Photobox calls for more fulfilment innovation

Quinten Francken-Bosman, group shipping and procurement director at Photobox, took to the stage at Metapack’s Delivery Conference 2018 in London today, to ask the industry to develop more agile fulfilment solutions.

The e-tailer serves 12 million customers via four online businesses, in 15 different markets, offering four different fulfilment solutions, including next-day delivery.

Francken-Bosmon pointed to a huge business achievement in pushing back Moonpig’s next-day delivery cut-off by 30 minutes to 7.30pm.

“It may be only half an hour, but it gives our customers time to come home from work, and an extra half an hour to think about that person and send a card if it's their birthday the next day.”

She described a time when delivery was thought to be a nuisance by the business, but she now says it’s a sales tool, pointing to how an extra half an hour provides 30 more minutes of revenue opportunity per day.

Francken-Bosman said the business now shows its delivery information on the homepage, which she said is a conversion tool because customers aren’t surprised by the time they reach the check-out. She also said the e-tailer personalises this information based on location, so customers in Scotland, for example, don’t receive delivery promises Photobox can’t commit to.


She said personalisation is in the company’s DNA, because as soon as customers hit the homepage, they start uploading photos and adding text to personalise gifts and cards.

“And it’s even more important that the delivery experience gets personalised,” she added.

She also pointed out how Photobox has a high emotional engagement with its customers: “They are over the moon if they receive it on time and those people can break out in tears because it’s so pretty and personal,” she said. “But if we get it wrong in any shape or form, oh boy, we have a problem.”

Francken-Bosman said the industry needs to offer more delivery solutions to ensure parcels arrive exactly where and when the customer wants to receive it – even if that might be on a bench in the middle of a park.

“I’m so fed up of untracked mail which creates ‘where is my order’ queries,” she added, saying tracked mail needs to become standard, which should be possible with the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

She also said delivery KPIs need to change, because a successful delivery to a customer is not a missed delivery in a sorting office, which is counted as successful by many carriers.

In 2017 Photobox sent 27 million parcels and at is busiest hour customers uploaded 1.5 million pictures which the company needed 10PT of data in the cloud to handle.