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10/15/2021

Sephora Launches Same-Day Delivery & Brings Back Live Chat in a New Way

Lisa Johnston
Senior Editor
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Same-day delivery service will be available seven days a week. Editorial credit: monticello / Shutterstock.com
Same-day delivery service will be available seven days a week. Editorial credit: monticello / Shutterstock.com

Sephora is throwing down in the fulfillment wars with the introduction of same-day delivery.

The beauty retailer now offers the speedy option as a preferred method on its website and mobile app for a $6.95 flat fee. Orders are fulfilled from nearby stores by a courier and delivered directly to the consumer.

The service is available seven days a week in select regions — Sephora says it’s offered in most major cities and suburbs — as long as orders are placed before 4:00pm. Those placed after 4:00 will be delivered the next day.  There is no required minimum spend, though not all products are eligible.

The service area is between 10 to 15 miles from a store depending on the location, a spokesperson told RIS News. And though Sephora also partners with Instacart for delivery, this service is separate from that relationship.

Consumers can opt in for order and delivery status notifications, and while the retailer recommends on its website that consumers be home to receive the order, all deliveries are contactless.  

As for the impetus in launching the service, Sephora said it recently surveyed its customers and found that nearly half of them cited same-day delivery as a top three delivery method. The company also offers buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) in all of its freestanding stores.

Indeed, in RIS News' recent Supply Chain Tech Study, 46% of retailers said they see same-day delivery to their customers as a top fulfillment opportunity to increase sales or margins, while 56% said the same of shipping from stores.  

And as supply chain snarls throw hefty wrenches into many retail operations today, being able to leverage its store base to meet consumers needs couldn't come at a more opportune time for the beauty retailer.   

[See also: Retailers to Work Off-Peak to Ease Supply Chain Holdup Ahead of Holidays]

As part of its consumer engagement efforts, Sephora is also bringing back its Live Beauty Help chat tool. Previously known as Home Chat, the service connects consumers with a Sephora Beauty Advisor to provide advice on products and use.

The live advisors can help with such things as choosing a product to match a skin tone, selecting gifts, finding the right hair care and beauty items, troubleshooting previous orders.

The service is now available on both the website and mobile app.

In addition to transforming its branded store and digital experiences, Sephora has been moving all of its beauty shops out of JCPenney — where it had operated since 2006 — and into Kohl’s. The company intends to bring its “Sephora at Kohl’s” experiences to at least 850 Kohl’s stores by next year, and the first of the shops opened this summer.  

[Related: JCPenney Preps for Life After Sephora]

Sephora also recently relaunched its Color iQ foundation matching service in its stores as part of its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The technology now leverages artificial intelligence to enable the retailer to make product recommendations that are both more accurate and account for a more diverse range of skin tones.

The company operates more than 2,700 stores in 35 countries, including more than 500 in the Americas. It opened its first store in 1998.

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