Sephora, the cosmetics retailer, is still best known for its brick-and-mortar shops that let customers test out high-end makeup, skincare and fragrance products with less pressure than typically comes with department store beauty counters. But that doesn’t mean the company, which has its US headquarters in San Francisco, isn’t focused on the increasingly important world of virtual shopping.
To that end, Sephora today rolled out what it’s calling a “social and mobile makeover.” The updates include a newly overhauled website with ultra specific search functionality, spruced up mobile web and iOS app, and a commitment to install iPads in more than 100 of its physical stores this year. The company has also developed an official integration with Pinterest, having added “Pin It” buttons to all of its brand and product pages. In all, it’s pretty big news: Julie Bornstein, the senior vice president of Sephora’s digital operations, tells me that this is the most comprehensive change to the company’s consumer tech side since it launched its first website way back in 1999.
The new updates are obviously pretty visual, so last week we swung by Sephora’s San Francisco flagship store to talk with Bornstein about the company’s strategy. Watch the video above to see why Sephora is embracing the constant comparison-shopping element that the web has brought, how the company’s San Francisco headquarters influences its tech focus, and more.