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E-commerce packaging reinvented: UK-based Penny Black conceals £1.5M boost

Penny Black funding
Picture credits: Penny Black

Currently, third-party logistics centres (3PLs) struggle to personalise e-commerce packages as most of them are mass-printed with one-design and gift notes included inside. UK-based Penny Black makes a difference with personalised e-commerce packages.

Its unique offering helps automate a revenue-boosting process for on-demand, beautifully designed printouts, specifically geared toward each customer, location, product or package.

Known for its personalised e-commerce packages, Penny Black has received an additional £1.5 million in seed funding. The investment came from AGFA, a 150-year-old imaging technology company and VC investor ninepointfive, which backed MakerVerse

This investment follows the £1.3 million that the company secured back in October last year. Both investment funds were triggered by the numerous partnerships and wins across the UK and Europe.

Douglas Franklin, CEO at Penny Black, stated, “The moment consumers receive their online orders is the only touchpoint left for ecommerce brands to have a physical connection with them. Brands need to surprise and delight customers to secure their loyalty, especially when acquiring new ones can be so expensive. Riding the wave of global growth in ecommerce, we’re delighted to be attracting more interest. And this latest boost in investment will help us develop even further.”

Growth trajectory for unique e-commerce packaging solution

Founded by Douglas Franklin in 2016 in London, Penny Black is making waves with its innovative approach to personalised packaging, transforming mundane ecommerce parcels into engaging, unforgettable unboxing experiences. 

It is a unique marketing SaaS tool for ecommerce brands that seamlessly connects online stores, marketing tools, warehouse management systems, and fulfillment centers. This enables brands to harness customer data and create hyper-personalised experiences and printed materials that delight customers from the moment they open their purchases. 

The company has witnessed steady month-on-month growth and attracted a number of new customers. Its customers include sustainable toothbrush retailer SURI, gin brand Warner’s Distillery and health supplements retailer Zooki. Retailers and 3PLs have been using the easy-to-use marketing technology to help differentiate themselves from competitors.

Penny Black’s marketing SaaS tool for ecommerce brands is already being deployed across Europe by global fulfilment providers like Radial, Elanders, I-Fulfilment and Schroeders. 

Helps customers beat competition 

Furthermore, retailers saw a measurable uplift in online sales after running personalisation campaigns. The toothbrush retailer, SURI, used Penny Black inserts to drive customer referrals and saw referral share rates up to 30%.

“Penny Black’s personalised inserts increased the size of our loyal customer base by six times; and once customers are in the community, their lifetime value (of sales) automatically rises. We can invite loyal repeat buyers to join the club, interact with fellow customers and take them on a physical journey of education and delight,” said Krisi Smith, Co-Founder at British tea retailer Bird & Blend Tea Co.

“As a young direct-to-consumer brand, enhancing our unboxing experience is a crucial growth opportunity for us. With Penny Black’s platform, we’re already seeing some brilliant results and delighting our customers. The integration with our 3PL was super simple, the personalisation process is intuitive, and with regular testing and iterating, Penny Black has helped us unlock tremendous value through this channel,” added Gyve Safavi, Co-Founder and CEO of SURI.

“Penny Black has solved the problem of creating a personalised unpacking experience for consumers in the world of ecommerce. The technology allows us to produce highly personalised campaigns, printed on-demand in our distribution centres, with engaging communications that elevate the consumer experience. This adds value to the service we provide to brands and delivers a solution that few other 3PLs can rival,” added Kevin Rogers, MD of Elanders UK.

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