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Retro retailer with the futuristic business model


Article Type: Case Study          Published: 01-2015         Views: 1776      

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Retro clothing and gift specialist TruffleShuffle are able to focus on their core business - supplying weird and wonderful T-shirts, homewares and more - and leave the management of their e-commerce function to hosting company iomart.

Retro clothing specialist TruffleShuffle is 10 years old and is just as young at heart. Founder Pat Wood started the business after coming back from a holiday in the US and getting compliments about the Dukes of Hazzard t-shirt he wore out to his local pub. He decided to start a small business selling the best retro tees he could find, named it after the famous dance in the classic 80's movie 'The Goonies', and the rest, as they say, is history!

From a few hundred t-shirts in the early days TruffleShuffle now has hundreds of exclusive ranges of retro t-shirts, gifts and accessories. It has an online presence to rival the footfall of the biggest flagship stores on London's Oxford Street, with millions of people visiting its website. The e-commerce model TruffleShuffle is based on is key to its success.

"Having our products easily available online is the most important thing for us," says Pat. "If we were selling our t-shirts out of a small shop we'd never make money. Our website gets around 8,000 to 10,000 visitors a day during normal months and at Christmas time that can peak to 35,000. The internet opens another door for your business - there really is no better marketplace."

TruffleShuffle is a connected business. It reaches its customers through the website, Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels. Pat explains, "We've embraced social media and connected it to how our customers use the internet. Even though we're an online business, providing outstanding customer service is hugely important to us. If you treat people well they come back and that's what we focus on in everything we do. We've invested in creating a website that's appealing, easy to navigate and to buy through and crucially is optimised for mobile."

The TruffleShuffle website and database is supported by a fully managed hosting package from iomart. There are two dedicated web servers and a dedicated master database server that are load balanced with Single Quad Core Core Xeon, lots of RAM, RAID and Redundant PSU. TruffleShuffle also has a CloudSure VM Slave Database server with RAM and HDD (SATA), Database Set Up and mirroring configuration with Postfix set up. All the servers use Linux and there is a Cisco ASA 5505 with SEC Plus Dedicated Firewall for protection.

Because of the huge amount of items they sell, TruffleShuffle's backups need to be tailored to individual requirements. Storage demands can vary up to 50GB depending on how busy it is. Meanwhile iomart provides a 100% uptime guarantee, round the clock server and service monitoring; sys admin support; telephone and helpdesk support. There is full Operating System support and configuration services and server-side application support.

Pat Wood, Managing Director of TruffleShuffle, says, "The reason for having a fully managed service from iomart is that during times like Christmas when we are so busy we can rely on their technical team to deal with any IT issues so we can get on with ensuring our customers have the best experience through our website and ecommerce operation. It means that orders are seamless from website to warehouse to delivery and that is vital when you're running a busy online retail business like this."
More info: www.iomart.com

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