Sephora turns to cloud-based seamless commerce

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Sephora is deploying a new cloud platform.

Sephora is freshening up its omnichannel shopping offering with a new cloud platform.

The beauty retailer is implementing the commercetools MACH (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless) architecture as its next-generation commerce solution. Sephora is aiming to unify its in-store and online shopping experiences for customers, bolster omnichannel offerings, and increase personalization throughout its digital experiences.

Sephora seeks to leverage commercetools cloud capabilities to more flexibly and cost-effectively accelerate new digital experiences and enhanced e-commerce functionalities. The company will move from an older legacy system to a composable architecture, and plans to continuously develop new frictionless features for its customers.

Sephora transforms enterprise
In the past year, Sephora has been undergoing a far-reaching enterprise transformation. In March 2022, the retailer began integrating the FreedomPay mobile POS platform in its stores. The new, touchless-capable FreedomPay payment system enables Sephora shoppers the option to pay via contactless payment methods and digital wallets all on their own mobile device.

In October 2021, Sephora deployed Relex Solutions artificial intelligence (AI)-based forecasting and replenishment software, with the goal of improving its demand forecasting and automated replenishment. The retailer also intends to utilize the Relex solution to upgrade its management of promotions, slow-moving products, new product introductions, and product ramp-downs.

Sephora is also reintroducing its shopping advisory tool, Live Beauty Help, formerly known as Home Chat. Live Beauty Help connects customers directly with a live beauty advisor, who will be an expert in Sephora’s categories, product assortment and application. This will enable customers to chat with real people online. Customers were previously able to use this tool on, and it has now expanded onto the Sephora mobile app.

The company has been unveiling these and other omnichannel conveniences following four straight years of taking the top spot in the annual Retail Personalization Index compiled by marketing automation platform Sailthru. In the most recent edition of the Index, Sephora increased its score to 89 points out of a possible 100, up from 79 points in the 2019 Index, thanks to its focus on omnichannel personalization, user engagement and new ways to provide personalized shopping experiences at home.

“At Sephora, we are constantly focused on delivering best-in-class experiences for our clients, both in our stores as well as online, and are dedicated to meeting their ever-evolving wants and needs,” said Sree Sreedhararaj, CTO of Sephora. “The superior technology and MACH-based architecture commercetools provides are not only incredibly reliable, but they also allow us to scale quickly and efficiently, ensuring our clients are always getting the digital experience they deserve and have come to expect from Sephora.”

“Sephora has long been the gold standard for digital customer experiences, continually reinventing how consumers shop online. At commercetools, we are excited to help Sephora continue to drive disruption in the space and deliver the most innovative and engaging opportunities for its customers,” said Dirk Hoerig, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of commercetools. “We’re honored that Sephora has chosen commercetools as its partner for the next generation of its digital commerce business.”

Sephora operates more than 500 stores across the Americas, and also operated 200 Sephora at Kohl’s store-within-a-store locations, in 2021, with plans to expand to at least 850 locations by 2023.