Sephora SEA Used In-App Message Gamification to Increase Purchases by 132%

Product Feature:


132% Increase in purchases by campaign recipients


Beauty brand Sephora SEA needed a memorable, attention-grabbing way to stand out in a very competitive, highly saturated market.


Using the Braze platform’s customization and streaming data abilities, Sephora SEA created a special “Ang Pao” campaign in its Malaysia market on the eve of Lunar New Year.


Sephora SEA was able to achieve a 132% increase in purchases from customers who participated in the event.

For fresh-faced beginners to celebrity makeup artists alike, Sephora is the ultimate beauty mecca. With over 2,600 stores in 34 countries worldwide, the French-headquartered company features nearly 300 brands, including its own private label, that allows customers to contour, curl, and double cleanse to their hearts’ desire.

Even with success and a cult following, it takes more than a sale to stand out in the highly competitive beauty industry. Sephora SEA, Sephora’s Southeast Asia division, needed a compelling, creative way to cut through the noise of a crowded, highly competitive market and capture consumers’ attention. So they turned to Braze.

In-App Messages Get a Makeover

In Malaysia, giving out red packets, or “Ang Paos”, during the Lunar New Year is a gesture of good fortune and luck. On the eve of 2020’s Lunar New Year holiday, Sephora SEA planned a promotional campaign that mimicked the tradition of gifting Ang Paos to their users.On January 15-17, consumers in Sephora SEA’s Malaysia market received a virtual red packet at noon in the form of an in-app message (IAM). When they tapped to open the gift, it revealed a surprise gift ranging from cash vouchers to loyalty program points to a premium Dyson Hair Dryer.

The Braze platform’s customization capabilities enabled the Sephora SEA team to bring their creative strategy to life. Here’s how it worked:

  • Sephora SEA built a custom HTML IAM for their Braze campaign
  • They connected the campaign to a Google Sheet, building a library where they copied and pasted the JavaScript back into the code itself
  • Then the sheet was tied to an API endpoint, and the IAM communicated to the Google Sheet through the JavaScript API
  • The prize was pulled in through an API trigger

After a consumer won a gift, Sephora SEA sent another IAM that allowed the user to fill in personal details, which was added to their user profile in real time. The streaming data capabilities and ease of message customization made the Braze platform the perfect platform to execute this gamification strategy.

“It only took us a month for the whole ideation and execution of this Angpao game,” said Geoffrey IP, Regional Mobile Marketing Manager at Sephora SEA. “Thanks to the flexibility of Braze and in-app messages, which provided us a technical short cut to set up and test on the idea.”

Sephora SEA’s Results: 132% Increase in Purchases

For the campaign, Sephora SEA focused on one conversion metric—purchases—and the incremental impact of the campaign. They found a 132% uplift in purchases between those who played the angpao campaign versus those who didn’t. Sephora SEA tracked this campaign for 30 days. Surprisingly, the majority of the boost came from those who received the lowest-valued prizes, suggesting that the game itself was responsible for conversions, not the monetary incentive.

Key Takeaway

With a focus on creating brilliant consumer experiences, Sephora SEA is committed to finding new ways to provide real value to their customers. By taking advantage of Braze, the team can quickly test and innovate on campaigns, ensuring brand loyalty for years to come.

To learn more about how other brands delight their customers (and achieve high conversion rates), check out how iHeartRadio Australia boosted Monthly Active Users (MAU) by 17% with an innovative cross channel campaign.