US beauty retail giant Sephora has debuted on messaging app Kik in a bid to drive sales in a one-to-one mobile experience with consumers now having the ability to purchase direct from the app while talking to a ‘chatbot’.
The LVMH-owned brand is targeting digital-driven consumers by launching onto the app, where customers can chat to a messaging service regarding their beauty queries, and consequently purchase direct from the app.
Bindu Shah, vice president of digital marketing at Sephora, says, “With Kik, our clients can engage with us in a new way to learn beauty tips, watch how to videos, and read ratings and reviews which link to our site within the app. That said, at Sephora, we always want to facilitate the consumer’s path from discovery to purchase via the latest platforms which is precisely what our partnership with Kik allows us to do.
“Through our partnership with Kik, we saw an opportunity to engage with new and existing clients, particularly with the highly mobile/connected audience of Gen-Z and younger millennials, through a fun, new social platform. At Sephora, innovation and agility are core to our brand DNA.”
Shah continued, “As part of this, our social marketing team continually tests emerging platforms that are a brand fit and that offer our clients new ways to engage with Sephora. Our Gen-Z clients are spending increasing amounts of time on messaging apps; with Kik we can be part of her messaging app experience.”
Consumers can start a conversation with the app and take part in a small quiz to customize products to their particular needs. The chatbot will then tailor the conversation to the customer, in turn driving sales.
Indeed, Shah sees chat as the future of commerce, she says, “Chatbots enable the customer to make an informed choice, save time, no waiting, and possibly money too, personalized deals. Chatbots reduce customer friction, improve customer loyalty and drive cross-sell and up-sell.
“Chat is clearly the future of commerce. It is going to transform not just online ecommerce, but also offline commerce. Every customer touch point, whether it is before, during or after the sale, will be through chat.”