October 19, 2010, 11:31 AM

Sephora debuts an app with bar code scanning and video

The new app one-ups the merchant’s m-commerce site with new features.

Lead Photo

The Sephora mobile app is highly graphical and includes such features as product videos.

Sephora North America has launched an iPhone app that trumps many retail apps by including such features as bar code scanning and video. The new app, dubbed Sephora to Go, was designed, the merchant says, to meld the ease and functionality of the beauty retailer’s mobile commerce site, m.Sephora.com, with additional exclusive features just for the app, including scanning and video.

“Sephora clients value innovation in beauty products as well as how to shop for beauty products.  With the launch of our new Sephora to Go app, we are providing our clients with unique features from Sephora available at their fingertips,” says Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of Sephora Direct.  “We are committed to leveraging the newest technologies to bring increased functionality and features to our clients. Our app redefines shopping at Sephora for iPhone users.”

The app lets shoppers buy products, see the latest product launches, check out Sephora how-to and product video clips, read ratings and reviews, look up previous purchases, access their Beauty Insider accounts, and create shopping lists.

Features exclusive to the Sephora to Go app include:

  • Scan: Shoppers in-store can take a picture of QR codes (two-dimensional bar codes) on any product and the app will instantly display product information, ratings and reviews, product videos, and more.
  • Today’s Obsession: This feature allows Sephora to highlight staff product favorites, Sephora promotions and new trends.
  • Videos: Shoppers can watch Sephora PRO Team tutorials, product demonstrations and get-the-look videos from the merchant’s extensive video library without leaving the app.

Sephora, No. 112 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, stresses that mobile shoppers without an iPhone can go to its m-commerce site to access many of the app’s features and functions, including its loyalty program, ratings and reviews, past purchase history, the ability to purchase any product, and more.

Mobile technology provider Branding Brand built the new app as well as the m-commerce site. Sephora started out in mobile shopping with a site built by customer ratings and reviews provider Bazaarvoice; the site was dedicated solely to ratings and reviews. Sephora now has integrated Bazaarvoice into the Branding Brand site and app so Sephora’s thousands of reviews remain accessible to mobile shoppers.

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