The unveiling of Sephora’s first Asian concept store in Shanghai last week underlines the growing influence and importance of experiences for digital natives in China’s fast-evolving $22 billion beauty industry. Big-name brands and beauty startups alike are harnessing innovative, immersive technologies to target young Chinese consumers who are eager to invest in experimentation and discovery.
The LVMH-owned brand is putting its omnichannel strategy into action in the Chinese market by bringing localized social and e-commerce channels in store. Its interactive “cloud shelf” lets customers order and browse products online through a voice and touch-activated screen. Customers can test out new looks via Sephora’s Virtual Artist makeup app, which operates in collaboration with China’s leading augmented reality (AR) beauty app Meitu. Sephora also tapped into China’s new era of social commerce, launching a WeChat mini-program boutique where customers can book makeovers and learn about the latest beauty trends, all on WeChat’s mobile app.