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Sephora to Launch Techy iPhone App

Sephora to Go iPhone app allows users to scan a product in-store and immediately be presented with videos, information and reviews.

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Sephora is taking its mobile strategy one step further with an iPhone app, Sephora to Go.

This story first appeared in the October 8, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Free on iTunes and usable on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices equipped with an operating system of 3.1 or later, the app includes the features available on the retailer’s mobile Web site, m.sephora.com, with additional exclusive features, including scanning and audio.

“We see the app as a bridge between our Web site and our stores,” said Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of Sephora Direct. “Our shopper definitely shops both channels and, with this app, everything is in one place. Users can view their past purchase histories, watch a how-to video for a product they’re considering, and more. The app will evolve over time — our focus was on the most convenient and usable features first — but we will be layering in more fun next year.”

In addition to allowing customers to buy products, the app’s scanning feature allows users to scan a product in-store and immediately be presented with videos, information, ratings and reviews, as well as the capability to add said product to a mobile shopping list. A Today’s Obsession feature offers favorite items from Sephora staffers, while a GPS feature leads shoppers using their smartphones to the nearest of Sephora’s 270 stores in North America. As buyers enter the physical Sephora store, the app picks up on which offerings are new since the customer was last at Sephora, along with event listings. Consumers can also get personal product recommendations based on their Sephora beauty profile.

Sephora chose to do an iPhone app because the vast majority of its customers using the mobile Web site are using iPhones to access it, said Bornstein. “The mobile Web site works across all platforms, but we did notice that iPhone was by far the most common way people are linking into it,” she said. The app was further refined with targeted feedback from Sephora’s Facebook page, noted Bornstein.

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