Sephora created a new digital storefront on Instagram where users can purchase items straight from its stories and posts. Using Instagram Checkout, shoppers can peruse and purchase more than 80 Sephora brands. With 20 million Instagram followers, Sephora’s new shop could appeal to a large audience, particularly as digital shopping takes precedence over in-store sprees during the Coronavirus pandemic. Many of the brands available include cult favorites such as Drunk Elephant, Milk Makeup, and Summer Fridays.
Sephora’s social media store arrives amidst growing e-commerce sales for the beauty brand. With stores shuttered during the pandemic, beauty consumers have turned online for shopping, raising Sephora’s digital sales by more than 30% in March. Though the brand is slowly reopening stores across the country, creating an alternative shopping space could appeal to consumers who do not feel comfortable going into a store, or for those already spending time on Instagram who prefer the convenience of checking out on the app.
Hosting a large-scale makeup shop will also benefit Instagram, as the platform leads the charge on commerce-related updates and functions, according to a Gartner report on the topic. When Instagram introduced its Checkout feature in 2019, almost 40% of the introductory brands were big name beauty brands. With the addition of Sephora, many of the indie brands carried by the company could get greater exposure and a potential opportunity to grow their social media presence via Instagram. Having a top name in the beauty market, like Sephora, could also bring new attention to Instagram’s shopping capabilities, increasing interest from other brands who may want to test out the checkout feature too.
The pleasing aesthetic and simplicity of shopping beauty products from Instagram could sway many Sephora shoppers to its new digital storefront. Shopping beauty on the app could also signal a new era of e-commerce as consumers continuously prioritize ease over all else.