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Sephora improves forecasting, replenishment with AI

Sephora is applying artificial intelligence to key supply chain activities.

A global beauty giant is seeking to increase inventory turnover and reduce the risk of obsolescence, while also increasing product availability.

Sephora is deploying Relex Solutions artificial intelligence (AI)-based forecasting and replenishment software, with the goal of improving its demand forecasting and automated replenishment. The retailer also intends to utilize the Relex solution to upgrade its management of promotions, slow-moving products, new product introductions, and product ramp-downs.

Sephora is upgrading forecasting and replenishment as it makes efforts to ease omnichannel customer access to products. The company recently expanded its same-day delivery options and reintroduced an online advisory tool.

As part of its Beauty on Demand omnichannel fulfillment hub, Sephora is rolling out a new, proprietary, same-day delivery service. Customers who shop for items on Sephora’s e-commerce site or mobile app can select “same-day delivery” on the product detail page, input their ZIP code, and then add the desired product to their carts.

In addition to same-day delivery, Sephora also offers the proprietary omnichannel fulfillment options of buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) service at all stores, and curbside pickup at most locations.

And timed to the launch of its new same-day delivery service, Sephora is also reintroducing its shopping advisory tool, Live Beauty Help, formerly known as Home Chat. Live Beauty Help connecting online and mobile customers directly with a live beauty advisor, who will be an expert in Sephora’s categories, product assortment and application. 

Sephora is also making new efforts to provide customers with the products they want in a timely manner following four straight years of taking the top spot in the annual Retail Personalization Index compiled by marketing automation platform Sailthru. In the most recent 2020 edition of the Index, Sephora increased its score to 89 points out of a possible 100, up from 79 points in the 2019 Index, thanks to its focus on omnichannel personalization, user engagement and new ways to provide personalized shopping experiences at home.

Discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. also recently implemented Relex Solutions AI technology to improve demand forecasting and replenishment processes across both its Dollar Tree and Family Dollar discount retail banners. Dollar Tree will implement the Relex solution across all of its 15,800 stores and 26 distribution centers in North America to improve collaboration between stores and corporate central planning personnel.

“We are delighted to welcome Sephora, such a globally well-known and recognizable company, amongst our customers,” said Bertrand Henry, senior sales account executive, Relex Solutions. “We are excited to start proving how the flexibility of our AI-based solution can help Sephora master optimization, even as they continue to expand.”

“We are honored by the trust Sephora has placed in us as the chosen partner for their journey towards globally integrated and optimized supply chain management,” said Franck Westrelin, VP sales, Southern Europe & MENA, Relex Solutions.  “We look forward to setting out on that journey together and helping them achieve their goals.”

Based in Paris. Sephora is owned by LVMH and has expanded in 35 countries, operating more than 2.500 stores and 36 e-commerce sites globally.

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