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Q&A with Sephora: Makeup in the metaverse

Insider Intelligence spoke with Kate Biancamano, director of events and experiential marketing at Sephora, about expanding the beauty brand’s offerings into the virtual world. 

II: What is the SEPHORiA Virtual House of Beauty? 

Biancamano: SEPHORiA Virtual House of Beauty is our largest digital event in which we offer our Beauty Insiders a customized, immersive experience. The Virtual House of Beauty had a number of rooms and a plethora of content from our brand partners and Sephora Beauty directors for clients to partake in. The whole experience is meant to be interactive—with games for the clients to play, live content, and on-demand videos. It's a four-hour event, so clients could peruse the space digitally at their own pace.

Clients were in the home theater watching our master classes or collecting our free nonfungible token (NFT). We heard from our virtual event last year that clients wanted more gaming, so we added seven games this year to the SEPHORiA event. The ultimate prize for playing the games and collecting tokens was additional Beauty Insider points that they could use later to buy products. 

II: Why market beauty products within a virtual world? 

Biancamano: Nothing will ever match the in-person experience, but because we're able to create a more customized experience digitally, it allows us to showcase the products differently. Where a client might not be able to go to a store and interact one on one with a brand founder on any given day, we were able to offer that in the digital environment.

II: How will the beauty market change as gaming, NFTs, and the metaverse gain traction?

Biancamano: The opportunity to market in more virtual and 3D settings is growing. Brands have to blend live and virtual, which is the approach we are spearheading with our events. For example, we are promoting our digital events for Beauty Insiders, who can sign up for 100 points and get access to virtual events. There need to be perks to why the customer should partake in a virtual event, and we have found it a successful strategy in winning over clients with our points-based rewards. 

This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends,subscribe here.