Blog skyhook logo Using Location and Appticipation for the Sephora App

Feb 5, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Using Location and Appticipation for the Sephora App

Posted by Skyhook

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In our previous articles, we discussed that precise location data can provide richer insights into your users’ behavior and interest.  Those insights can help you decide the best places to build experiences that reduce friction between the user opening the app and getting value. We call this "appticipation." Having this contextual data on where and when your users are accessing your app and its functionalities can help you to design your app to become vital to the daily life of your users, with the end goal of delivering personalized app experiences to each of them.

The usage analysis we outlined in previous posts can help give you a better understanding of your app usage and functionality: now, we'll take those findings and see how a retail app like Sephora can apply appticipation to better understand what functionality users favor and use in the places they are in.

Sephora Has a Smart App

On the home screen of the Sephora app, users are served with 4 main options: to shop Sephora’s different products by category, access their loyalty rewards account, see beauty boards and watch tutorials, then see which products have mobile offers available.

Sephora also has an in-store mode, which transforms the app experiences once a user indicates they are in a store. Once a user turns on store mode, they can scan an item to see reviews, and order products online. Users can also sign in to get rewards, access their list of saved product favorites, load a gift card for in-app use, and see their past purchase history.

Imagining the Future


Sephora isn’t a Skyhook customer, but we can’t help ourselves when it comes to imagining what the next version of the app incorporating appticipation might look like. By conducting our recommended usage analysis of their data, it would be possible to uncover how and when users are accessing which of their app’s functionalities. To make the process more fluid, we recommend making the most vital In-Store mode features to the Sephora app experience prominent once a user enters a Sephora store.

Sephora with Appticipation

First off, store mode can be more obvious and accessible: today, users have to do a little digging to get to it. Having a simple button on the home screen for the user to indicate they are in the store could significantly improve usage of in-store mode. To take it a step further and make it a more seamless process, Sephora should use geofencing to let them know that a user is in a store and automatically put the app into store mode.  

In addition to automatic store mode, when users are in the store making decisions, they want different content and experiences than when they are browsing products at home. Users may do some in-app shopping while not in the store, and add certain items to their favorites list. But once they walk into the store, the app could pull from the user’s “loves” list to show them which of their favorite items were on sale in this particular store to incentivize them to buy today.

Because they will also be able to see the different shades, textures, or colors of the products in person, they should be able to easily check out, order, or remove item from their list. Since the app knows which store the user is in, it can present an in-store map on the home screen that pulls from users’ favorites list and shows them where they can find the products they selected, or their proximity based on what aisle they are in.

Would you like to be part of the designing for place series? Contact us today to get started on an app usage analysis.

Makeover Mode

Certain stores provide complimentary custom makeovers for customers that purchase $50 or more in product, or for their VIP members. What if users could reserve their spot right when they walk into a store, or right after they make that $50+ purchase in the store? Users could see what time slots are available, who is available (and their expertise: eyes, lips, certain skin type, etc.)

During the makeover, what if the rep could be able to provide recommendations to them on the user’s app? If the user booked an appointment and is able to share their favorites list with the rep, they should be able to search for and add products that they are currently using on the user, or that would work best with their skin type or tone. That way, they can keep this list for future shopping purchases, or easily reorder online at their convenience when they run out.

Payment & Rewards Mode

The user’s rewards card barcode should also be right at the top front and center once in store mode so that they can easily check out with their purchases without digging through multiple screens and menus.

If users pay with the app, the app could also track past purchases to either give users “you may also like….” when they are shopping, or serve up recommended / similar / past purchased products that are on sale in the store they are currently in.

By having these other prompts, Sephora can add context to their app and anticipate users’ next move and help to make their lives easier. Context, through appticipation, will also make their app more vital to their shopping experience and customer relationship to the Sephora brand. DFP_Header