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Sephora.com is the single largest prestige-beauty door in the world, but it is definitely not content to rest on its considerable megabytes. Like that famous car-rental company, they try harder. Case in point: In April, Sephora relaunched its Web site, with optimized search and personalization functions, improved visuals, an enriched Beauty Insider area and a streamlined checkout feature, among other upgrades. Most ingenuous was Sephora’s seamless integration of brick-and-mortar and digital. For example, Skincare IQ, an in-store and online diagnostic tool designed to help consumers navigate through the retailer’s treatment assortment, became truly feasible to create, thanks to product attribute tags (up to 25 for each item) that the company developed for the Web site. Said Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of digital, earlier this year, “As we started rebuilding sephora.com, the focus was to build something that has tremendous flexibility and intelligence at the core, so that you can change locations and interfaces and devices and create a useful consumer experience.” No help desk needed here.
This story first appeared in the December 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.