Sephora Looks Ahead To Gen-Z With With Kik Messenger Partnership

The cosmetics chain looks to provide product recommendations, review info, and more via chatbot.

Sephora has made its debut on teen-favorite messaging app Kik, a move that suggests that the cosmetics giant is looking to prioritize the sort of customized, one-to-one interactions that consumers have come to expect in the on-demand era.

Users can now make purchases directly in the Kik app or simply pose questions regarding reviews, product recommendations, and more — ideally leading to a future in-store sale. While the interaction takes place with a chatbot, it is designed to mimic a personal, in-store conversation with an associate, and it can serve appropriate content to users based on their queries and a short quiz.

Beyond a personal interaction, Sephora’s use of Kik is also designed to bolster discovery, says Bindu Shah, VP of digital marketing at Sephora.

“With Kik, our clients can engage with us in a new way to learn beauty tips, watch how to videos, and read ratings and reviews which link to our site within the app,” Shah tells Mobile Commerce Daily. “That said, at Sephora, we always want to facilitate the consumer’s path from discovery to purchase via the latest platforms which is precisely what our partnership with Kik allows us to do.”

Sephora kik

The partnership is also an indicator that Sephora is looking to expand its customer base. The chain largely attracts Millennials and Gen-Xers, but this could be a sign of what’s to come as “Gen Z” ages into buying cosmetics. Older shoppers value one-to-one mobile interactions, of course, but many fail to grasp why they should have Kik if they’re active on iMessage and FB Messenger. Not so for younger users, among whom Kik’s popularity has skyrocketed.

Sephora has been active on Pinterest and ran a 2015 sweepstakes via Snapchat, so the chain is no stranger to social media; the engagement with Kik simply seems to be a bid to broaden its horizons and connect to a demographic that relates more to Kik, Snapchat, and Vine than Facebook or Pinterest.

It’s also worth nothing that Facebook is planning to introduce in-store payment for purchases through the Messenger app, so Sephora may be looking to stay a step ahead of the game there — and ultimately expand online Kik payments to in-store as well.

“Through our partnership with Kik, we saw an opportunity to engage with new and existing clients, particularly with the highly mobile/connected audience of Gen-Z and Younger Millennials, through a fun, new social platform,” Shah says. “At Sephora, innovation and agility are core to our brand DNA.

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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.