Sephora launches voice assistant app
French selective perfumery retailer Sephora has launched its app on Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant capable of helping its users in a number of tasks, by searching for information on a smartphone or the web. Sephora's is one of the first apps available on Google Assistant, after the launch in France of the Actions on Google platform, which allows certain apps to be voice-controlled, without installing them on a smartphone.
"The use of voice assistants and more recently of voice-activated loudspeakers has turned out to be more than just a fad. It's paving the way to a minor digital revolution, of which Sephora wants to be a pioneer. With these first functionalities, and the collaboration with Google, we plan to test the potential and the customers' reactions to voice-assisted retailing," said Anne-Véronique Baylac, in charge of digital at Sephora Europe and Middle East. As evidence of the major role that virtual assistants could play in the future, Sephora underlined how in 2016, in the USA alone, 49 million people used voice assistants, and 10 million voice-controlled speakers were sold.
The first functionalities available on Google Assistant for Sephora are the possibility to book beauty services, to play quiz games and to listen to beauty podcasts, curated weekly by influencers chosen by the retailer. Further functionalities will be introduced in 2018.
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