SUBMISSION for neos award 2021

Picture People | Voucher Shop

What is the project about?

PicturePeople is an owner-managed company with more than 60 photo studios located in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands and more than 400 permanent photographers. The company’s aim was to offer professional photos for everyone and to clean up the rather dusty photo studio market with a modern portfolio and an up-to-date range of services and a decentralized distribution. 

Before the project started, the company was working with a voucher shop that was very inflexible and technically outdated. For this reason, in mid-2020 the goal was set to launch a new, high-performance shop for the Christmas season. A major challenge was the need of connecting various existing systems to the new shop. In addition, a primary goal was to enable the company to react as flexibly and quickly as possible to market requirements.  

Therefore, an online shop for personalized gift vouchers was developed, in which the vouchers can be printed directly by the user or sent as an e-mail, as well as PDFs. On top of that, prefabricated gift cards and boxes can be ordered and sent by mail. The new shop is directly connected to the CRM as well as to a coupon code tool. The latter guarantees that all vouchers can be read and booked at every cash desk in each of the PicturePeople studios.

Why is our project award‑worthy?

The project combines many of the outstanding features and benefits of the CMS Neos, for instance: 

  • Intuitive editing
  • Powerful interfaces
  • Easy handling of multilingual content
  • Maximum flexibility
  • ... and many more

User Experience for Editors

IT’s THAT SIMPLE!

Neos enables editors to edit the content directly on the website. The immediate visual feedback while editing is a major benefit of the CMS. Also, the rich set of standard content elements (e. g. headlines, text, image or links) fulfill the requirements of many editors. 

An absolute highlight of the PicturePeople voucher store is the design builder, that enables editors to create individual voucher designs and administrate the personalization options of each design. This outstanding feature offers PicturePeople absolute autonomy. Vouchers designed this way can be quickly and easily personalized by the frontend user during the ordering process, saved as a PDF, printed out or sent as a designed, appealing e-mail – even directly to the voucher address!

Intuitive content editing

One of the outstanding benefits of Neos CMS is the visual content editing mode. To follow this lead the design builder for the gift card designs is intended and realized as an automatically refreshing design preview with options for personalization in the backend.

Free positionable arrays of the customization fields and additional design options for product details as well as HTML e-mail designs complete the builder and makes it the perfect tool for PicturePeople.

„What you see is what you get!“ – in 6 quick and easy steps:

  1. set title of the design
  2. place design thumbnail & product image
  3. upload basic design as an attractive PDF
  4. define customization fields
  5. arrange and position customization arrays
  6. adjust additional e‑mail design
PDF Design Upload

Upload an individual design-frame for the voucher easily as PDF

Refreshing Design Preview

Automatically refreshing design preview with personalization-options in the backend

Free Positionable Arrays

Exact positioning of the customization-fields via coordinates

HTML E-Mail Design

Additional design-options for attractive HTML-E‑Mails 

Pascal Kamp Online Marketing Manager PicturePeople GmbH & Co. KG
The special design-builder was fully integrated into the Neos-backend. We now use a tool for personalizing gift vouchers that is really intuitive and easy to use – for us as well as for all our frontend users. 
Pascal Kamp
Online Marketing Manager
PicturePeople GmbH & Co. KG

UI/UX for users

Experience the moment!

The corporate design of PicturePeople is creative, vivid, diverse, reduced, inspiring, bold, confident, competent, communicative, digital – and user-centered. Because the photographic studio market is a people-business. That’s with a capital „P“.

So the user-centered design of the shop was always in focus during the whole project. We made sure, that the front page offers direct access to all product categories and that the customizing of vouchers is quick, easy and fun! For instance, the detailed product views offer integrated design-choices which can be selected really intuitively.

On top of that we integrated possibilities to recommend best selling products and several marketing sections to enable our customer to accent different touch points along the customer journey for strategic up- and/or cross-selling contents.

Due to all this, buying a gift voucher in the new shop was meant to become a pleasant experience, just as the photo shoot itself.

For the „joy of use“

Small micro-interaction animations launched via mouse-over characterize the UX design and increase the „joy of use“ by vividly highlighting and rotating interface elements such as teasers in attractively appropriate polaroid look.

Of course, the voucher store is also optimized for mobile devices, so nothing stands in the way of a quick voucher purchase on the go or from the comfort of your cozy sofa.

A project like a photo shoot

Focus on what’s important.
Capture the good things.
Develop from the negatives.
And if things don’t work out
– take another shot.

Performance | SEO

In order to enable shop managers to publish pages that are easily found with search engines, we implemented basic SEO-maintainability including meta-tags, keywords, canonical links, opengraph-descriptions and so on.

Due to marketing campaigns on social media, Google and associated media penetration for Christmas sale the reach of the voucher shop hit the roof.

> 7.500 gift vouchers

since launch of the new voucher shop

> 5.000 orders

during the pre-Christmas sale season (from Black Friday to Christmas Days)

> 400.000 € turnover

since launch of the new voucher shop

> 60 € per cart

general average checkout-volume at the web shop

In order to withstand the run on the new shop, scalable hosting based on Kubernetes and Docker was set up – for maximum performance in times of high web traffic loads. So even spontaneous shop-visitors are guaranteed to get the perfect and personal last minute gift voucher.

Technical Stack

With the use of several fusion backend modules, the shop got various valuable functions. For instance, the entire backend process is based on fusion. In addition, the design builder is also a fusion-module, with which individual customer values, such as names, can be placed with millimeter precision. The generation of the PDFs for the gift vouchers is based on FPDF. The PDFs of the cover letters and invoices are generated using wkhtmltopdf.

The entire project is hosted with Kubernetes. This creates a reliable hosting, which scales dynamically to prepare the PicturePeople voucher store well for expected big rushes as just before the Christmas holidays. The use of Elasticsearch ensures good and fast filtering of products. Another technical component of the shop is Redis. The in-memory-database provides fast caching. Also, Tekton is used to build and deploy docker images automatically. 

The created interfaces make the project stand out.  Not only the connection of various payment providers, such as Paypal and sofort.com, but also the automatic voucher code generation and the comparison with the in-house CRM lend the project a high technical level.

Consent to use the content

If we won an award, we would agree to put our work into the spotlight and to be presented on neos.io. In detail, we would agree with the primary interest of sharing details of our project: 

- presentation via a case study on neos.io
- presentation via a blog post on neos.io
- to be stated as an award participant and that the customer logo is shown on neos.io with a backlink to the customer or agency

In order to facilitate the presentation of the project, a ZIP file containing the most important files of the project is compiled below.