Taking the CURA Cosmetics Group and Judith Williams Cosmetics direct to the consumer
From the idyllically located Innsbruck, the hidden champion of the beauty and cosmetics industry produces and distributes numerous other products in addition to Judith Williams' own brand with great success, because fans love the products of Judith Williams Cosmetics and the CURA COSMETICS Group. With that said, it only seems logical that the already customer-oriented Judith Williams together with the CURA COSMETICS Group have made it their goal to establish their own direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel. A goal that we at Peak & Peak, as experts for the consumer goods industry with longstanding expertise in customer experience, have approached and fully achieved together with Judith Williams Cosmetics and the CURA COSMETICS Group.
Direct to consumer as an opportunity for diversification
Long before the corona pandemic, the CURA COSMETICS Group saw direct sales to consumers via e-commerce as an opportunity to diversify their sales operations. On the one hand, they saw the opportunity to better target previously unreached customer groups and, on the other hand, to build an independent pillar alongside retail. So, the D2C strategy was born and with Peter Schwazer, Vice President D2C at the CURA COSMETICS Group, eventually the right person joined the company to implement this strategy.
“Judith Williams Cosmetics is full of personality and power. In the past, we only transported this power to our customers via retail and home shopping channels. With today's possibilities, we would like to lift this limitation and now also broadcast the Judith Williams Cosmetics brand world personally, approachable and directly through a D2C channel and our own online shop. We promise not only a new sales channel, but also more insights about our target group and a closer relationship with customers and fans."
- Manuel Reinalter, Managing Director at the CURA COSMETICS Group
The technical interpretation
Schwazer, an economist by trade with many years of experience, knew that in addition to the strategic development, the technical interpretation of a D2C strategy and ultimately the implementation in the context of a tight schedule would become a challenge. A challenge that is part of our day-to-day business at Peak & Peak. After just a few meetings it was clear that not only the chemistry within the trio of Judith Williams Cosmetics, the CURA COSMETICS Group and Peak & Peak was right, but also the skills and experience to implement the ambitious project. The approach that emerged from this was very promising: We at Peak & Peak support the design of the D2C strategy, especially with regard to system selection and architecture, and implement the concept in a second step. The top priority: to create a resilient and expandable technical backbone as a solid infrastructure for a successful D2C channel.
A central Customer Platform
The requirements analysis combined with the goals behind the D2C project quickly determined the extent of the project: From a simple newsletter to an online shop including elaborate screen design to the processing of returns and payments, everything had to be rethought, developed and implemented. We benefited from our experience in similar projects and provided a fruitful basis for the project team.
The result of intensive project work was a system architecture consisting of Shopify as an online shop, based on the Salesforce platform as a CRM basis including the Marketing Cloud as a central communication node, and embedded in existing systems such as the ERP. In order to be innovative in the long term and not to lose focus on the core business, the CURA COSMETICS Group specifically relies on modern cloud providers with good integration options. This is especially important in order to maintain a high level of transparency in addition to high efficiency within the processes and to enable a 360-degree view of the customer. By opting for Salesforce as the central customer platform, the CURA COSMETICS Group opted above all for constant scalability of the systems, both in the direction of processes and along the value chain, for example by expanding on the basis of a CDP.
A strong project team as a success factor
In addition to the right choice of partner in terms of technology, the interaction of a team is crucial for success. In addition to interpersonal dealings, the right professional composition and a well-practised project organisation are particularly important.
With Greta Schellpeper, the project lead and SCRUM Master at the core of the user experience topics and Massimo Bensi as Lead Architect and Integration Specialist, we ensured a strong project management and a solid technology implementation, complemented by strong colleagues in the team. The team harmonised wonderfully with Peter Schwazer and colleagues as counterparts on side of the CURA COSMETICS Group., working together as one team. Based on an agile project methodology, we fought our way through to the finished solution in individual iterations. The implementation of the entire D2C channel from the technical concept to the finished systems has been completed in five months.
An impressive result
By working closely together, the team succeeded in meeting expectations and doing justice to the Judith Williams Cosmetics brand and the CURA COSMETICS Group. The result is a seamless customer journey, a perfect online shop, smooth payment processing and well-prepared customer support. A result that already generated corresponding sales in the first few days after Go Live and can be admired by everyone at www.judithwiliams.com. The plan to create a consistent and high-quality brand experience with the brand world of Judith Williams Cosmetics and the CURA COSMETICS Group has succeeded and is on solid ground.
The goal now is to further expand and optimise the shop in terms of functions and and a best possible customer journey. Fortunately, there is no shortage of possibilities due to the chosen systems. For example, marketplaces are being integrated and the expansion towards a customer data platform is now conceivable in order to make the brand world even more personal and, if necessary, to incorporate it into product development through personalised cosmetics. The doors are now a little more open to Judith Williams Cosmetics and the CURA COSMETICS Group than before and we, as technological sparring partners, are happy to be part of that challenge.
“It is a pleasure to work with Peak & Peak; I’ve never encountered a partner as responsive and enthusiastic as these guys. When I told other agencies or internal consultants about our approach of launching a complete D2C Strategy with an Online Shop from scratch in four to five months, everyone was rather laughing at me and telling me ‘this is way too ambitious’ - but Peak & Peak embraced the challenge with us and we did it!”
- Peter Schwazer, Vice President D2C at the CURA COSMETICS Group