Sephora becomes first beauty retailer to join chatbot app Kik

App converses instantly with users about a range of make-up topics

Sephora has made its debut on messaging app Kik, making it the first beauty retailer to use the platform. At the time of writing, the only other retailer on Kik, which has 275 million users, was clothing brand H&M.

The target market for the platform are millennials who commonly use technology to obtain product information. Users can make direct purchases from Kik while chatting with a Sephora chatbot about subjects such as beauty, product reviews, step-by-steps and recommendations.

Kik allows users to chat with friends and companies

The experience mimics a conversation with a shop assistant and begins with a short quiz so that the programme can deliver tailored content. Users need to enter their age group, favourite make-up brands and categories, and their must-have products. A video at the end then walks them through the recommendations. The app uses pop-up responses, so the user can type A or B rather than having to key in lots of text, and also uses plenty of emojis and images, for instance to determine the user’s facial shape.

Purchases can be made without leaving Kik: Sephora’s mobile site just pops up on top of it. The company has been promoting its Kik presence on Snapchat, which it has used since 2014.

“With messaging apps like Kik, brands have an enormous opportunity to connect with their audiences that’s much more personal and engaging,” said Erez Baum, CEO of imperson, one of Kik’s launch partners.

Kik’s Bot Shop formally launched on 5 April and is divided into three categories: entertainment, lifestyle and games. Early adopters include Vine, The Weather Channel and Funny Or Die, while Massively, Sequel and imperson will help developers and companies build bots on the platform.

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