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Douglas: The Influencer Marketing Strategy of the #1 Beauty Retailer

6 minute read

Douglas Cosmetics isn't just a player in the beauty industry; they're leading the game with their influencer marketing strategy, turning the traditional beauty retail model on its head. With almost 12K creator mentions across Instagram and TikTok over the past 12 months, Douglas has built a strong brand presence that leaves competitors struggling to keep up.

We decided to do a deep-dive on Douglas’ influencer marketing strategy. While Storyclash is not directly affiliated with the brand, we used our platform to gather data and insights on how they leverage the power of social commerce to to secure their position as the #1 omnichannel beauty destination in Europe.

Ready to learn their secret sauce? Let’s dive in.

The Douglas Journey: More Than Just Cosmetics

Founded in 1821 as a soap manufacturer in Hamburg, Germany, Douglas has come a long way since then. Today, Douglas is the leading omnichannel retailer for high-end beauty in Europe. 

Douglas stocks premium beauty and fashion brands like Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder, as well as smaller yet wildly-popular DTC brands such as The Ordinary, IT Cosmetics, and Kylie Cosmetics. They also have their own brand which includes a wide variety of products, such as perfume, makeup, skincare, haircare, accessories, and beauty treatments.

With 18,000 employees and a vast network of over 2,000 stores across 26 countries, Douglas is more than a beauty retailer. They're a beauty experience, offering customers not just products but a way to discover and love beauty in all its forms. 

Their transition into digital and influencer marketing has been an interesting journey, leveraging their omnichannel approach to reach customers wherever they are. And with revenue of €4.1 Bn in 2023, clearly it’s working. 

Douglas social media strategy

Let’s take a closer look at Douglas’ social media marketing strategy, including the platforms and formats the brand uses for their owned channels. 

Douglas social media strategy: Instagram

Douglas has 1.1M followers on Instagram. On average, a post reaches 56.9K Instagram users and gets 1.4K likes.

What’s striking about Douglas’ Instagram feed is their all-encompassing use of creators. Douglas extensively leverages Influencer-Generated Content (IGC), resulting in a diverse yet on-brand look and feel.

Douglas is very active on Instagram. In the past 12 months, the brand has posted 6.4k Instagram stories, 1.9k Instagram posts, and 1.6k reels. Recently, the brand has shifted focus to post more reels.

Their approach seems to be working. Follower growth has increased steadily over the past few months:


Douglas has 392.7M followers on Tiktok. The brand has mastered the art of viral content. On average, a video reaches 168.2K users and gets 8.8K likes, resulting in an engagement rate of 4.2%.

Douglas’ TikTok content is also heavily driven by IGC, but it has a more “fun” vibe. TikTok creators share their favorite products, often as part of a tutorial, unboxing, or special occasion like Valentine’s Day.

Douglas Influencer Marketing Strategy: Instagram

Now we’ve learned a little about the brand’s owned channels, let’s dive into their influencer marketing strategy.

Douglas was mentioned by 2.1K creators in 11K posts on Instagram in the past year. 

Who does Douglas work with?

Here are the top five Instagram influencers Douglas works with, based on the number of brand mentions:

Douglas’ top influencer is Nova Lana Love, with 2.1M followers. However, Douglas also works with smaller accounts.

Storyclash data shows that the brand has a strong focus on micro influencers (10-100k followers). 53% of the Instagram creators the brand works with fall into this category. The second biggest category is macro influencers (100-1M followers) with 30%. 

Douglas mostly works with creators based in Germany, followed by Austria and Italy.

The data indicates that 58% of Instagram collabs were a one-off, 25% were short-term, and 17% were long-term.

What formats does Douglas use?

Douglas mainly leverages stories in their creator collaborations. In the last 12 months, Douglas was mentioned in 6.4K stories, 1.9K posts, and 1.6K reels. 

Douglas Influencer Marketing Strategy: TikTok 

Douglas was mentioned by 178 creators in 350 videos on TikTok in the past year. TikTok videos typically generate 160k views on average, and TikTok collaborations have exposed the brand to a potential audience of 392M.

Which TikTok creators does Douglas work with?

Here are the top five TikTok creators working the most with Douglas:

Storyclash data shows that Douglas mainly works with TikTokers based in Germany who have 100K followers or more. 

One of their most popular TikToks to date was by Ariana Grande. It was for the launch of her perfume Cloud Pink, available at Douglas and a select few other retailers:

What can your brand learn from Douglas?

Douglas's influencer marketing isn't just innovative; it's effective. Their creator collaborations drive significant engagement and brand awareness, particularly on TikTok, where they've managed to go viral several times. Let’s take a look at the best practices powering the brand’s success.

Douglas Marketing Solutions

Douglas has an in-house media agency, which offers comprehensive retail-data-based marketing solutions for brands distributed by Douglas. This includes onsite and offsite optimizations, ensuring a holistic approach to brand visibility and engagement. 

While not every brand can or should have their own agency, it’s always worth having as much expertise available internally as possible.


Douglas leverages a mix of influencer-generated content (IGC), user-generated content (UCG), and professionally created assets. The content spans product shoots, tutorials, impressions from blogger events, and sometimes humorous videos. Using UGC adds depth and authenticity to a brand’s own content.

Douglas LIVE: A Revolutionary Shopping Experience

Imagine shopping for your favorite beauty products while interacting live with your favorite influencers. Douglas LIVE makes this possible. 

On Douglas’ website, influencers host live sessions, demonstrating products, sharing tips, and answering questions in real-time. This direct interaction bridges the gap between online shopping and in-store experiences. 

Social commerce and live shopping are huge trends right now, which can take your influencer strategy to the next level. 

Want to check out the influencer marketing strategies of more top cosmetics brands?

Check out our blog post on Charlotte Tilbury where we analyze who the brand works with and how they approach influencer marketing. Or learn how Lady Gaga’s makeup brand Haus Labs is rocking TikTok. 

About Storyclash - the brand behind the insights

Storyclash is the AI-powered Influencer Marketing Platform that helps your team drive sales and brand awareness. Discover authentic creators, measure the impact of your campaigns and manage all your data in one place. Fast-growing DTCs like Bears With Benefits, Waterdrop, and Trendyol, as well as large, established companies like Vodafone, Adidas and Audi use Storyclash to get more out of their influencer marketing.