Greeting card company Moonpig is to open a technology hub in Manchester next month, and will create a number of new tech roles across Manchester and London.
Fifty new technology roles will focus on developing and rolling out a new e-commerce data platform and working on better personalisation for the brand.
The move is part of a multimillion-pound investment by Moonpig alongside the appointment of a new managing director, Nickyl Raithatha, and the opening of its new headquarters in London earlier this year.
The firm’s chief technology officer, Peter Donlon, will head the project. He said Moonpig chose Manchester for its first tech hub because of the city’s thriving tech scene and “exceptional” pool of tech talent.
The company’s new head of engineering, Mark Evans, will be in charge of the new Manchester office.
“Moonpig produces over 15 million completely one-off items for customers every year, each one uniquely personal to the sender and receiver, and powered by our ‘emotionally intelligent’ technology,” said Donlon. “We are seeking the best engineering talent out there to turbocharge the Moonpig business going forward.”
Moonpig, founded in 2000 and bought by the Photobox group in 2011, allows customers to develop personalised products for special occasions, including greetings cards, gifts and flowers.
Personalisation is becoming increasingly important for retailers as technology makes customers more fickle. Many consumers have admitted they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that they feel “knows” them.
Although Moonpig already offers personalised products, its new hub is focused on offering data-driven personalised services.
There has been a focus by retailers in recent years on developing tech hubs to shift their business focus towards a more digital outlook, as well as creating more tech roles to develop digital services.
This year, online food delivery service Just Eat launched a search for 150 technology professionals to further develop the customer experience through its apps, and Santander bank is planning a £150m tech hub in Milton Keynes.