Fragrance Direct

Commerce to maximize international growth

iStock 1262451395 scaled

Fragrance Direct is a digital retailer for fragrance and beauty, stocking over 14,000 products across 600 big-name brands, designer labels, and high street favourites. Its huge collection is influenced by the latest shopping trends and innovations, featuring international names like HUGO BOSS, Calvin Klein, Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs.

Launched in the UK in 1993, the digital marketplace was ahead of the curve. Fragrance Direct was aiming to evolve its brand offering alongside consumer demands, to keep its business at the forefront in an increasingly competitive space. With goals of offering more personalised service and achieving higher customer retention, Fragrance Direct turned to DEPT® to optimise its Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform.

Multi-site solution

Fragrance Direct wanted to maximise its international potential. It already had sites for the UK, Europe and the US, but they weren’t localised. Launching transcreated, country-specific websites was part of the beauty merchandiser’s digital strategy to better engage its clientele. 

DEPT® optimised its existing Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform to create a multi-tenant cloud solution with a centrally maintained, scalable, and reliable infrastructure with a single code base. Designed for growth, it makes the process of rolling out and maintaining websites easy and efficient. DEPT® created a separate website for Sweden, Denmark, and France; each with territory-specific content, campaigns and payment options. In collaboration with Lingo24 translation integration, the French website was translated into its native language.

iStock 855115074 scaled

Modernising the
e-commerce experience

Personalised shopping

Fragrance Direct carries a wide range of beauty products to fulfil its diverse consumer needs of replenishing staples, experimenting with new labels, and gift-giving luxuries. We wanted to make shopping for products easier and more enjoyable for all types of shoppers. Personalisation was the answer to streamline the shopping experience while, at the same, ensuring it’s fun to explore and interact with.

A straightforward sitemap, image-led product listings and content hubs provided a great foundation to expand the capabilities within Salesforce Commerce Cloud through customised features. These include a subscription service enabling consumers to auto-replenish their favourite products and a Chatbot ready to answer queries throughout the customer journey.

The Fragrance Finder tool makes it super-easy to select the perfect signature scent, while gift wrap allows customers to virtually send presents from Fragrance Direct and improves the unboxing experience. Custom engraving adds an extra special touch when added to a bottle of perfume or aftershave. DEPT® worked with Fragrance Direct to implement and localise these services in each territory, ensuring orders are delivered to its trade partners and quality service is consistently delivered.


Innovating payment

Fragrance Direct acknowledged payment methods were changing and the impact it was having on the younger demographics. With the immense buying power of millennials and gen z, these consumers were deemed prime target audiences. In an effort to adapt to new consumer expectations, Fragrance Direct partnered with DEPT® to implement a variety of payment methods appealing to all types of buyers, including:

Klarna to shop now and pay later

Klarna does not charge interest or fees for its standard payment options and has proven to be popular for online shoppers, giving consumers the option to try before they buy. We added its ‘Pay Later in 30 Days’ feature on Fragrance Direct and, following positive results, it strategically launched Klarna’s ‘Pay Later in 3 Instalments’ option ahead of the Christmas peak. 

ApplePay for the rise in mobile commerce

Consumers are increasingly choosing their devices to not only browse products on-the-go but also to make purchases. ApplePay adds a layer of convenience and security. With consumers increasingly storing their card details in their mobile wallet, they are used to make purchases through the device (even if it’s just via iTunes or the App Store). They don’t need to pull out any cards or enter in their delivery details to make the purchase but simply scan their face, fingerprint or enter the passcode, making checkout an easy, seamless experience.


Increase in conversion


Increase in average order value


Optimising Fragrance Direct with its existing Salesforce Comment Cloud platform has allowed the retailer to modernise its approach to selling online, reaching new customers and building loyalty. Without the need to re-platform, the business was able to save significant costs and unleash new possibilities within the robust solution. With third-party integrations, Fragrance Direct introduced new ways for its customers to purchase products. Within three months of implementing Klarna’s ‘Pay Later in 30 Days’ feature, Fragrance Direct recorded a 4.5% increase in its conversion rate and a 7.2% increase in average order value compared to three months prior without Klarna. 

Credibility and retailer reputation plays a big role in making online purchases, especially when it comes to high-end brands and luxury items. In the website design, we used official brand photos in high-resolution throughout. We also pulled in Google Customer Reviews which demonstrates a 95% positive feedback based on 65,850 previous purchases. Likewise, using Bazaarvoice, individual products have ratings and comments, instilling added confidence in the authenticity of the website.

DEPT®’s partnership with Fragrance Direct is ongoing. We provide website maintenance to ensure the site performs at its best and new product lines are launched. We’re underpinning the company’s growth, rolling out new territory websites, as well as seasonal and marketing campaigns to engage target audience personas based on buying behaviour and geographic trends. As commerce continues to evolve, Fragrance Direct will maintain its leading reputation through adapting to innovative uses of technology.


Technical Project Lead

Chris Clark

livelife by Turning Point

Branding a direct-to-consumer counselling service

iStock 564578090 1 scaled

Turning Point is a leading social enterprise working extensively with the Government to provide health and social care services at 350 locations across England. Rightsteps, part of Turning Point, supports employee health and wellbeing with counselling and on-demand programmes through its online platform. During the Coronavirus pandemic, Turning Point wanted to make its services more accessible, and collaborated with DEPT® to create a new direct-to-consumer brand: livelife.

Defining a brand proposition

Remote workshops led by DEPT® unearthed livelife’s brand purpose as breaking the stigma of mental health, allowing people to confidently engage in conversations about mental wellbeing. Its long-term aim is to be recognised as the go-to private counselling brand. DEPT® took a deep dive into the niche industry, focusing on key competitors. 

DEPT® analysed livelife’s top three competitors across eight areas including: mission and proposition; target audience; price point; colours and type; photography; tone of voice; website, and SEO performance. We saw homogenous brand missions and similar service offerings, which indicated that there was an opportunity for livelife to disrupt the market. 

Visual Light 93 scaled

Colours to instil positivity

A brand colour palette was created using lavender as the primary colour supported by mint. These colours are known to have a positive impact on mental wellbeing due to their association with flowering plants. They will provide accessibility, simplicity and consistency throughout livelife’s brand communications. Secondary colours were included to be used sparingly throughout illustration and photography to maintain meaning and potency. Gradients were also recommended for digital design to add intrigue and encourage engagement. The third palette is made up of off-blacks and neutral tones to add a softer touch when depicting hierarchy between headlines, subheadings and body copy. 

Designed to stimulate mental wellbeing

Inclusive brand imagery

A custom illustration style was created for livelife. It uses bold organic shapes, solid areas of flat colours with minimal detail. Facial expressions avoid details like eyebrows and mouths to reserve judgement. The simple style without shadows or outlines gives an anonymous feel that can appeal to everyone. The illustrations were designed to be unique and easy to understand at a single glance. 

DEPT® created a photography style guide to explaining which types of images best represent the brand. livelife should showcase people in comfortable environments to instil feelings of calm and relaxation. Images should feature a diverse range of people that feel authentic and don’t look like professional models. Images should not be taken head-on or staged, although they should adhere to professional photography standards for quality and composition.

Market positioning

Market trends point to rapid industry growth for health and wellness, with an increase in mental health awareness. Additionally, technology is becoming more pivotal in healthcare delivery which places livelife’s online counselling proposition at the centre of the curve. 

As part of the positioning strategy, livelife will become a carer, educator and awareness-raiser to truly support its audience. A ‘see, think, do, care’ funnel strategy was crafted utilising content, SEO, paid media, marketing automation and organic social media.

DEPT® worked closely with the team at Turning Point to strategically brand its direct to consumer online counselling service. As part of the research and strategy stages, we set ambitious, yet realistic, goals to work towards. 

From a marketing perspective, generating brand awareness is the initial goal as well as becoming an industry thought leader. Its modern brand style created around the notion that there ‘is no health without mental health’ is sure to spark the conversation.

livelife 04 1


Strategy Director

Lizzie Powell


Personal drugstore advice in one click

Header Etos scaled

An omni-channel customer journey to help customers find the right products both on and offline; that is the ultimate goal of the Etos webshop. The webshop was developed in collaboration with DEPT® based on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. A daunting task, because Etos did not actually have a webshop, let alone an accompanying warehouse. In close collaboration with the client, and in record time, we managed to set up a webshop that is inspiring when it comes to beauty, personal care and health.

Visual Light 98 scaled

Advice, inspiration and smart savings

Etos has been awarded the title of ‘best drugstore in the Netherlands’ seven times. The chain will now be supplementing its offline success with an online platform. Etos offers a personal shopping experience that combines advice, inspiration and smart savings. As their digital e-commerce partner, DEPT® was responsible for the platform’s development, design and concept. All within a period of six months.

Visual Light 96 scaled

A personal and inspiring shopping experience

Focus on user experience

The webshop is a platform where anyone can go for anything related to beauty, personal (baby) care and health, at any time of day. The concept — from design to platform — focuses on an outstanding user experience. That’s why, as customer, you’ll experience the same level of personal advice, (brand) inspiration and ease of use as in the physical stores. Etos employees help customers discover new trends and products, while the A-brands provide inspiration and are easy to find through their own landing pages. The new is proof that attractive design, a fantastic user experience, conversion and SEO go hand in hand.

Visual Light 69 1 scaled

Exciting content and timeless design

The enormous range of products is made available through four main categories: beauty, personal care, health and baby. While scrolling through the products, the customer is surprised by inspiring content, handy tips and interesting products, fully tailored to his or her requirements. The search is fast and simple because all the important steps in the customer journey have been extensively tested and optimised.

To optimally load the Etos brand, recognisable typographic stylistic elements have been designed and developed in a playful manner. The headings, characteristic of the Etos brand, jump out of the grid when Etos wants to inspire users, while informative components take on a sleeker typographic style. This provides a good balance between the fun that’s associated with the Etos brand and the user-friendliness of the online shopping experience. Moreover, in collaboration with Etos, DEPT® established a content strategy that produced a number of copywriting and photography guidelines. This includes the humour incorporated in the tone-of-voice, the lovely photography and the subtle animations that return throughout the customer journey. All elements that make the online shopping experience even more fun!

Salesforce commerce cloud x

As the Etos webshop had to be launched quickly, Salesforce Commerce Cloud was the logical choice. The SaaS platform is known for its speed, scalability, many merchandising options and out-of-the-box features that allow an initial version to be launched very quickly. What’s more, the platform also offers a range of Artificial Intelligence options, which are quite helpful when it comes to smart recommendations and searches.

However, there were more aspects that we had to keep in mind: as a member of Ahold, there are stringent requirements with regard to reconciliation, security, performance and accessibility. These requirements affect the entire development process, from design, specifications, building, and testing to handover. The many integrations with respect to loyalty, product catalogue, financial reports, user provisioning, store information, inventory and price details made this a challenging project with a large number of involved parties. Since Etos had never had a webshop before, many of these processes had to be designed and worked out from scratch.

Visual Light 100 scaled

The outcome

Accessibility & speed

Omni-channel shopping experience

Reinvent & accelerate


Strategy Director

Danijel Bonacic

Foundation Medicine

On the quest to cure cancer

iStock 1176678050 1 scaled

A pioneer in the field of genomic medicine, Foundation Medicine (FMI) recognized the company had lots of data that could help researchers and biopharma companies advance precision medicine. However, FMI needed a partner to accelerate getting its ideas built and tested. This is where DEPT® stepped in to help bring the company’s ambitious vision to life.

Creating insights from data

Foundation Medicine is a world-renowned molecular insights company that focuses on genomic research. This entails figuring out how genomic abnormalities affect cancer. The company had a mountain of data at its disposal but no tools for researchers and pharmaceutical companies to make sense of it quickly. DEPT® created custom software to allow researchers to efficiently query the company’s wealth of data, as well as allow medical professionals to input clinical outcomes in order to track not just genomic abnormalities, but also how specific target therapies affected those abnormalities. 

Visual Light 119 1 scaled

They wanted the insights needed to advance cancer care

iStock 1167824519 1 scaled

Enabling employees to test the MVP

Following our agile methodology, we initially launched a minimum viable product, or “MVP”, that internal employees started using for their own research. By having Foundation Medicine’s researchers use the product themselves (what we like to call “tasting your own wine”) we were able to further refine the product concept and determine what screens and flows were most valuable to users and thus the business.

Visual Light 120 1 scaled

New tools for cancer researchers

Within three months, we equipped Foundation Medicine with a suite of tools that allowed their team to ingest genetic data from a lab and, based on this data and other factors, generate various reports. These showcased matching clinical trials, therapies, contextually relevant information (also known as “text modules”)  and relevant genetic data about them. The company’s internal teams could now quickly slice and display their data in a myriad of formats, allowing them to produce reports they never had before and dramatically improving their ability to analyse data in new ways. This was a big change from the system in place before whereby each researcher had to come up with their own spreadsheets to analyse the data, wasting precious time and resources of Genomic PhDs. Researchers could now answer questions like “how often does disease X occur with gene alteration Y?” in a powerful way that would lead directly to improved drug therapies and treatments. More and faster data-driven research results mean better medical care across the board.

From a business perspective, these tools allowed genomicists to curate therapies, trials, text modules and ontologies of a gene, biomarker and disease trees. This included a rules engine that allowed genomicists to link therapies, trials and text modules to various combinations of gene and disease groups (based on the curated ontologies). When these ontologies changed, we automatically would audit and flag rules which may have been affected. We also applied algorithms to keep genomicists from having to reorder the text on every report.

From MVP to industry-leading software

Our initial product launch quickly grew into a powerful data analytics platform called FoundationInsights™ that enables access to rich analytics on genomic and clinico-genomic datasets. It has become a core part of cancer researchers’ work. Over the course of six months,DEPT® worked closely with the FMI engineering team to augment the product with key features, while at the same time transitioning the app to FMI’s internal product team. Today, FoundationInsights™ is considered a critical tool in the fight against cancer and is used by many of the world’s top genomicists.


genomic profiles created


cancer subtypes mapped


DEPT® created a world-class database and software and implemented it into Foundation Medicine’s existing knowledge base. This has allowed researchers to speed up their research and analysis process as the data can easily be inputted and categorized making it easy for others to access the information. Today, FoundationInsights™ has aided in the processing of over 300,000 genomic profiles and they’ve mapped over 150 cancer subtypes, making it one of the largest cancer databases in the world.


Design Lead

Daniel Matiaudes

PathCheck Foundation

Containing a global pandemic through digital

iStock 1214593011 1 scaled

PathCheck Foundation is unleashing the power of open-source software to help contain the pandemic and protect individual freedom and privacy.DEPT® worked alongside PathCheck to design and build two mobile apps to support a foundational health technology platform that will empower communities around the world to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Visual Light 148 2 scaled

Supporting PathCheck on its global mission

PathCheck Foundation was founded at MIT with a mission to contain the pandemic caused by COVID-19 and revitalise the global economy. The non-profit organisation envisions a new generation of digital solutions for public health. These solutions would empower individuals to play an active role in healthcare by opting in to digital contact tracing while protecting their individual privacy and liberty. Our US team worked alongside PathCheck’s team of experts to help support their global mission of building a foundational public health technology platform and mobile apps that make digital contact tracing, case management, epidemiological information collection and citizen communication easier and faster.

Visual Light 147 4 1 scaled

Building and designing mobile apps to contain the global pandemic

Visual Light 149 scaled

Digital is key to fighting the spread of COVID

In March of 2020, the CDC declared the spread of COVID-19 a global pandemic. It was and continues to be a scary time. Still, there is evidence that supports the capabilities of digital to help fight the spread of COVID. This is why countries such as Singapore, Germany and Ireland launched apps designed to trace the recent contacts of positive COVID cases as early as March. For other countries like the United States, however, concerns over privacy and data collection have made the adoption of similar apps slow. PathCheck aims to solve this privacy issue via open-source software.

iStock 1216092090 scaled

Driving change

Global collaboration on digital solutions to fight COVID-19

Empowering citizens to make a difference, through UX

Dual methods of mobile contact tracing, privately

The advantage is that these capabilities are entirely optional and privacy-preserving. Individuals can choose whether or not they want to participate. However, these solutions enable communities to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and complement other public health strategies such as social distancing, the use of masks, and manual contact tracing.

Continuing to support a novel public health platform

The mass adoption of a foundational public health technology platform that includes mobile touchpoints on every smartphone in the world is key to containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with PathCheck, we built and designed two apps for digital contact tracing that prioritise the user’s privacy. These applications are now being rolled out in two European countries and four US states & territories.

However, this is just the beginning. We will continue to support the foundation by building out more features to support the full spectrum of digital pandemic response needs. However, flexibility is crucial as our understanding of the virus evolves. Together with PathCheck, we envision a post-exposure notification UX that is easy to deploy, fully configurable per location’s needs, and can even assess a user’s symptoms and direct them towards their nearest test centre if needed. Lastly, we also want to provide public health authorities with a set of data dashboards and visualisations. These would help them to not only track the spread of the virus but to better understand how it’s being spread.


Chief Client Officer, DEPT® Americas

Ashley Streb

Health Service Executive (HSE)

Creating a conversation around mental health

EzV92TnUcAUckZK scaled

With over 100,000 employees, the Health Service Executive (HSE) provides public health and social care services to everyone who lives in Ireland. By coordinating resources and efforts across eleven regions, the organisation aims to provide everyone in Ireland with high-quality health services. The HSE’s Mental Health Team was already using social media to promote positive protective behaviours for mental health. But they wanted to elevate their online efforts so they turned to DEPT® to help them deliver a thoughtful approach that catered to their audience’s needs.

Visual Light 121 1 scaled

An uplifting social media campaign

Our health encompasses many aspects yet one element that is often neglected is our mental health. HSE’s Mental Health Team wanted to continue the conversation around mental health, an important topic that many people still feel uncomfortable discussing. So, the team turned to DEPT® for help. Our Dutch and Irish teams worked closely together to create an always-on Facebook and Instagram campaign which would appeal to their target audience.  

ExuEY0TWUAA vBw scaled

HSE used social media to talk about an often-neglected topic: mental health

Visual Light 122 1 scaled

Crafting the perfect campaign

We started by taking an outside-in approach to ensure the campaign strategy was relevant. This meant we looked at current events in Ireland and beyond with the HSE team then created different messages that would connect with the audience and provide them with the most up to date resources to help protect and manage their mental health. We covered a broad range of topics from helping yourself or your child if they have an eating disorder to improving your quality of sleep. The variety of topics ensured that the Mental Health Team was able to reach a large section of the Irish population with a tailored message and associated helpful resources. 

However, we didn’t simply rely on words to connect with the audience. We also wanted to incorporate images as, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, we designed graphics, both static images and animations, with bright and soothing colours which would draw the viewer’s attention while not overwhelming their visual senses.

With the text and images in place, we created two versions of each ad, one that had an informative tone of voice and one with a more personal tone. The two options were A/B tested to see which one would perform best before being posted on the company’s social media. This ensured HSE only pushed out the top-performing posts.

Visual Light 123 2 scaled

Using data to deliver the right message

The aim of the campaign was to reach as many people as possible, but with the right message. As everyone has different struggles depending on their age and stage in life, we wanted to ensure that the same campaign was not seen by everyone. So we harnessed the power of data to hyper-target the ads. We created different target groups and, within that, separate audiences for each Facebook and Instagram post our team created. This ensured that the right content and social post was shown to the right people. For example, parents were only shown parenting content. In comparison, elderly people were shown tips on how to keep healthy even if they had limited mobility. However, some posts were meant for the more general Irish population and so targeting was adjusted to reflect that on both Facebook and Instagram. 

EzV Oj0VoAMhmOb scaled

Mental health is even more important during a pandemic

Less than a month after we began Facebook and Instagram campaigns for HSE, COVID-19 arrived on our shores and the HSE found itself under a huge amount of pressure. However, it was more important than ever to talk about mental health and provide people with the resources they needed to take care of themselves. So within the space of a week, we quickly changed the campaign messaging and approach to reflect this new stressor. From dealing with an increase in stress and grief-like emotions to information about working remotely in a healthy manner and free counselling resources, our social posts were still tailored and targeted towards specific audiences, but they reflected the new normal we were living in.


people reached


click-through links


shared posts

A social media strategy to raise awareness

Now, unlike most social strategies, the aim in this context was not to increase engagement or grow the team’s online presence. So instead success was measured via the various campaigns’ reach and awareness raised. So, over a period of five months, this is what our team achieved:

  • 2.3 million people reached 
  • 21k click-through links to suggested resources
  • 1.2k shared posts and 550 saved posts

Together, we elevated the team’s social media strategy by harnessing the power of creativity and data to reach the right people with the right message and resources to ensure no one forgets to take care of their mental health.


Strategy Consultant

Simon Walsh

Stay in touch!

Personalize your experience

We use functional cookies to make the website work properly, analytical cookies to measure your behavior and marketing cookies for ads- and content personalization. We collect data on how you use our website to make our website easier to use, but also to tailor or personalize communication in advertisements, on our website or apps. Data collected through marketing cookies is also shared with third parties. By clicking accept you agree to this. More information? Read our cookie policy.