Sephora's Digital Journey

Sephora's Digital Journey
Case Code: BSTR566
Case Length: 14 Pages
Period: 2010-2018
Pub Date: 2019
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Sephora
Industry: Retail
Countries: US, Europe, South East Asian countries & Middle East countries
Themes: Digitalization, Digital Transformation, Market Expansion, Digital Technologies, Digital Innovation, Omni Channel Retail
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Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


This case study "Sephora's Digital Journey" describes the digital journey of Sephora since 1998. It discusses the history of Sephora and how its selling strategies were different from those of the traditional players in the retail industry, especially retailers of beauty products. The company’s foray into Digital are discussed with a detailed description of its personalization initiatives like the creation of different IQs. Sephora’s early use of augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence is also elaborated and the introduction of beacons, chatbots, and the Sephora Assistant in its in-stores is captured. The case also touches upon Sephora's customer facing technologies and the use of concept stores and digital educational content for its customers. The case then talks about the trends existing in the beauty industry and the challenges and opportunities for Sephora in the face of competition from retail giants and platform and e-commerce players.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • The changing preferences of the customers in the digital age
  • The impact of digital technologies on the retail industry
  • How digitalization is disrupting the retail industry
  • How the use of social media and community platforms is driving innovations in the retail industry
  • The emerging trends in the retail industry and how are they changing the face of the retail/beauty industry



Digitalization, Innovation, virtual reality, augmented reality, mobile applications, beauty industry, retail, chatbots, Sephora Assistant, Google analytics 360, beauty hubs, beauty insider programs, Digital technologies, business strategy, market expansion

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