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As consumers, the way we shop and the methods retailers use to engage us seem to evolve by the second. It's not enough just to have a picturesque print ad or snappy television commercial; both consumers and retailers are striving to connect in organic and exciting ways. Leading this evolution, there is no denying the innovative strides prestige retailers like Sephora have made in the science behind selling.
"Sephora isn't just a retailer," says Lucinda Newcomb, VP of Digital Product at Sephora. "We fundamentally believe technology can change the shape of the retail experience, and more importantly, be the critical unlock to make shopping more enjoyable for our clients. Whether it's browsing our powerful e-commerce channel, creating compelling social connectivity between like-minded clients, or memorable in store digital experiences."
In her five years with the company, Newcomb has led the way at Sephora in offering products and interactive solutions that consumers may have not known they even wanted. "I like to say 'Client Experience is Queen,' because we want to be where our clients want us to be before she gets there. We were early to Dotcom, early to Mobile, early to Store Digital… and we aren't stopping."
Recently, Sephora launched their groundbreaking (and extremely fun) Sephora Virtual Artist, which allows users to virtually try on makeup before they purchase it. Whether it is through client-facing mobile apps, in store innovations like Color IQ and Digital Makeover Guide or business tools ranging from analytics to personalization, Sephora is continuously looking towards the future and no one understands this better then Newcomb, who leads all Product Management. "My team is at the intersection of business and technology, defining, designing and delivering Sephora digital experiences that push the boundaries of retail. In other words, when our business partners dream up big ideas, like building a new online community, or launching a new mobile app, it is my team who turns that idea into a tangible client-facing design, then into a prioritized set of requirements, and then works with our developers to build and deliver it. We turn big ideas into reality. We look not just at what could we do, but figure out what should we do – and then go do it!"
Leading the industry in technological innovation isn't Sephora's only focus. The company is carving a path for workplace equality that has eluded many of its competitors. The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about how Sephora not only hires more women in tech, but retains them. "I've been in technology in some form or another for almost 25 years, so I have always been used to working with a lot of guys. At Sephora, our leadership team is led by incredibly smart, strong, successful women," says Newcomb.
For someone at the start of their career, Newcomb recommends finding a workplace culture that aligns to and amplifies your natural tendencies and values. "It wasn't until I joined Sephora that I learned how big an amplifier culture can be in your personal and professional development. I've been immensely successful and enjoy working here in ways I've never found anywhere else. So, work with your strengths, not against them."