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E-Business: Sephora.com

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  1. Presentation of the Company
    1. History of Sephora
    2. Range of Products
    3. Corporate Culture
  2. E-business analysis
    1. Porter's Analysis
    2. Description of the website
    3. Comparison of Sephora and Marionnaud

E-Business is a new form of business that allows clients to get information and make purchases through the Internet.

During the seminar we had the opportunity to analyze different firms and to see how the entry to the Internet market place has increased the brand recognition.

People are using the Internet more and more now. This tool allows users to get rapid information and to compare the offers of different companies without having to wander around in stores. Nowadays, we can get almost whatever we need by searching on the web. It is an easy way of getting all the goods and services you might want from any place as long as you can get a connection to the Internet.

In this report we will analyze the e-business of Sephora. This company sells cosmetic products in its own shops. Recently, the web site of the company has started providing a great range of services and information to all visitors.

In order to have a better overview of the market, we will make a comparison between Sephora's and Marionnaud's websites. Both companies have been doing business in the same sector: cosmetics. Sephora is widely established in France. This will allow us to make recommendations to improve Sephora's e-business model.

In 1969, Dominique Mandonnaud established his first perfumery in Limoges. He wanted to avoid the concept of a simple shop. For this he decided to organize his shop like a site of visit. All clients were able to have access to all the products, without asking any help. It allowed customers to touch, compare and smell all the range of goods.

For Mandonnaud, the salesperson has the role of a counsellor in beauty rather than a simple seller. People went to his shop because of the expertise of the staff.

It was a new experience for the customers. They could find all the luxury brands as well as exclusive products that could only be found in his boutique
This new concept was a real success, people came to the shops in larger numbers. In 1979, around 10 new shops were established under the brand name Shop 8. It was only by the end of the 80s that the first Shop 8 opened in the region of Paris. The mission of Sephora is to make luxury and beauty accessible to everyone. The concept ?1001 perfumes? represents this idea: luxurious yet sober.

In 1994, Sephora became the name of this unconventional distribution channel. Symbol of elegance, freedom and joy, Sephora is the name of Moose's spouse. She is the best representative of the brand image: Audacious, free, intelligent, generous and modern. She is the image of the perfect clients of Sephora's stores.

1996 was the year of the grand opening. The largest perfumery of the world was opened by Sephora. Located in the Champs-Elysees, the store is open 7 days a week until midnight.

LVMH (Louis Vuitton ? Moet ? Hennessy) took control over the brand in 1997. In 1998, Sephora decided to implement its international expansion in the United States of America, in New-York. Over 12,000 products were then referenced in Sephora Soho. The universe of Sephora became accessible on the Internet in the USA in 1999. www.Sephora.com permits American customers to make purchases online. With 418 stores in Europe (183 in France) and 82 shops in the USA in 2004, Sephora is recognized worldwide for its innovative concepts and its specific offers of products. The success of the brand continues its growth.

[...] You have to rate the website from 0 to 10 on different areas. Here are some examples of questions that are asked in this opinion poll: 2. Marionnaud's web site General Organization The website resembles a lot to Sephora's one. All the general rubrics are almost the same. It is also very clear and simple to access the area you desire. I would say that the choices in the color do not bring an image of a classy brand. They are communicating on the different brands rather than on the products. [...]


[...] Sephora.com also has a parcel tracking system. You can check the stage at which your order is. You know if your item is still on the way or if the packet is about to arrive. The company even sends e-mails if the article is not available. It proposes different alternatives such as choosing another product or having a reduction voucher for your next order. Services Sephora is a service-oriented business. People in stores are trained to provide the best information to any customer about any product offered. [...]


[...] In this case, we could say that the success of Sephora.com relies on the communication of the company. The shopping bags are printed with the website address, people have the brand name in mind, and the website address is very simple. With it 7 websites, clients from France, Spain, the US, Greece, Italy, China, Poland and the Czech Republic are able to get information from Sephora. Thanks to the company's websites, it can communicate in its shops and be present in the minds of the consumers, wherever they are. [...]

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