The key to a successful digital transformation with beauty retailer cosnova


Andrea Stoica

February 15, 2022 | 2 min read

We spoke with Katharina Stock, UX Researcher at cosnova, about their successful digital transformation and how they went from a leading drugstore brand to an online beauty player

About cosnova’s digital transformation

cosnova Beauty is the parent company behind the well-known color cosmetics brands essence and CATRICE. The company is an established player in the drugstore market and has seen rapid growth in the eCommerce sector in recent years. This success can be attributed to cosnova’s consumer-centric and data-driven digital strategy.

Cosnova successful digital transformation was all about the customer

Consumer focus = The success factor

“The market in Germany is saturated and we can already be found in every drugstore on every corner, so there wasn’t much room left for growth,” says Katharina. And while their successful offline business still remains a focus area for cosnova; stronger internationalization and digitization are new key aspects of the cosmetics manufacturer’s growth strategy. 

However, the jump into eCommerce for this typical offline brand was no easy ride. “Since our products can be bought in most drugstores, our website sales didn’t boom right from the start. We were faced with a number of eCommerce challenges, ” explains Katharina.

Katharina and her team focused on understanding their target group through continuously analyzing their user behavior. They worked on the relaunch of both essence and CATRICE websites with consumer-centricity at the forefront. To be successful and adapt their digital strategy to meet customer needs, they needed to know their customers inside out. 

Their websites serve more for brand building but also offer the possibility to buy products online, which is particularly useful if the desired product is not available locally.  Special online exclusives are also sold on their website, as cosnova plans to increase its e-commerce share in the future to support its consumer-centered growth. For this reason, cosnova is building an internationally scalable platform that will make products shoppable everywhere, either directly on their sites or via Commerce Connector, a third-party provider.

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Building a data-based business

Becoming “The Global Number 1 in Digital Consumer Experience in Color Cosmetics” is cosnova’s vision. This ambitious goal requires comprehensive data and in-depth analysis of user behavior to understand what makes an experience extraordinary for website visitors.

That’s why taking a data-driven approach was key in their digital transformation. To reduce decision-making based purely on instincts, the mindset of cosnova’s team had to be geared towards data. Time and resources also needed to be set aside for research. Fortunately, this was already in action at cosnova, Katharina confirms. Various knowledge exchange formats were put in place where data, customer insights, and results are shared with other departments.

The importance of data at cosnova has become very clear. Katharina explains:

“In the beginning, I worked more qualitatively—carrying out usability tests and revising our personas, for example. Recently my focus has changed to more quantitative research, especially now working with Contentsquare.” 

For cosnova, the mix of different data sources and tools is crucial. Depending on the situation and question at hand, different perspectives can provide better insights.

Want to know more about cosnova’s consumer-centric digital strategy?

Find out how they increased their conversions by 30% thanks to user-generated content. Download our Retailers on Retail Report to read the full article and gain access to actionable insights from 10 other retail experts, too! From Moss Bros and Fossil to Sonos and Sweaty Betty, this report will teach you how to have a successful year in retail.