Moonpig

we also designed and developed the hugely popular Moonpig app

Since launching Moonpig’s first native app for the iPhone on iOS3 in 2010, we created an engaging, easy to use, award-winning mobile application, available throughout the UK, USA and Australia. Our talented iOS developers continually nurtured the app, adding new features such as augmented reality Video Cards and custom text editing.

Keen to deliver an optimised user experience across a wide range of devices, we also developed versions for the iPad and Android. The result is a suite of highly interactive revenue-generating tools which have helped achieve multi-million pound sales.

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17 million

downloads/updates

3

countries

2010

launch date

70+

releases in 2014

In 2010, personalised greetings specialist Moonpig began considering the mobile app space.

Having experienced significant online success since their website launch in 2000, the retailer believed their product offering was perfectly suited to the evermore popular world of mobile. But the question they faced was how to make the leap. Moonpig’s Product Director James Henson explains: “Our desire to embark upon our first mobile app development was, to some extent, an experiment. We wanted to extend our brand presence by being in the mobile app environment, but we approached the whole thing with an investigational outlook.

“We hadn’t seen huge mobile app success for other retailers at this time, so didn’t know exactly what conversion rate or ROI we would get from an app. But we were willing to give it a try.” And so began the search for a mobile app development specialist that could support Moonpig on its journey. With no internal mobile app development expertise at the time, the team sought the knowledge and creativity of an experienced agency dedicated to this niche environment. The search stopped at Common.

James explains why Moonpig was impressed with this Yorkshire business: “Some of my peers were familiar with the work of Common’s senior team members and spoke highly of their technical design abilities. As we got to know the company we learned everyone shared the same drive, talent and dedication to all things mobile. This was not a ‘super agency’ professing to be able to offer every type of creative service; this was a close-knit, friendly bunch of specialists that eat, sleep and breathe apps.”

And that’s not all. “Because we didn’t know at the outset if the app would be especially profitable, it couldn’t cost the earth,” continues James. “The risk-reward model that Common recommended therefore made the project viable.” Such a collaborative ‘partnership’ approach also meant Common demonstrated the same level of commitment and enthusiasm as members of Moonpig’s own internal team. The mobile app experts got to the heart of Moonpig’s business strategy and quickly learned about their product offering. They then added their own creative flair and user experience (UX) expertise to bring Moonpig’s vision to life.

A native iOS app for the iPhone on iOS3 marked Moonpig’s first venture into the world of mobile apps.

Wholly designed, developed and tested by Common, it was so successful it topped the lifestyle apps chart three times, pipping brands such as Tesco and eBay to the top spot. Regular releases and ongoing iterations have kept the app fresh and Moonpig’s customers remain highly engaged to this day. James continues: “I have never been able to fault Common’s commitment to us, the client. Throughout our working relationship they continued to collaborate in setting an exciting roadmap of new features.

They went the extra mile, working highly unsociable hours to conduct rigorous testing exercises and ensure the achievement of deadlines however tight. I’m not sure all suppliers would exhibit this level of service. It was therefore an easy decision to ask Common to embark on the Android journey with us in 2012 and develop a ground up version of the Moonpig app to be distributed through the Google Play store. Common also proved instrumental in us developing an iPad app in 2013, which was an important next step for the evolution of our apps”.

Today, Moonpig’s apps are revenue-generating tools that form a crucial part of the company’s retail strategy. Available in the UK, USA and Australia for both Apple and Android, there have been more than 70 updates and releases, and over 17 million downloads and updates to date.

James concludes: “There is no question that the apps Common developed for Moonpig, allowed us to get a very strong early foothold in a new channel. We saw real customer interest and sales growth from the very beginning, particularly on the Apple platform. And that success was not just about moving existing customers from web to app – we also acquired new customers via the app store and saw incremental growth. The apps certainly exceeded those early expectations in 2010 in terms of the traction we gained, and they have become central to a mobile first strategy for the business. The commercial advantages of the app aside, we also formed some great working relationships and friendships that remain today.”