Retailing and Department Store

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Retail Marketing Strategy
Case: Sephora

1. Sephora’s target market is men and women who care about beauty and think highly of their own appearance. Its segmentation is set on people who use cosmetics, skin or hair care products and fragrance products, with a little bit more expensive price. The decoration, various kinds of brands, and the atmosphere in the shop store attract its segment.

2. Women prefer the self-service environment of Sephora rather than the service-oriented environment in department store cosmetic areas because they can sample everything they interested in by their own. Through the organized category, women can explore and sample different beauty products without pressure from a salesperson when shopping in a department store. That way, customers can take the time and enjoy more on their shopping experience.

3. Sephora was unsuccessful in Japan and Germany due to the lack of understanding of the cultural different. Their unique retail concept of self-service may be one of the key points that lead Sephora to success in other countries but it also becomes a weakness when they entered the Japan and Germany markets. Japanese consumers are not used to the experience of self-service shopping environment. For them, lacking of customer service in a store is quiet strange. Otherwise, Sephora pay much attention on selling fragrance products in France, and on cosmetics in United States, but it failed to analyze the target product when selling in Japan.

4. I think a beauty retailer can make a successful transition online not only by taking care of the design on the web, they also need to update the website often. The website should better provide the detail of bands and products with pictures, the demonstrations and the comments. It is also a good way to highlight some popular products on the homepage and promote on sale products. Online advertising on search engine may help to increase the consumers. Sephora...
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