Nobody does personalization quite like Sephora, as we’ve learned three separate times. All together, the Sephora app, email marketing program and website deliver their own expertly personalized experiences. They’re also integrated with each other (and the in-store experience), creating a fully consistent experience, the main driver of customer satisfaction.

Evaluating retailers every year, we’ve learned that mobile often serves as a litmus test for a brand’s overall personalization prowess. While the app experience often lags behind other channels, those brands that have nailed it rise above.

Mobile commerce is perpetually on the rise, while smartphones influence 56 cents of every dollar spent in brick-and-mortar stores, as we research products, compare prices and interact with retailers’ apps in their physical stores. See how the Sephora app in particular rises above:

 

Virtual Artist: Find Your Best Look

One of the most talked about features of the Sephora app is Virtual Artist, which takes personalization to a whole new level. Virtual Artist uses augmented reality to let customers “try on” products, such as lipsticks and false eyelashes, to see how they look. When customers find a look they like, they can save it to the app for easy access later. Any beauty lover knows how difficult it is to figure out if a makeup product is right for them. Sephora’s Virtual Artist takes some of the guesswork out of the equation and makes it easier for shoppers to choose their best makeup shade and style.

Beauty Advisor Recommendations: Redefining Makeovers

Sephora offers many different makeover options, including full-face makeovers or mini-makeovers that focus on one specific area. The perfect foundation shade or a customer’s best eyebrow and lash look, for example. This is an incredibly popular service, one that’s easier to book with the Sephora app. It also fits in perfectly with the brand’s product recommendation strategy. Post-makeover, every product used appears in-app, making them easy to buy.

Personalized Alerts: Keeping You Updated

With the app, Sephora customers can opt in to receive relevant notifications on their mobile devices. These include reminders for Beauty Insiders to pick up their complimentary birthday gift, and alerts notifying them about the number of rewards points they currently have. In addition, these alerts keep shoppers updated on new products and upcoming in-store events and trainings.

Location Based Messages: Happening Now at a Sephora Near You

In addition to their personalized mobile alerts, Sephora also sends shoppers location-based mobile messages. For example, if a new product becomes available in select stores, Sephora sends notifications to shoppers who live nearby. The app also sends relevant messages to Sephora shoppers as they approach a store location. These include mobile-exclusive deals, product recommendations or events taking place in that particular store.

Beauty Quizzes and Buying Guides: Find Your Perfect Product

Finding the perfect product to meet a beauty or skincare concern can be an overwhelming task. Sephora’s app has many features to help customers determine which product best addresses their particular concern. These include product quizzes that recommend skincare, hair, or makeup products based on a customer’s answers. While this content helps customers learn which products are best for them, Sephora is able to collect valuable data to foster future personalization.

For example, the Concealer finder quiz asks customers about their main skin concern, their desired amount of coverage, and the type of finish they prefer. It then recommends the products that best meet their criteria. Customers can also access Buying Guides on the app, where they can choose a category such as skincare concerns, hair issues, or best of retinol to uncover product recommendations.

The Sephora app is just one example of a retailer nailing mobile personalization. See how Nike and Ulta are doing it.