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Sephora Direct: Investing in Social Media Essay


The company Sephora since 2008 through the creation of a new group has moved into direct marketing and digital initiatives, namely in the social networking world, initially through Facebook.

Entering a new world where there are no clear rules or similar experience to help you make the best decisions in this area has been a real challenge. After more than two years in this new digital environment, Sephora are conducting the 2011 management planning requires a greater investment by the president of the company who is willing to provide the necessary funds and always when the company generates a higher return .


Innovations introduced in the beauty business with no major products beauty companies, Sephora implement two new ways to offer their products to customers: Allow test their products without obligation.

Business Model inexpensive.

The client has many products you want to buy in stores, through offering other cosmetics (about 288 brands of products priced almost equal to that of large businesses).

With all that Sephora has turn into the largest retail chain of cosmetics medium enterprises but with wide market presence, which was a determining factor for the industry recognized manufacturers offered their produce factor which initially were denied.

Vice President Julie Bornstein, whose main objective is to find a reason to justify further investment in the area of social media, the goal is to quantify the return on investment and justify the requirement for increased budgetary allocation for his department.

The problem

Determine how to measure the ROI that allows the fulfillment of the objectives planned.

Analysis of innovations
Direct Marketing

Their loyalty program customer called Beauty Insiders, started in 2007, created with the intent to learn more about their customers, was strengthened with the inclusion of the idea not only provide discounts but provide benefits to their most frequent customers and the idea to unite the customers buying in store or online posting only your email address and date of birth, by e company was sending new one or even twice a week and the most frequent buyers sent them samples new products, and customers earned one point for every dollar spent on a purchase that could be redeemed for a product according to customer accumulate.

Beauty Insiders

Another innovation was the identification of customers who had an average annual purchases, which were known as clients VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider), who on the website had a distinctive icon, they were invited to special events at stores, and they are delivering gifts “Luxury,” and quick access to new products. The website Sephora.com

Through the Web site www.sephora.com 2009 the company ventured into a new business model, sales online, which quickly became a very important business for Sephora because of its low costs and high margins generating revenue compared to a typical store. The company saw the need to promote their website and the best alternative was to invest heavily in attracting visitors through the purchase of thousands of keywords (Google AdWords) for brands, products and beauty-related terms, which represent the source most important new traffic to your website. Sephora stimulated offering online purchase including shipping on purchases over $ 50 plus free sample three products per order. This brings them to have 3 million visitors per month and 310,000 visits each day.

Social Networks

Program reviews and classification of Goods

In 2008 the company made the decision to include in their website an application that allows customers to give their reviews even though this initiative was considered high risk, one study showed that most people were connected to the products instead of criticizing. This was promoted via email to Beauty Insiders, and in the first 24 hours had more than 32000 specifications and reviews and although initially the company sought to respond to customers, they decided that they are the same users who answer questions to others.


After the positive experience of receiving reviews and ratings of products through its Web site and its Bazar Voice platform, Sephora decided to venture into other areas of social networking as it is Facebook, the 2009 created the fan page Sephora for customers to contact the company and also serve as a means of direct advertising campaigns, managing to be a channel that greatly influenced the sales. In just two years tripled its audience to 900,000 registered fans and thus Sephora partnered with Facebook to be part of a new feature of the service that allowed people to indicate “they like”, which allowed detecting the inclinations of their customers, conduct surveys about their products.

Given the disadvantage of Facebook not to store questions and that clients all the information of a product, I took the initiative to insert into your website, a forum for questions and storing responses and allowing through an engine sophisticated search, consult them in a safe, private what they called Beauty Talk environment. Additionally allowed classifying people that offered their product knowledge to answer questions of others, establishing a standings in 35 different levels. Analysis of advantages and disadvantages

Estimate the return on investment based on past experience – Determine the ROI based on the measurement of customer satisfaction through social networks, blogs, mobile applications and more. Advantages: Increased certainty of the return value of investment will contribute to a better analysis for decision-making. He has experience in the use of social networks and benefits achieved.

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