I’ve been sharing my thoughts on the use of “big data” within the beauty industry in my Predictive Analytics class this semester. I posted one of my papers a few weeks ago and wanted to share another, from an article on Sephora’s social media analytics.

Abstract: The article examines how Sephora uses Pinterest Analytics to track activity of their followers to create content their followers will be interested in, leading to more traffic to the company’s own website. Sephora actively began incorporating Pinterest into their marketing strategy, with the first step of integrating Pinterest on its website by adding the “Pint It” button. They added links to Pinterest in their email blasts and began creating themed boards to compliment these e-mailed marketing promotions. In the month following the email campaign, Sephora saw 60% growth in traffic from Pinterest. By using real-time metrics created by Pinterest and categories listed Most Recent, Most Repinned and Most Clicked, Sephora was easily able to see the popularity of new website content, e-mail marketing and their activity within Pinterest like new pins and pinboards. Sephora found that their most popular Pinterest content includes beauty lists, color swatches and face charts.

Sephora is a pioneer in gathering customer data and utilizing analytics programs to best provide for consumers. They were the first retailer in the industry to establish a rewards card that customers could used to sync up their online shopping account with in-store purchases. The advantage: customers could track their own purchases and any samples they received and Sephora could track customer-purchasing trends. Like any rewards card, there are perks, and with a Sephora Beauty Rewards Card, you receive a personalized profile online with recommended products, beauty tutorials, special discounts and free samples of new beauty products. For companies like Sephora, this is a small price to pay for such a large amount of data.

Utilizing predictive analytics creates a chain reaction for retailers, especially in an industry that is driven by word of mouth and recommendations. Retailers can use analytics to give their customers special offers, show them how to use their products and give beauty advice, all tailored to the individual shopper. This in return brings customers back to the retailer to purchase and try new products. Specifically in the case of Pinterest Analytics, Sephora cannot only recommend products they sell, but create visual boards to group colors, brands and looks together. I have realized that customers want ease of shopping and this is what Sephora has done.