons:Following a test program in San Francisco, Sephora will deploy Beacons in stores nationwide to deliver real time, personalized alerts to customers who opt-in. Shoppers can receive things like birthday alerts, loyalty program updates and be notified when new trainings are happening in-store.

Sephora Flash:This Amazon Prime-styled subscription service, offers customers free two-day shipping on all products for $10 a year. (Flash is free for Rouge Beauty Insider members, customers who spend more than $1,000 in a calendar year.)

Augmented Reality:Launching in April, the experience allows customers to engage with custom content by placing their phone over the images of nine female founders of featured Sephora cosmetic brands (the images are located in the retailer’s windows and display cases.). Scanning each image will show content options, such as brand founder interviews, product videos, animated GIFs, YouTube playlists and product pages on

Pocket Contour:Developed in partnership with Map My Beauty, this new mobile feature designed to take the mystery out of the fast-growing beauty trend of face contouring. By uploading a photo of herself to the app, a customer gets personalized step-by-step contouring advice and product recommendations.

Innovation Lab:The Innovation Lab is designed as a space where the Sephora team can “ideate, test, dream, experiment and learn.” The Lab team will be responsible for sourcing, developing, evaluating, testing and eventually launching new offerings and technologies for both in-store and mobile shopping.

“The Innovation Lab and dedicated management team gives us an incredible opportunity to drive the future of innovation,” said Bridget Dolan, VP of Sephora Innovation Lab. “Given our location in the heart of the digital and tech scene, we have strong visibility into the players and trends, both on and offline, that could be molded into Sephora-centric experiences. We have a relentless hunger for developing technologies and networking with emerging technology companies that might seem unexpected now, but could define the future of retail.”

The Lab also includes a “Think Tank” program, which will groom the next generation of Sephora management. The Lab will also oversee “Idea Central,” a program which seeks to source and deliver on ideas from employees nationwide – regardless of their rank or function.

“We’re completely focused on making shopping more efficient, intelligent and fun for our clients,” said Julie Bornstein, chief marketing and digital officer for Sephora.

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