"Assist Me" Basket

Sephora

 

What is it?

This is a pattern found in some Sephora stores. When you visit Sephora, you can select between a red basket that signals assistants you want help or a black basket that signal assistants that you want to shop on your own.




How does this interaction or pattern work?

Sephora is one of the largest beauty store chains in the world. Sephora offers multiple beauty products like cosmetics, fragrances, skincare products and more.

Buying beauty products is a highly personal experience that doesn't necessarily have the same level of involvement for every person. For example, someone who is casually buying a fragrance usually has very different needs than someone who has strict skincare regimes. Because of this difference in behaviors and personal involvement, the experience of buying beauty products in a physical store can be widely different in the same cohort of people.

Sephora understands that some people might want to get assisted in every decision they make regarding a beauty product, and some people might want to browse around and only ask for help if they need, if at all.

To maximize their floor experience, Sephora provides two types of shopping baskets (black and red). The black basket tells Sephora employees that a client wants to shop around on their own, while the red basket tells them that a client wants to get assistance.

This system allows Sephora to provide a differentiated floor experience for customers, based on their particular desires and needs.




How does it help or delight the user?

Creating Boundaries, Adapting Context

In an evolving world where physical retail experiences need to compete with the convenience of online shopping, a differentiated retail floor experience can make a big difference.

Sephora understands that not all customers want to interact with their brand and stores in the same way. By providing simple mechanisms like an "assist me" basket, Sephora can create differentiated experiences for different types of customers.

In this case, the "assist me" basket not only allows Sephora to adapt to each customer by creating a personalized experience but also sets an effective boundaries system within their stores.

On the other hand, the business can also gain efficiency by better distributing the attention of their personnel based on the segmentation created by the baskets.

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