After observing the continuous influence of 3D on digital transformation (and the acquisition of Substance Premier), Adobe launched a campaign around the future of 3D. This was communicated through Taking Shape, an immersive journey through the world of 3D art and design, which celebrates artists and encourages creators to discover Substance’s 3D tools. Adobe partnered with DOGSTUDIO/DEPT® to develop an immersive experience featuring Substance 3D’s software.
The journey into the world of 3D art and design
Through the Taking Shape initiative, Adobe wanted to create an educational space that supports 3D creators, providing them with trends and solutions on how they can best use the software. The Taking Shape initiative is hosted by Jesse Damiani – a writer, curator and producer from Forbes magazine – who takes us through a journey to explore the multi-faceted world of digital 3D art.
Through the Taking Shape project, Damiani and artists discuss their workflows and how each style captures the current creative trends in our world.
The challenge of 3D experiences
DOGSTUDIO/DEPT® faced two challenges:
- Creating an online world that was both inviting and intriguing. With the resurgence in physical events and exhibitions, the team had to work around a concept that would imitate the art in real life, virtually.
- The lack of a 3D prototype. Initial concepts were based on 2D designs and were difficult to translate to 3D environments and camera movements.
Inviting users to the gallery
To maintain users’ interests without flooding them with too much information, we decided to replicate a virtual gallery. Throughout the gallery, artists describe the new dimensions they bring to life as their work is reframed in a virtual space. Each style or movement is presented through a web series of 3 curated styles: Photorealism, Surreality and X-topia. These curations ended up as the virtual rooms’ names to help users navigate.
Getting lost within the virtual rooms of 3D art
When entering the site, users are guided through a hallway to the different rooms which can also be accessed through a map, maintaining the visual immersive experience. Each room focuses around an emerging trend, growing movement, or creative approach shaping the field of 3D.
Even though the initial concepts were based on 2D designs, DOGSTUDIO/DEPT®’s creative and 3D design teams saw this as an opportunity to innovate. With close collaboration and frequent feedback from the client, the team built a new concept for each room with a design related to each theme explored. Upon entering the room, users can go through the web series episodes where Damiani walks us through the selected style or movement and how advancements in 3D software help creators of this style. Cursors within the page allow users to navigate through artists whose work represent the selected style.
As users navigate through the rooms, they can find information about the artists’ styles, techniques and how this software helped them achieve their desired outcome. The gallery and content provided aim to remind users that anyone can produce such models with the help of Substance 3D.
Photorealism highlights the advancements in technology that help make art more realistic – whether the subject is real or imaginary. This room showcases how impactful realistic materials are in the growth of digital art.
The Surreality room reflects surrealism, an older art movement which has paved the way to potential future realities. Damiani describes this concept as a way to “unleash the subconscious mind,” further pushing the boundaries of art through creators’ playful relationship with material and design.
In the X-topia room, artists highlight the infusion of the organic world into digital spaces, reimagining current systems. Artists bring new beings and entities into existence and merge them into ordinary environments through creative practices.
The added bonus
While the virtual gallery had to be the central focus, Adobe wanted to give users a preview of the new assets included within Substance 3D and the team decided that the best way to showcase this was through Adobe’s Mascot MAT figures. In each room, there is a hidden MAT (Material Art Toy) and once all three are found and selected, a reward is unlocked, with users receiving up to a 50% discount on their license, additional assets per month and up to 100GB of storage.
By maintaining a clean WebGL coding ethic and using a content management system that guaranteed a straightforward process of continuous content entry, the team was able to smoothly adapt to changes and new additions.
- 13K visitors in the first month of the launch
- 24 minutes average time spent on the site on day one
- 36 weeks to build the platform
- 20K+ guests interacted with the launch webinar and social media posts
- FWA Site Of The Day
- FWA Site Of The Month
- Awwwards Developer Awards
- Awwwards Site Of The Day
CEO / CCO at Dogstudio
BASIC/DEPT® worked closely with VIZIO to reintroduce its products as a lineup of goods made for those who love immersive entertainment. We modernised the site experience by letting the products speak for themselves, showcased the beauty of their builds and engineering, and stripped away ostentatious language for relatable storytelling that connected to site visitors through their senses.
For over 20 years, VIZIO has been committed to making high-quality affordable entertainment. Smart TVs, sound bars, even a built-in, free digital streaming platform—they make it all for everyone, and don’t skimp on the quality.
But the brand’s digital experience didn’t accurately reflect this commitment, nor could people buy products directly from the site. VIZIO.com needed to reflect the brand’s ethos of “entertainment for all,” as well as champion individual product stories to enable confidence in visitors looking to buy.
Brand Architecture & Strategy
We refocused VIZIO’s brand architecture on what we know they cared most about: the customer, the product and the experience. With it came a more down-to-earth brand personality that directed the marketing team to speak truly as people who love entertainment, talking to other people who love entertainment.
From vivid colourful scenes to robust enveloping sounds, people turn to entertainment to feel immersed in something different. We used that aspiration to evoke sensory experiences when designing VIZIO’s new site.
The site was warmed to create a more inviting atmosphere for visitors. Curved elements, lightweight typography and subtle hairlines mimicked VIZIO’s refined industrial design style, adding an elevated feel while allowing content to shine.
We teamed up with VIZIO’s production agency of record, PARTNER, to create all-new photography that raised the elegance of their products. TVs and sound bards were snapped in authentic, warmer scenes to make visualising any of their models in any space easy.
We also worked with PARTNER to create new visuals for CG animation. BASIC/DEPT® provided direction to play with light and shadow in order to highlight hardware features and create more contrast.
We created page narratives that highlighted the features of each TV and sound bar, elevating different features across products to educate and speak to different consumer types. This, paired with a modular design system, enable the VIZIO team to ultimately build bespoke stories across their site.
As users moved across product pages, we surfaced awards and accolades higher up and gave real customer reviews more prominence as concrete proof points to each Series’ quality.
Across PLPs and Search, we simplified the tech specs and made it easier to compare models for immediate understanding and scanability.
BASIC/DEPT® was developing the final product, but not directly implementing it for VIZIO. The client needed a final product that was flexible and easy to customise without having to write new code.
To achieve this, our team used React and Storybook to build framework-agnostic code for individual modules and components. This way, VIZIO could implement what they needed seamlessly into their framework, whether it was Adobe Experience Manager or another program. Storybook allowed the VIZIO team to test components in real time in isolated moments, so they could modify features, copy or content how they needed.
Both teams were working across timezones in separate working environments. The BASIC/DEPT® team developed the module library independently, then met with VIZIO developers on a daily basis to collaborate on any updates and changes necessary to ensure the components and modules met the client’s needs. This collaboration was a blend of daily standups, Figma comments and JIRA ticketing.
Great work across the teams and a hugely successful, collaborative effort. We’re super happy with the results. So kudos all around.
Jodie McAfee, VP of Marketing & Communications, VIZIO
VP of Growth
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With an increase of 32% in seven years, there now are 3.09 billion active video gamers worldwide. Top that off with the growing influence that Web3 has on gaming and the possibilities are up for grabs. Merit Circle noticed these opportunities and wasted no time. DEPT® worked alongside Merit Circle to develop a Web3 gaming platform that boosts gamers’ experiences.
Three key takeaways
- A pleasant Web3 onboarding & gaming experience Just-in-time learning and a strong community make the platform user-friendly, shifting the focus back to what it’s all about: playing games.
- Engagement through a gaming-first platform Immersive experiences, guides, and community help make sure that gamers stay engaged at each part of their gaming journey.
- A strong, loyal community through gamification Typical gaming elements, like leveling up and earning rewards make the platform feel like a game and strengthen social competition.
A pleasant Web3 onboarding & gaming experience
Web3 gaming is known but unexplored by most gamers worldwide. This comes as no surprise, because the current Web3 onboarding experiences have not been pleasant (to say the least).
Historically, there have been difficulties with wallets, trouble obtaining the right in-game tokens, and volatile pricing on NFTs. .That’s why the Merit Circle Web3 gaming platform developed by DEPT® features user-friendly onboarding to Web3 and its relatively unknown functionalities. With just-in-time learning, we guide the user through the platform, explaining new concepts on-the-go.
Altogether, the platform shifts the focus from a difficult and unpleasant familiarisation with Web3, to what it’s all about: gaming.
Engagement through a gaming-first platform
The ability to leave the physical realm for just a moment is what gamers crave. . The visual-heavy design of the platform emphasises this feeling: it transports users inside a game while exploring. To help gamers decide what to play, we give them a sneak peek through pieces of insight and gameplay. Moreover, guides and community help improve each gamer’s performance. By listening to the gamers’ needs and leveraging Web3’s possibilities, Merit Circle and DEPT® created a platform that lives and breathes gaming.
A strong, loyal community through gamification
After attracting, activating and engaging gamers, you want to retain them. To achieve this, DEPT® blended gamification into the platform.
For example, participation earns you experience points (XP) which levels you up. Leveling up is part of the social component, creating competition between gamers and making them feel like part of the community. It also comes with early access, NFT drops and other rewards. These gamification elements result in a strong and loyal community.
It takes a unique approach to build a platform at the crossroads of gaming and Web3. Something we’re very happy to have found in a partner like DEPT®.
Thale Sonnemans, COO at Merit Circle
Kingmaker of the industry through a strong partnership
DEPT® guides Merit Circle in forming a dedicated team to sustain the platform and improve as the industry evolves. Possible future additions are team play, leaderboards, automated tournaments, and the development of a two sided platform that will increasingly connect gamers and game developers.
Merit Circle aims to raise the industry standard by developing a platform that covers everything a gamer could need. They are expected to be a kingmaker in the new land of Web3 gaming.
Jochem van Rossem
Douglas is the number one premium beauty retailer in Europe with more than 300,000 products in online stores, partner programmes and around 2,000 shops in 26 European countries. In 2020/21, Douglas made sales of €3.1 billion in the areas of perfumery, decorative cosmetics, skin and hair care, nutritional supplements, health and accessories. Douglas also boasts one of the largest loyalty programmes in Europe, with over 40 million Beauty Card holders.
In order to remain a leader in the future, Douglas has committed itself to the Digital First principle. The multidimensional Douglas system calls for a unified service structure. Douglas chose DEPT® as its partner to implement this complex strategy. Thanks to its full service specialisms and global scale, DEPT® is able to provide Douglas with targeted support in a wide range of areas such as design, data consulting, SEO and digital marketing campaigns. One client, one agency and one big goal for the future: #FOWARDBEAUTY.digitalfirst
Product Design & Content
After an extensive corporate identity update as part of its rebrand in 2018, DEPT® revised the design of the entire online presence for the online store relaunch, including UX, UI and content across all markets. In addition, DEPT® developed the Douglas design system, and supported Web3/Virtual Experiences, live shopping on the Douglas LIVE channel, digital branding and guidelines, and email marketing.
DEPT® had already coordinated and managed the SEO optimisation for three countries for Douglas in 2014. In 2020, the support grew to up to 14 markets, with more to follow. With quick wins as well as extensive measures, Douglas together with DEPT® succeeded in improving long-term performance sustainably.
The modern, scalable data intelligence landscape paves the way to a data-driven future. The DEPT® data and intelligence team takes care of data consulting and a specially developed Data Intelligence Hub (MVP) for Douglas. The Data Partner Portal (MVP) was developed by DEPT® and enables partners and brands to access data insights and evaluate complex metrics.
Team Lead Analytics Engineering & BI
For over 60 years, Medela has been the healthcare choice for more than 6 million hospitals and homes in over 100 countries. They are trusted in providing them with research-based breastfeeding and baby products, as well as healthcare solutions for hospitals.
In 2021, Medela was looking for input to generate additional e-commerce growth. FACTOR-A/DEPT® took on this challenge and helped Medela accomplish its goal by:
- Evaluating its status quo performance
- Creating targets for the year with a customised roadmap
- Implementing a continuous progress tracking method
We facilitated a complete Strategic 360° analysis for Medela EU5 to identify their growth potential, the number of required investments, and the necessary actions. Our work with Medela has resulted in a significant increase in conversions and advertising sales.
Medela’s extensive portfolio presented the challenge of building a well-rounded growth strategy because they operate within the very niche maternal products category. Other challenges were building a general strategy that covers Medela’s pan-European presence, and developing a separate one for search advertising in the UK.
The solution: creating a strategic 360° analysis
Through collaboration with the global Medela team, we offered a comprehensive approach to the brand. We supported them in their journey to go the extra mile on Amazon by combining our expertise in: consulting analysis; advertising campaign management; retail management; content optimisation with the entire dashboard, and QBR monitoring.
Our goal was to scale the Medela Europe search advertising campaigns in order to increase the market share, visibility and sales. We aligned this based on the regular results of the market share analysis and share-of-voice analysis. Besides competitor targeting, we paid special attention to all other kinds of targeting (auto/generic/defensive/ ASIN/retargeting), as well as different ad types (SPs, SBs, SDs, SBVs). Furthermore, we considered local market trends and situations in the campaign setups.
How we did it
In the form of a roadmap and related tracking measures, we depicted our 360° analysis for EU5 to identify the possible growth, required investments, and actions needed.
We showed Medela’s day-to-day performance and the tracking process via our factor-a suite and reporting from different teams to keep an eye on Medela’s KPIs.
We demonstrated how we leverage Deal & Advertising in specific markets as two main performance factors on Amazon to improve growth. We also looked at competition, price, content and visibility/traffic indicators.
The performance in all areas of Amazon has increased with specific measures taken in advertising and deals. These are the following:
- Reallocation of budgets between deal and AM
- Refinement of the strategy for Prime Day
- Optimisation of the AMS campaign
- Close monitoring of key competitors
This has also led to better mapping of the company’s efforts and needs, as well as shown great results on the bottom line. The project had implications on the budget allocated such as reallocation of budgets between deal and AMS, focus on deals outside of the big deal period, as well as adjustment of the AMS campaigns. In combination with the internal team setup, it resulted in defining the future focus on the consulting side with new exciting projects unique to Medela that are planned for 2022.
In combination with the internal team setup, it resulted in defining the future focus on the consulting side with new exciting projects unique to Medela that are planned for 2022.
Our work with Medela serves as a perfect example of a full-service client willing to go the extra mile on Amazon with our full support. It’s a unique mix of consulting analyses, advertising campaign management, retail management and content optimisation, fully monitored through the dashboard and the QBRs.
Overall, we are able to follow Medela’s performance on a day-to-day basis, leverage its key factors in the specific markets and report back to Medela. This is what our test and learn approach looks like, as well as the transparency culture that we value so highly.
Team Lead Sponsored Advertising
Frigidaire, a subsidiary of Electrolux, has served as a renowned consumer and commercial home appliances company for over 100 years. Loyal customers rely on Frigidaire for high quality home appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
A full-funnel approach
Since 2019, Electrolux has put its full trust in FACTOR-A/DEPT® to manage its large product portfolio and develop an effective full-funnel approach that helps them to not only gain customers on Amazon in the US, but also maintain a strong relationship with those customers.
With our advertising and consulting services, we have applied a holistic approach to help Electrolux go from performing well on Amazon, to excelling above and beyond.
Electrolux is already an internationally known brand with an established presence on more traditional retail channels. Frigidaire aimed to continue building and strengthening brand awareness when it brought their Amazon business in-house, so elected to sell its inventory to Amazon from the beginning. This posed a unique challenge that led to us pursuing sell-through as the primary performance indicator.
The primary objective of this campaign was to build brand awareness, as Frigidaire brought its Amazon business in-house. We also aimed to position Frigidaire at the top of the market from the start.
We focused on building a strategy to help reach our goal of sell-through by positioning Frigidaire to reach many shoppers that were likely to make a purchase.
Finally, we aimed for a high category ranking, to take Frigidaire to the top of the Room & Air category in the US with our advertising efforts.
Getting to #1
This case was a perfect example of how a brand can fully utilise all of Amazon’s advertising products and achieve great results by implementing them in combination. We built a full-funnel advertising strategy that included all of the Sponsored Advertising products, as well as the Demand Side Platform (DSP).
- Sponsored Products
- Sponsored Brands
- Sponsored Brands videos
- Sponsored Display Ads
Sponsored Brands allowed us to achieve visibility in the upper funnel, but the majority of the budget was targeted on Sponsored Products Ads, as this ad type generated most of the revenue.
This shift allowed us to get to the top of search placements. We have also been using generic category targeting which has driven Frigidaire to the number one ranking in the Room & Air category.
This campaign and these efforts continue to run, and the results continue to improve even more. We hit 65% sell-through – a result that still continues to increase, and occurred even before the peak summer season.
DSP KPIs, April 2022
- 3% CTR on video campaigns (benchmark: 0.3%)
- 16.5 Total ROAS (benchmark: 6)
- >100 Total ROAS in retargeting campaigns (benchmark: 20)
Due to this success, Electrolux has already planned to send more Frigidaire inventory to Amazon.
To be successful in today’s e-commerce world, a scalable business intelligence solution for product, marketing and customer analysis is essential. Recognising this, Douglas – Europe’s leading platform for premium beauty and health products – turned to DEPT® to act as a service provider, enabler and partner in the development of a central data platform.
Data rows per month from 30+ data sources
The starting position
When DEPT®’s data team first started working with Douglas two years ago, the brand had an evolved IT infrastructure with a database that was difficult to scale, slow processes and static tools. It needed an overhaul, to ensure Douglas could benefit from a modern, fast, scalable and flexible data stack.
As the performance capacity of the existing system was limited, certain analyses could not be carried out to the desired extent and depth. In addition, there was an enormous manual effort in reporting because data from different countries and companies had to be merged. In particular, analyses that required a combination of data (e.g. tracking and marketing data), from different tools took a long time before insights could be gained.
The design of a modern data stack
Together with Douglas, we were able to identify optimisation potential in three key areas:
As Douglas’ own IT resources for new integrations were limited, we recommended Fivetran. This software allows data to be extracted from various sources and loaded into data warehouses. Today, Douglas is Fivetran’s largest customer in Europe.
Data storage and transformation
Before Douglas turned to us, they had already chosen Snowflake cloud data platform, an ideal fit for Douglas’ challenges and objectives. For data transformation, we relied on our own SQL Runner.
Data activation and visualisation
We conducted a thorough comparison of visualisation tools across eleven categories and over 50 requirements, as defined by Douglas. Tableau was identified as the best solution, and is now gradually being established by Douglas as a central, self-service tool.
The data stack in action
Thanks to the use of the above tools, data management for Douglas is now significantly easier, more efficient and more effective.
The days of manually combining dozens of Excel files to produce a simple sales report are over. We have been able to make a significant contribution to ensuring that data from all Douglas subsidiaries is now available in the same format in one central location, and that metrics are standardised across the company.
In the past, a great deal of manual effort was required to produce Excel reports that were sent to the board on a weekly basis. Now, the data for the reports is processed fully automatically and made available in the visualisation tool, so that the C-level at Douglas has the latest reports every morning before they even have their first coffee.
Basis for self-service
Thanks to the newly created data platform, the teams at Douglas are for the first time able to carry out tool-supported, independent data analyses on a large scale. Standardised KPIs, Tableau training, and the connection of new data sources enable them to easily find the data they need and visualise it. As a result, reports can now be created independently by employees and the workload of Douglas’ IT department is reduced.
Planning & Forecasting
In close cooperation with Douglas, data from Snowflake is also used in forecasting tools for planning, for example with regard to inventory and pricing. But that’s not all; in order to enable automated, data-driven decisions and to further increase the degree of independence of the teams in the future, we are currently working with selected Douglas departments to prepare a business case for the use of reverse ETL solutions such as Hightouch or Census.
Ready for a data-driven, digital future
Thanks to the modern data stack, Douglas saves the time of around a full-time position, according to its own calculations. With data integration via Fivetran, data storage via Snowflake on Azure, DEPT®’s own SQL Runner for data transformation, and Tableau as a visualisation solution, Douglas has reached a first major milestone in digitalisation. We are pleased to be able to continue to accompany Douglas on the path to a data-driven, digital future.
Thanks to its high level of technological expertise, DEPT® is the ideal partner for the modernisation of our data stack. The implemented technology is not an end in itself, but optimally aligned with our business needs.
Jonas Rashedi, Director of Data Intelligence & Technologies, Douglas
JBL is an American audio electronics brand, best known for producing speakers and headphones. JBL entered the Amazon cosmos as a well-known brand with the goal of maintaining a consistent brand image not only on Amazon, but across its entire web presence and beyond. FACTOR-A/DEPT® took on the challenge of optimising a huge product portfolio in multiple marketplaces to increase brand awareness and product consideration while staying true to JBL’s beautifully cultivated brand identity.
Building a brand on Amazon
JBL asked us to optimise the product content for its very large portfolio on multiple marketplaces, while building and maintaining a uniform brand image in the Amazon cosmos. We needed to develop an Amazon presence for JBL to reach new shoppers and appeal to loyal customers, while fitting seamlessly into its existing e-commerce and corporate identity.
The main goal of this project was to achieve efficiency and feasibility. Cultivating success not only for the present, but also setting up for success in the future.
A comprehensive approach
We took a comprehensive approach, working to adhere to the Amazon content regulations while staying true to JBL’s international brand image, keeping a customer focus and raising brand awareness and product consideration.
When working with such a large portfolio across multiple markets and categories, it can be complicated to maintain a uniform brand image and to optimise the content in a timely manner. For JBL, we developed a master layout / design guideline with a one-size-fits-all design concept that could be applied to every content type in every marketplace.
This, combined with our Amazon expertise and local insight, allowed us to sustainably push JBL’s performance while creating a strong international brand image. In combination with content creation, we implemented content monitoring to ensure the maintenance of the optimised content.
Efficient & relevant content creation
Forms of content
Brand building on Amazon: We worked with the designs provided by JBL to maintain a consistent brand image across all aforementioned forms of content.
Brand building across products: Our design concept ensured a consistent design across multiple different product types.
Brand building across marketplaces: By applying our concept to every marketplace, we built a globally recognised brand image, regardless of which country customers are shopping in.
Monitoring optimised content to ensure continued quality
The energy and resources used to create relevant, optimised content for JBL is only fully exploited when it is monitored. Due to the high possibility of content deviation on Amazon, our optimised content does not always remain as the version that is live.
We implemented content monitoring for the JBL portfolio in order to:
- Notice the overwriting of already optimised content
- Quickly detect and correct any changes
- Monitor and adhere to changes in the Amazon guidelines
- Keep the intended, optimised content live at all times
Brand presence and time saved
With the help of FACTOR-A/DEPT®, JBL has built a strong, uniformed brand presence across all products, categories and marketplaces. The content design concept and implementation has boosted scalability and will cut time in half for future product optimisation.
Head of Editorial at FACTOR-A/DEPT®
Simple Feast, the certified B Corporation that offers plant-based meal kits to consumers in Denmark, Sweden and the US, turned to DEPT® to help them deliver a new e-commerce site. As a fellow certified B Corp, DEPT® was perfectly placed to create a digital platform that reflects the sustainability, quality and convenience that Simple Feast stands for.
Simple Feast puts sustainability first
At Simple Feast, the mission is simple: to create the sustainable food of the future. With their well-composed meal kits, they make it both easy and delicious to eat healthy, organic and environmentally friendly. The menus are developed by some of the world’s leading chefs and are delivered in ready-to-go pots, so busy people can easily gather around the dinner table with great food made from scratch.
The food you get in your Simple Feast meal kit is 100% vegan, organic and locally sourced. And the passion for sustainability doesn’t stop there; all the packaging and delivery boxes can be reused again and again.
The challenge: a rebel in the Red Ocean market
Subscription meal kits are a ‘Red Ocean’ market, where the battle to attract and retain customers is continuous and intense. In order to succeed in its mission and champion the sustainability message, Simple Feast had to stand out from the crowd.That’s why it was crucial that the new site conveyed their mission clearly, reflecting their brand identity.
The new site needed to make it clear to customers what they are paying for when they buy a meal kit from the market’s green rebel. Choosing Simple Feast is not just a matter of convenience and quality, it’s also contributing towards a better and more sustainable world.
Another goal of the project was to increase sales of Simple Feast’s ‘Essentials’ product range, which includes plant-based yogurt, homemade granola, and jars of comfort food ready to heat up. So, when building the site, it was important to ensure that the Essentials range was introduced as a natural add-on to the meal kits.
The solution: rebellious and user-friendly
Creative agency Waaitt designed the visual identity which DEPT® then further developed digitally to roll out on the website. The style is strong, bold and unconventional. With its bright colours and crisp fonts, the visual expression communicates precisely the rebellious attitude which is such an important part of Simple Feast’s brand identity.
The site had to be user-friendly and work across Simple Feast’s three markets, Denmark, Sweden, and the US. To reach the right balance between recognisability and rebelliousness, we drew inspiration from best practices in e-commerce and focused on shaking up convention through strong design.
The goal was to create a website that presented Simple Feast as the frontrunners in the food of the future. So we needed to create a design language that cut to the chase and stood out from the crowd. The solution was to turn to raw authenticity. To get to the core of the brand message, we kept the expression straightforward, with grids and images that go all the way to the edge of the page. In other words, we created a site that is just like its brand: simple.
A B Corp brand that leaves a mark
Simple Feast is a bold brand. Their core product isn’t just another meal kit; it is soul food wrapped in ambition and thoughtfulness. And the same now goes for their site.
Together with Simple Feast, we have created a unique digital representation of the brand. The redesign of subpages is still a work in progress, but the mission to make the brand’s activist spirit shine through is already complete.
It’s a pleasure to work with ambitious brands that also care about sustainability. That’s why it’s been great to help another B Corp company, Simple Feast, in their mission to make the world a better place, one meal at a time.
Marie Spliid Kirkegaard, UX Manager at DEPT®
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Marie Spliid Kirkegaard
Douglas’ goals as a leading online retailer for perfume and cosmetics are clear: to consolidate and expand its number one position in Europe, and to be the largest marketplace for beauty and lifestyle in the online sector by 2030. From 2014 to 2019, Douglas regularly relied on the selective support of our SEO experts. Since 2019, Douglas and DEPT® have been working closely together on the structural, technical and content-related optimisation of the e-commerce shops and the outreach activities in numerous countries.
Central control, international market
At Douglas, SEO for all markets is managed centrally from the headquarters in Düsseldorf. The in-house team is responsible for a large number of websites with different requirements, and handles the technical platform, the progress of previous SEO optimisations, the competitive situation, and the available budget.
In order to standardise and simplify the processes while at the same time taking into account the market-specific conditions, Douglas was looking for a competent and trustworthy partner who has experience in managing large international SEO projects and can offer services in many languages.
At the beginning of the partnership, organic search was the problem child of the traffic channels. The challenge was to identify and address the greatest SEO potential for a long-term increase in performance per country. In addition, cross-national synergies were required for up to 14 different markets.The primary goal was always to generate more website hits and net sales via organic search.
Additional goals included:
- Break down the silos between SEO, content, technology, UX/UI and data.
- Increase visibility to rank ahead of the biggest competitors for important keywords.
- Optimise the shop structure as well as the crawlability and indexability of the websites.
- Increase presence in the informational keyword area.
- Support the upcoming relaunch to a new technical platform.
- Improve the user experience.
- Improve the composition and quality of the backlink profiles.
Audits and analyses
To achieve the ambitious goals, we carried out technical SEO and content audits, logfile, pagespeed and competition analyses, as well as structural analyses of the brand and category tree. These audits and analyses served to define the status quo, helped to identify necessary technical optimisation measures, and highlighted where to expand the keyword sets for a more targeted approach.
Based on the collected data, we developed a country-specific strategy together with Douglas, including prioritisation of the necessary measures according to the available budget, the competitive situation, and the technical platform.
From quick wins to comprehensive measures
By identifying and optimising quick wins for on-page and off-page SEO, initial success was quickly achieved. We then focused on more comprehensive measures, and succeeded in improving performance sustainably. Across all countries, we optimised and expanded the category tree, made strategic adjustments to internal linking, implemented indexing logics to improve index hygiene, and conducted active outreach. In addition, an automated website monitoring system was set up to enable Douglas to identify bugs at an early stage. Last but not least, Douglas also mastered the relaunch to a new technical platform together with our SEO experts.
Focus on the users
In addition to the technical measures, a major focus was on optimising and creating user-centred content for category, brand and product detail pages, in order to better exploit the ranking potential.
High-quality, informational marketing content expanded the visibility of the brand and confirmed Douglas’ standing as an expert in beauty and lifestyle. We illustrated some of the content pieces with matching infographics in the consistent look and feel of the brand.
In order to ensure the greatest possible efficiency, Douglas has an overarching project lead team, and an overarching team for technology and strategy, plus SEO experts with primary responsibility for each country. These teams focus on identifying and creating cross-market synergy effects in the areas of project management, content, technology, outreach and strategy.
Douglas also relies on the expertise of DEPT® in other disciplines such as UX/UI and data, so for optimal implementation of the measures, a regular internal exchange happens between the relevant departments and whenever and wherever appropriate, our specialist teams work together to continue to create the best possible experience for Douglas and its customers.
From silos to synergies: that was one of the success factors in pushing SEO at Douglas. DEPT® is a reliable partner in this regard. For optimisations in tech, on-page and off-page SEO, I can always rely on the expertise and high quality of the DEPT® team
Jakobus Müller, Head of SEO, Douglas
SEO Consulting Lead
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