September 30, 2010, 2:27 PM

Sephora dolls up its web site with an interactive community

BeautyTalk enables consumers to engage with each other and the retailer.

Lead Photo

BeautyTalk visitors can ask questions and view video tutorials from professional make-up artists.

Sephora USA Inc. has launched BeautyTalk, an online forum where consumers can pose questions to Sephora’s beauty experts and other consumers.

“There is enormous sharing of beauty information through digital and social media,” says Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of Sephora Direct, which includes the company’s e-commerce operation. She says the forum will help Sephora learn about the needs of its customers. Sephora is No. 112 on Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

The hub enables visitors to ask both Sephora staff and other shoppers beauty questions, view video tutorials led by professional make-up artists and access a Top 10 list of products chosen by celebrities, brand founders and make-up artists.


An area called The Lounge enables customers to describe their beauty purchases and experiences once they’ve registered with Existing customers can log in with their account information.  Additionally, a BeautyTalk Spotlight section features a BeautyTalk contributor of the week, as well as the best advice and most clever comment of the week. Consumers also can connect to Sephora’s blog, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages from the forum.

Though still in beta test mode, the forum is open to everyone. A spokeswoman says the community launched two weeks ago to employees who then built up content. Sephora’s more than 800,000 Facebook fans also got a sneak peak Tuesday of BeautyTalk, one day before the formal announcement.

Sephora’s social media team posted news of launch on the e-retailer’s Facebook page and linked to a video announcement featuring two members of the social media team who described BeautyTalk as another place beauty fans can share their ideas. Within 24 hours, more than 400 people had Liked the video and posted more than 55 comments about the launch.

Lithium Technologies Corp. built the forum. The company provides similar services for such companies as Barnes & Noble Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc. and The Home Depot

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