One client. One agency. Joint success.

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.

 Ein Kunde. Eine Agentur. Gemeinsamer Erfolg.

+16 %





E-commerce sales

#FORWARDBEAUTY. digitalfirst

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.

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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.

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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.

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Have a look at the results


Team Lead Analytics Engineering & BI

Mike Kamysz

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A modern data stack for Douglas

Ein moderner Data Stack für Douglas

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 Depsters

 1.5 B

Data rows per month from 30+ data sources


working hours

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:

Data integration

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.

Simplified Douglas Data Stack

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.

Standardised KPIs
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.

Automated reporting
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


Analytics Engineer

Dimitrios Kourelis

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Multilingual SEO support for a beauty powerhouse

SEO für Douglas in 11 Märkten

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.

SEO für Douglas in 11 Märkten

Multiple goals

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.
SEO für Douglas in 11 Märkten

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.

SEO für Douglas in 11 Märkten

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.

Bild: Beispiel einer Kategorieseite

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.

Bild: Beispiele der Infografiken

Extensive teamwork

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

Joanna Hengstebeck

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The beauty lies in the design

29 Brand Equity Additional Preview 010221 310123 CLEAN LF scaled

Europe’s leading premium beauty platform, Douglas, has embarked on a digital-first strategy that puts further expansion of its high-growth e-commerce at the centre. DEPT® has been developing solutions for Douglas for four years as part of its #forwardbeauty.digitalfirst strategy. In addition to focusing on optimising the customer experience and content of its online store, we also deliver unique, creative content for other touchpoints.

+4 years


+200 live shows


Skincare for an international brand

The rebranding of Douglas began in 2018 with an extensive corporate identity update. The focus was on the redesign of the 50-year-old logo, as well as a new, modern visual language, which was significantly influenced by campaign images by star photographer Peter Lindbergh. 

DEPT® came into play for the first time as part of this rebranding. Since the corporate identity update was primarily implemented for the print sector in the first step, Douglas needed a competent partner agency to adapt the new corporate identity from print to digital. Within this digital branding, we mainly translated colours, fonts and Peter Lindbergh’s photography into a digital context. In addition, our UX and UI experts developed a completely new icon set.

Douglas Case Homepage

First step: a soft facelift

The next step was to make the newly developed CI visible. When it became clear that the relaunch of the Douglas online stores would take some time, but that the rebranding had to be experienced digitally as quickly as possible to ensure a consistent brand presence, DEPT® developed a facelift. 

The new fonts, colours, style elements and icons developed in the course of the rebranding and translated by us into a digital guideline, were used throughout the entire online shop. Spacing was recalculated and headers and footers were revised. With these adjustments, the DEPT® UX and UI team succeeded in helping the Douglas online shop achieve a measurable uplift in user experience. The facelift went live in 2018, the year of the Douglas-wide rebranding.

Douglas Case Magazin Teaser

Iterative rebuilding in the background

Parallel to the facelift, DEPT® started with the redevelopment of the new store. While the software development company Netconomy was responsible for the technical implementation of the Douglas relaunch, DEPT® developed the UX and UI design. As part of the relaunch, DEPT® provided an uplift in the area of joy of use, for example, with the help of animated micro interactions.

The first go-lives were celebrated in 2019 with the relaunch of the Douglas online stores in Switzerland, Austria and Poland. Based on these comparatively small markets, the upcoming German launch could be optimised thanks to the learnings generated. To this day, we are involved in the continuous feature development of the Douglas online shops.

Douglas Case Detailpage Cockpit v1

Sustainable brand design: design with a system

In contrast to a pattern library or a style guide, a design system not only contains reusable interface components, but is a comprehensive description of the cross-channel design language of a brand. With the help of a design system, a wide variety of digital products, websites and apps can be uniformly designed.

DEPT® has developed a component-based design concept for Douglas, which forms the basis for our shop relaunch in the first step. In addition, it is the basis for a new digital design system, which is now constantly being developed holistically and across touchpoints.

Alexander Storck, Head of UX, Douglas

Douglas Case Detailpage Cockpit v2

At the end of 2019, Douglas decided to implement our digital design system as a future “single source of truth”. Within the design system, all design elements are created, described in detail, and made accessible to employees, so that they can be used across countries for the design of various components of the Douglas online shop. The in-house design system thus leads to a sustainable design process that is constantly documented using the zeroheight and Figma tools.

Douglas goes live shopping

The demand for comprehensive online advice is visibly increasing, with the store closures caused by the Corona pandemic having greatly accelerated this trend. In March 2020, Douglas successfully launched the live shopping channel Douglas LIVE. After the summer break, the beauty retailer took the format to the next level with Douglas LIVE – THE LIVE CHANNEL FOR BEAUTY using the new technology Livebuy and a completely new look.

For the launch and the daily shows, we created the new digital branding including logo and style elements. Content assets as well as videos for Douglas LIVE are provided by DEPT®. To date, DEPT® has created content assets for almost 350 shows and accompanies Douglas on its way to becoming an on-stop inspiration platform for beauty & healthcare.

Douglas Case Live

DEPT® and Douglas: Highlights

  • Development of a scalable, reliable e-commerce platform – multilingual, multi-currency, multi-market
  • Fully integrated loyalty programme with more than 44 million loyalty card holders
  • Implementation of a design system that can be used across countries

Together with DEPT®, we are continuously optimising the digital beauty shopping experience in a customer-centric way to further expand our position as the No. 1 online beauty business in Europe.

Vanessa Stützle, EVP Ecommerce & CRM, Douglas


Director Marketing & Business Development

Gesine Meitler

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