Sephora, one of the world’s most popular cosmetics chains, contacted us in search of a partner to do a complete strategic makeover, enhancing its digital strategy, fostering innovation and re-powering its digital assets.
Leading the industry
Since its inception in 1969, Sephora has always stood out for its revolutionary proposals. They were the first to let customers walk into their shops and try their products without any commitment, when their competitors kept them under wraps behind the counter. Then, in 1999 Sephora revolutionised the industry again by launching their online shop, which set them above the rest.
New Contexts, New Challenges
Yet, the digital landscape is changing fast. By 2017 the on/off boundaries had blurred and it no longer made sense to talk about digital consumers, but about the digital consumer experience. National and international competition was increasing and consumers had become accustomed to high standards of service and quality (the so-called “Prime Effect“).
Sephora contacted us to carry out a complete strategic remodelling. We worked side by side with its CEO in Spain to expand the company’s lines of action, and to discover new business opportunities based on innovation and the digitalisation of assets.
We had to make the Sephora customer feel at the centre of all the brand’s actions in the digital environment as well.
Detecting Opportunities in the Digital Galaxy
The first step we took was a full audit of Sephora’s digital galaxy, using a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods which allowed us to identify the strong points in the internal and external perception of Sephora’s image:
- Employees were satisfied with the client-centric strategy, and motivated to take on new challenges and incorporate digital skills.
- Customers associated Sephora with the experience around the shop visit, but also with a predominantly older audience.
The research gave us the key: creating a meaningful connection with our customers.
Strengthening the Relationship with the Customer
The first task, therefore, was to create experiences that made a difference and had a direct impact on the customer journey. How?
To differentiate the brand from it’s competitors, we develop a digital presence and a relevant voice through an ambassador program (brand advocacy), and we increased the brand’s credibility.
Regarding the digital experience, we reinforced the digital touch points with the brand, especially to apps, e-commerce and digital marketing campaigns. We also refined the attribution model and optimised the marketing resources with a better defined model, understanding the influence of each element (content, channels…) on conversions.
Lastly, we optimise customer knowledge, by creating a data lake in order to group all the data captured thanks to a smart data model, obtaining information from the entire customer relationship cycle.
We wanted Sephora’s teams to learn how to detect and develop strategies adapted to the new digital scenarios.
Establishing and Consolidating a Digital Mindset
Our second objective was for Sephora’s teams to learn how to put digital at the heart of all their strategies, through training and innovation. To this end, we designed three main lines of action with a direct impact on the employee journey:
- Digital Mindset: There is no transformation without a change in the mindset of all employees, starting with senior management. Once this was achieved, a process of continuous training on new skills and digital tools began.
- Internal Community: We rethought the way in which employees communicated and shared ideas with each other, breaking down silos (barriers and divisions), increasing their commitment to the organisation and strengthening decision-making processes.
- Social Recruitment: to optimise digital talent acquisition, we used digital platforms to complete the processes of localisation, recruitment and HR management.
We provided the brand with new opportunities for innovation, and we enabled their teams to plan and tackle a wide range of digital projects of their own accord. All of this without ever losing sight of the true essence of the brand: a unique and differential customer experience.