Product People worked with Douglas to Increase User Engagement & Implement a Personalized Shopping Experience

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The Client: Douglas

Douglas was originally founded as a soap manufacturer in Hamburg in 1821. It is one of Europe's largest beauty and lifestyle products sellers, with international headquarters in Düsseldorf. Currently, it has stores in various European countries such as Poland, Austria, Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal.

Being the leading premium beauty platform in Europe, it offers over 100,000 beauty and lifestyle products in online shops, the beauty marketplace, and its 2,400 stores. It offers perfumery, cosmetics, skin and hair care, nutritional supplements, accessories, and advice/inspiration.

Douglas' Concept
Facts & Figures from Douglas

The Mission: Interim Product Manager

We joined the company to fill the Product Manager/Owner role for the Content Management/Curation team. The team consisted of front-end and back-end developers, a Designer, a QA Engineer, a Scrum Master, and an Engineering Manager.

Our goal was to improve the personalization of content to increase users' engagement on the online shop, which would help drive revenue (by increasing product purchases). Our team was also responsible for improving Douglas’ internal content management platform features.

We were also leading a discovery mission to implement a personalized shopping experience that would enable users to make purchases according to their profiles (i.e., customer segmentation) and desires. We performed a build vs. buy evaluation for content management and personalization tools.

Given the market situation, the company and product strategy heavily focused on initiatives that helped cut costs and increase revenue, like increasing user engagement and retention.

How We Helped

Process Improvements

  • We moved from Sprints to Kanban due to the nature of the development team's work then. The development team had significant maintenance/support work that took a lot of bandwidth. Also, even before our arrival, they had many incoming ad-hoc topics that needed on-the-fly prioritization and scoping. These topics directly impacted business, and the low upfront visibility was due to existing tech and organization debt reasons. We saved the development team’s time by reducing Scrum ceremonies and created a more productive work environment as the ways of working corresponded better to the needs. The engagement and morale of the development team increased.
  • We also introduced the concept of Spikes for new topics that helped in better planning and alignment of effort.
  • We incorporated a better way of reporting issues related to the content publishing tool used by Content Managers. We also reduced incoming noise they were getting by being very visible to the large number of stakeholders this team had and managing them closer. It helped developers have the time and space to understand the issues quickly and avoid back-and-forth communication. Stakeholders were also happier as we became faster at getting started and providing a solution.

Product Discovery + Delivery Topics

  • We delivered an important personalization initiative that personalized content (Beauty Storys - Content about beauty routines and advice) for users on the platform based on previous content searches and product views/clicks. The goal of personalizing the content was to ensure increased user engagement that resulted in more product purchases.
Douglas' Website - Beauty Stories
  • We also led an important integration of a customer segmentation/profiling tool with the tool for publishing content on the platform. The customer segmentation/profiling tool enabled us to capture data about the behavior of the user and product choices on the Douglas platform. With this integration initiative, we aimed to personalize and publish content based on context-driven segmentation of the user.
Integration for Custom Segmentation
  • As part of the personalization initiative, we also worked on making content more interactive using shoppable content images with spots. We delivered the proof of concept for shoppable images and videos while working closely with the UX team.
  • We discovered the Video Player solution for video content available on the Douglas platform. We looked into the possibility of having an internal solution for this and made a comparison with the existing solution, and explored other providers available in the market. As a part of this, we did a business and technical evaluation based on the current development, architectural, and integration capabilities and provided the recommendation.
  • Our team was responsible for the maintenance of the content management platform. We led the team to look into tech debt and undertake multiple cleanup/maintenance tasks as part of holiday season readiness. This helped improve the efficiency of the tool, thus making sure the content managers could perform their day-to-day content management and publishing tasks with increased performance.

Delivered Outcomes

💡 Provided new modules that enabled Content Managers to publish content that attracted customers with interactive content.
💡 Contributed to the initiative of creating personalized content for the e-comm website.
💡 Created a prioritized list of initiatives for the team to work on the next quarter based on Worth, Impact, Surety, and Effort.
💡 Prepared relevant KPIs for the team that was aligned with the overall product strategy of the entire Shop management cluster.
💡 Improved the issue management process within the development team.

As a result of the great work with did, a Head of Product from another team requested one of our Interim PMs to support them on a new mission as a full-time Product Owner was leaving Douglas and had only a two-week notice. We were able to start within a few days.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

VP/Director/Head of Product
Product Management Consultant
Associate Management Consultant

For Clients: When to Hire Us

You can hire us as an Interim/Freelance Product Manager or Product Owner

It takes, on average, three to nine months to find the right Product Manager to hire as a full-time employee. In the meantime, someone needs to fill in the void: drive cross-functional initiatives, decide what is worth building, and help the development team deliver the best outcomes.
If you're looking for a great Product Manager / Product Owner to join your team ASAP, Product People is a good plug-and-play solution to bridge the gap.