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Sephora’s ‘Beauty Stations’ Bring Makeup Tips Videos In-Store

Customers will be able to watch tutorials, consult with salespersons, and make purchases all in one visit.

YouTube stars move huge numbers when it comes to beauty tutorials or makeup recommendations, far more than most brands are able to harness. To help boost the popularity of branded videos, cosmetics retailer Sephora is launching in-store videos that will provide tutorials and ads, as well as recommended products to achieve certain looks.

Currently, Sephora’s YouTube channel has a little under 500,000 subscribers while British YouTube personality Zoella has over nine million. Additionally, a larger percentage of non-corporate beauty vlogs’ viewership is organic while branded beauty videos rely far more on paid views. Only 55 percent of Chanel’s monthly numbers on their YouTube channel come from organic views. Other companies, like Lancôme have it even worse, relying almost entirely on ads and paid views to push their view count.

Since consumers seem to gravitate more towards presumably less biased sources like YouTube stars when it comes to tutorials and product recommendations online, Sephora is staking out more of a claim for its videos within its own stores, designing them to be educational spaces.

Sephora CEO Calvin McDonald

Customers can watch tutorials in-store, consult with sales associates on how best to achieve a certain look, and watch videos of product recommendations and best selling products, updated in real time at what Sephora is calling Beauty Workshops.

Sephora hopes the integration of video and social media into physical stores will help tap into trends a lot quicker than if the company had to design traditional campaigns around them as they emerge. This way, customers can translate their video beauty consumption directly into purchases in one seamless visit to the store.

“It’s not digital for the sake of digital,” CEO Calvin McDonald told Digiday. “It’s a combination of products, services, and teachable moments that support our customers’ missions.”

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Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.