Dr. Barbara Sturm

Personalizing Skincare Online

Industry Skincare
A laptop screen showing Barbara Sturm website
Dr. Barbara Sturm logo


The challenge

Dr. Barbara Sturm offers luxury skincare products with highly personalized ingredients designed to enhance any skin type and condition. The brand sells to a discerning clientele across the UK and the United States, with a strong presence in Germany from the founder’s German roots. The brand got their start offering personalized skin consultations at their in-person clinics. This included a personalized skin assessment and recommended products to treat specific issues, solidifying the brand’s bespoke approach from day one.

Since establishing an online presence, the brand wanted to optimize their customer experience. This included enhancing their digital sales and customer data management capabilities to scale the business and further expand online. To do this, the team needed a refreshed UX approach, and updated data analytics capabilities.

App screens showing Dr. Barbara Sturm products


Personalized skin recommendations

Dr. Sturm wanted to recreate the bespoke feeling of being in their skin clinic online. To tackle this challenge, we sat down with the senior leadership team to explore the possibilities of what kind of digital experiences we could create. After a few sessions, we landed on the opportunity to build a custom ‘Routine Finder,’ where shoppers could take an online questionnaire and receive a handpicked set of products.

We brought in a technical architect to design the questionnaire decision tree, mapping out over 5,000 possible combinations of answers and appropriate skin treatments. Questions varied from skin tone to age, lifestyle factors, and skin concerns like acne or discoloration. To roll this out technically, we had a react app set up in the front-end, communicating to a typescript API programmed on a Google cloud server. We also created a custom syntax to map all the data into a graph. The result is a slick, design-forward, personalized routine finder that has seen significant engagement on the site since its launch.

A user with some lotion on their face
A range of Dr. Barabara Sturm products coming out of a bag

Accelerating subscription selling

Another way Dr. Sturm wanted to expand the business was by offering a subscription purchase option to online customers.

Previously, the site only offered the ability to make one-time purchases — shoppers could simply add items to their cart and review past orders. With a growing number of high-profile, celebrity customers and clientele, the brand recognized the opportunity to serve these customers further, and drive recurring revenue for the business. By offering a convenient way for customers to continually refill their favorite products, they would stick to their skin routine for longer and see the best results.

To enable this, we implemented Ordergroove, Dr. Strum’s preferred back-end subscription selling tool. This involved connecting the system with the product detail pages (PDPs), shopping cart, and checkout flow, customizing how data flowed in and out of their commerce platform, BigCommerce.

A user looking at Dr. Barabara Sturm's app and website

Improved customer data and contact management

The team also wanted to improve overall customer communication. They wanted a better ability to keep track of purchases by persona, understand website behavior, and experiment with more communication touchpoints. They had user data coming from BigCommerce but needed a more sophisticated way of analyzing data that would enable them to quickly run targeted marketing campaigns, and understand user behavior to make effective site updates.

We worked with the team to identify what data they saw as a priority, and what set of tools would best support the data-driven insights they were looking for. We set them up with Braze, a customer engagement platform, which provides rich data around customer behavior, purchases and preferences. This data is now accessible for the team to use and inform their emails, site updates, and marketing campaigns.

To ensure the team had hands-on support with the tool and data updates, we enrolled them in our Commerce as a Service function. This gave the team ongoing eCommerce support across a range of business areas, to ensure everything was running smoothly as adjustments were made.

Dr. Barbara Sturm's mobile, desktop, and tablet screens


The custom Routine Finder was a success in driving both site engagement and conversion rates. The team found that shoppers who used the Routine Finder purchased at higher rates compared to those who didn’t use the tool. This data provided the insight needed for the team to feel confident about investing further in personalized digital experiences as part of their future growth plans.

Adding the subscription selling feature enabled the brand to add a new revenue stream and better serve its VIP customers. And optimizing the integrations and data analytics around their BigCommerce platform has given the team more insight into their customer behavior, and what tactics are best suited to drive future growth.