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07/13/2022

Sephora CTO Sree Sreedhararaj Reveals the Beauty Retailer’s Digital Dominance Journey

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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The prestige beauty retailer is on a mission to give its customers the ability to shop without constraints, anytime, anywhere.

Sephora is taking “the next step in its digital dominance journey,” Sree Sreedhararaj, chief technology officer of Sephora, tells RIS.

The prestige beauty retailer is on a mission to give its customers the ability to shop without constraints, anytime, anywhere. Sephora already offers thousands of products from more than 340 curated brands, online and mobile app experiences, services at the Beauty Studio and expertly trained Beauty Advisors in more than 500 stores across the Americas. As the retailer looks to the future of its business, it's aiming to unify its in-store and online shopping experiences for customers, bolster omnichannel offerings, and increase personalization throughout its digital experiences.

To achieve this, the retailer is accelerating its digital architecture growth with state-of-the-art MACH (Microservices Based, API-First, Cloud-Native, Headless)-based technology, which will allow it to continue to provide modern, seamless digital experiences for its customers.

“There are many perks to moving to a MACH program for such a big business as Sephora’s,” Sreedhararaj says. “We are a modern ecosystem, with a variety of complex functions that need to be seamless for the benefit of our clients, whether that be quickly jumping product swatches, checking out with our Same Day Delivery option, or choosing your Beauty Insider rewards – this all has to happen seamlessly and quickly.  This new technology architecture allows us to continue to scale, as quickly as our appetite desires.”

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Sephora tapped commercetools for the next-generation commerce solution and with the technology, the retailer will be able to more flexibly, and cost-effectively accelerate new digital experiences and enhanced e-commerce functionalities.

Empowering Sephora to move from an older legacy system to a composable architecture, the commercetools MACH-based approach to commerce was a natural fit and progression for the retailer.

“Our current platform is not considered a headless or MACH-based, however over the last six years Sephora has identified and integrated headless capabilities to our current site, which helped solidify Sephora as one of the most successful website and mobile apps in the world,” explains Sreedhararaj. “And there’s more to do, which is why we are going to this new platform experience."

Selected through a very thorough and intensive evaluation of the solution, Sephora found commercetools to be the most performant, scalable, and reliable offering, best equipped to meet all of its needs.

"Like any successful e-commerce business, changing the propellers while inflight is the hardest task. At Sephora we have some of the most talented technology teams who are currently working with commercetools to take benefits of all its features while recreating the amazing experiences which our clients have come to know us for."
Sree Sreedhararaj, chief technology officer of Sephora

"However, like any successful e-commerce business, changing the propellers while inflight is the hardest task," says Sreedhararaj. "At Sephora we have some of the most talented technology teams who are currently working with commercetools to take benefits of all its features while recreating the amazing experiences which our clients have come to know us for.”

The work won’t happen overnight, Sreedhararaj notes. “Sephora will take the next two years to migrate and refine our e-commerce capabilities with the new platform, including some new features we know our clients will appreciate.”

As the retailer looks ahead, it’s building a solid foundation for its digital ecosystem.

“Sephora is one of the most successful website and mobile apps in the world, and to continue to deliver the experiences our clients love us for, this is the next step in our digital dominance journey,” says Sreedhararaj. “Simply put, this new technology architecture allows us to continue to scale as quickly as our appetite desires, and provides consistent experiences across all Sephora touchpoints.”