On the Cutting Edge?

We've lauded cosmetics retailer Sephora for some time for its savvy use of multi-channel technologies to drive shopper traffic to both its bricks-and-mortar stores and to its website. What's more, Sephora was engaging in multi-channel marketing some time before the emergence of smartphone apps and before multi-channel shopping became a hot topic for the retail industry.

Now the retailer has done it once again with the introduction of iPads at 20 of its U.S. stores. Customers can use the devices to find reviews of Sephora products written by shoppers with similar skin profiles or use a special Sephora app to find out the complete list of ingredients in a given cosmetic and whether the product has caused irritation or allergic reactions in others.

And if you happened to love something you bought at Sephora previously but can't remember the product's exact name, there's an app for that as well. According to a recent Deloitte study, this is exactly the kind of thing retailers should be doing to keep themselves relevant in today's multi-channel world.

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