Showrooming is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store or other offline settings, and then buying it online, sometimes at a lower price. Online stores often offer lower prices than their brick and mortar counterparts because they do not have the same overhead cost. (1)
Sephora steps up the digital strategy to let customers research products while in-store
“We think the customers should use their phones in stores,” said Johnna Marcus, Sephora’s director of mobile and digital store marketing, at Retail’s BIG Show hosted by the NRF. “Your phone is in your hand all the time, so we’re using the mobile experience to transform the shopping experience.”
In developing such a transformation, Sephora has emerged as a leading retailer when it comes to digital strategy. One-third of its e-commerce traffic comes from mobile and tablet devices, while its Sephora To Go app remains a huge success. Part of that success stems from the app’s focus on nurturing loyalty among and providing convenience for Sephora shoppers. Participants in the company’s Beauty Insider loyalty program can use the app to keep track of current store promos, past purchases, and loyalty points earned. Marcus says this has become one of the most popular features of the app, because if a customer is only a few dollars short of earning her next reward, she can update her shopping basket before she gets to the register.
“Our customers can use the app to track her Beauty Insider points, so while she’s shopping, she knows how many she has and can shop accordingly,” explained Marcus.
Information on past purchases is not only helpful for the consumer, but it’s valuable for Sephora, too. It’s not uncommon for a beauty shopper to lose track of the exact foundation shade or lipstick color purchased previously. For these types of repeat purchases, Sephora is able to intervene, look up the info at the register, and further drive that customer to make her purchase in-store. (2)