Sephora Brings Beauty to the Google Home Hub

Sephora and Google have partnered to bring consumers beauty-specific commands and YouTube integration. Owners of a Google Home Hub can now request to play any of Sephora’s video makeup tutorials using the Google Home wake-word. Sephora’s YouTube channel has more than one million subscribers and a library of 2,500+ videos for users to choose from. Video playback is also available.


Photo Credit: Sephora

Some examples of possible commands:

  • Hey Google, show me foundation tips videos from Sephora.
  • Hey Google, play everyday contour tutorial from Sephora.
  • Hey Google, play get ready with me eyebrow tutorial by Sephora.
  • Hey Google, show me bold lip color videos by Sephora.

Sephora is selling the Google Home Hub in their online store and at ten flagship locations. They are also offering a ‘Dream Vanity’ experience at flagship stores. A 20% discount on the Google Home Hub is available for Sephora VIB Rouge members.

Selling Tech at a Cosmetics Store

This move is not Sephora’s first time partnering with voice, and this move is also a part of Google’s interest in the wellness space. Sephora launched one of the first Actions for Google Assistant this time last year, initially allowing users to book beauty services, play quiz games, and listen to beauty podcasts. Now Google Assistant users can shop Sephora, and Google Home users can even use the Sephora Skincare Advisor feature to find nearest stores, get skin care tips, and to determine their skin type. Sephora also recently joined Google’s Shopping Actions program, which promotes ads adjacent to regular search results, in the Google Express shopping service, and in the Google Assistant app. About joining the voice space in 2017, Anne-Véronique Baylac of Digital for Sephora Europe and the Middle East commented,

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.

In regards to Google’s interest in the wellness space, they have recently announced plans to partner with Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s $250 million lifestyle empire.

Voice Commands for YouTube Video Tutorials

Video makeup tutorials uploaded to YouTube are one of the biggest genres on the online entertainment giant, with females reportedly primarily watching beauty videos. In 2017 beauty-related content views on YouTube were 88 billion. To understand the rate of growth in the online beauty industry, consider how in 2016 the annual views were 55 billion. While Sephora’s 1 million+ subscribers may seem impressive at first, it must be mentioned that individual make-up artists on YouTube have over 12 million subscribers, have been given opportunities to start their own brands with companies like L’Oreal, and there are over 5,000 different YouTube channels with over 1 million subscribers. A 2016 Refinery29 article discussed how the online presence of beauty content, specifically on YouTube, had changed consumer habits. Consumers now look to YouTube beauty gurus to decide which products to buy, often searching for multiple product reviews and tutorials before buying. Sephora knows this and has decided to try to capitalize on it. Adding voice command control so consumers can follow along without having to interrupt their makeup application will only help to grow the brand’s own presence on YouTube.

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