PhotoBox Simplifies and Streamlines Their Content Publishing Process with a Rich, Future-Proof API

PhotoBox manages a large, robust ecommerce site that hosts a consistently heavy flow of new content. The increased emphasis on future-proof solutions led PhotoBox to explore a new option to build and publish their content using Contentstack, an API-first headless CMS.


More features per sprint


Reduced page load time


Development hours saved


PhotoBox is Europe’s leading personalised product printing company, offering a range of digital and print photo services to 30 million members across 19 countries.

Company Profile


Industry: Retail, Ecommerce

Company size: 501 - 1,000 employees


Before Contentstack, PhotoBox managed day-to-day content with an in-house, legacy CMS paired with an o-the-shelf solution. The result was an inecient CMS that was difficult to use and didn’t meet the needs of the PhotoBox content team. Though the CMS included a variety of convenient features, like scheduling, they didn’t always work. Even simple tasks like uploading a photo proved to be frustrating. This resulted in a heavily manual process that needed active monitoring outside of regular working hours. There was no convenient way for PhotoBox to bring content to new channels due to monolithic applications that made structural changes a long and arduous process.

PhotoBox needed a solution it could quickly implement during the off season that would be up and running by the holiday rush. The ideal solution involved moving part of the site to a framework that was easier to manage on the technical side, as well as on the content production and editing side.

The instability of the site was limiting for PhotoBox and it needed a CMS that would enable both technical and business teams to focus on their respective roles, code and content. The new system needed to be intuitive, user-friendly, and feature a single platform that could deliver content to both mobile and web. It also needed to support the rich set of functionality maintained on its old CMS, something most cloud platforms didn’t offer.

"Our old CMS platforms were extremely frustrating. It took too much time to ship new products to the site. The in-house solution was unstable. The impact that poorly framed content could have on the site was immeasurable. We needed to have part of the site move to a framework that was far easier to manage from both a technical and content editing perspective."

– Taher Khaliq, Director of Ecommerce Platforms, PhotoBox


PhotoBox experimented with various approaches to CMS before deciding on Contentstack. The headless CMS solution has a smooth UI that simplifies pushing content. It's robust and capable of hosting complex features on the site. Contentstack provides users with the right set of tools so even team members with limited experience using a CMS can avoid making mistakes and breaking the code.

Contentstack supports PhotoBox’s business and technical goals in the following ways:

  1. The PhotoBox team compares the user experience and intuitive interface to Apple products, which enables business users to use the tool with no technical support.
  2. Because the CMS is headless, developers have the freedom to code in any language, helping to deploy code faster and enabling the team to work on more new features.
  3. Contentstack will scale and change with PhotoBox as its needs grow, and its engineering team becomes increasingly agile and forward-thinking.

"Some of our use cases are unique, you can’t just cut and paste solutions around them. Contentstack was easy to use and the team was open to discussing changes or workarounds to each of the challenges we encountered."

– Taher Khaliq, Director of Ecommerce Platforms, PhotoBox


Using only the online guide, the PhotoBox team created its POC pages in a matter of days. The intuitive user interface made implementing the tool fast and easy, and also simplified training. The migrated pages have increased customer retention, and made it easier for the company to react faster to new content demands. The team no longer has to oversee and correct simple features like scheduling manually. Page load times were also reduced by 50%.

Flexibility is key for an online retail business like PhotoBox. Since Contentstack is an API-first headless CMS, PhotoBox can now consider adding in any platform or medium it needs in order to serve its customers. With the time saved on development and management of the old CMS, the team can focus on testing, metrics, UI/UX, design, content, and customer journeys instead. The move has also helped PhotoBox see an increase in agility, a key component in reaching its technical goal of continuous delivery (CD).

"Right now our focus is on our web and mobile platforms, but the fact that Contentstack is a headless CMS means that if we wanted to break into TV or even IoT, we can scale up quickly and easily to deliver to those channels. We don’t have to worry because we already have a solution that doesn't need to be retrofitted to work for new platforms."

– Darren Beukes, Software Architect, PhotoBox