Discovery and experimentation in retail

  • Case Creating a playful and engaging experience with a beauty pioneer
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  • Client Sephora
  • Industry Retail
  • Capabilities Product Design
    Design Research
    Spatial Design
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Around the world, Sephora is an icon in the beauty and personal care industries. In addition to its own line, Sephora carries products from nearly 3,000 other brands online and in stores. Together we created a storefront and flagship store experience that was scaled to retail locations throughout Europe.

Challenge

While Sephora’s flagship location is in Plaza de Catalunya, Barcelona’s commercial and cultural center, it saw modest levels of foot traffic and in-store sales. We needed to shape a new experience around Sephora’s core values of discovery, fun, and fearless experimentation to reignite the spark for beauty lovers and engage curious newcomers.

Process

Our team traveled around Spain and France to interview Sephora’s local teams and customers, learning their desires and pain points when interacting with the brand and the stores. We laid out a roadmap of insights throughout a customer’s journey in a Sephora location. In co-creation workshops with stakeholders, we established future goals and defined three concepts that would address them.

Concept

Centered around Sephora’s DNA and branding principles, the new flagship goes beyond trying and purchasing products. Services like express makeup bars and interactive menus address customer desires around personalization and expert advice. A new category, the parapharmacy, completes Sephora’s skincare and wellness offerings. Implemented in over a hundred locations in Europe, the concept can scale to different formats, like a new shop-in-shop layout.

Impact

In-store visits and sales grew by 10%, and social media saw massive engagement – over two million interactions within the first three months of launch. Today, new flagship stores use the concept to establish their presence. 

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