Sephora SEA Increases Augmented Reality Feature Adoption Rates by 28%

Product Feature:


28% Uplift in AR makeup feature user adoption


Although Sephora SEA built an extraordinary augmented reality (AR) feature, user adoption of the new experience lagged due to low customer awareness.


Sephora SEA created a step-by-step video highlighting the feature’s value, which they delivered to a targeted segment of users through push notifications, Content Cards, and in-app messaging.


Sephora SEA achieved a 28% increase in user adoption and 48% increase in overall traffic to the AR feature.

Global spend on augmented reality (AR) is expected to increase by 78.5%—to $18.8 billion—in 2020. More and more consumers crave new ways to simplify and enhance their lives, with over half wanting an augmented shopping experience to help purchase products. Identifying this fast-growing trend, Sephora SEA wanted to drive attention to their Virtual Artist (VA), an AR experience that allows users to try on makeup virtually.

While VA provided the Sephora app with a useful—and fun—feature, user adoption rates were low as most consumers were unaware of the tool. To help popularize the tool and drive stronger usage, Sephora SEA turned to Braze.

Channels Utilized

To Find the Perfect Shade

Because the feature is embedded within the larger Sephora app, Sephora SEA users were often unclear about how to access and make use of it. To fix the issue, Sephora SEA created a step-by-step video that showcases just what the Virtual Artist can do—then used three powerful channels, push, Content Cards and in-app messaging (IAM), to deliver the video effectively to their audience.

Instead of a (less effective) batch-and-blast approach, Sephora SEA carefully chose their target group for the campaign: Users who had viewed a makeup product page within the past 30 days but hadn’t used VA. Within that segment, they kept 20% of users as the control group to better assess campaign performance. The user flow went as follows:

  • Targeted users were sent a push notification and Content Card highlighting the step-by-step video
  • Afterwards, those who clicked on the Content Cards were sent an IAM
  • Users who clicked on the IAM were deep linked to VA to check out the experience

“Virtual Artist is an innovative feature which enables customers to try various makeup products without going to physical stores. Braze allows us to send push and in-app messages to promote the feature only to users who have viewed makeup products recently. This targeted segmentation greatly reduces unnecessary disturbance to less relevant users.”

Geoffrey IP
Regional Marketing Manager at Sephora SEA

Sephora Results: Increase in User Adoption, Usage-Per-User, and Overall Traffic

Through the combination of thoughtful segmentation and a cross-channel customer engagement strategy, Sephora SEA was able to increase their adoption of their VA feature by 28%. They also saw a 16% uplift in usage-per-user and an overall VA traffic increase of 48%.

28% Increase in User Adoption
16% Increase in Usage-Per-User
48% Increase in Overall VA Traffic

Key Takeway

No matter how exciting your app’s features are, they can’t succeed unless your users actually know about them. By identifying the issue and taking bold action, Sephora SEA was able to quickly drive feature adoption and increase its value to their users. To learn more about how the makeup brand is creating a culture of experimentation, check out how they used IAM gamification to drive higher conversion rates.