How schuh finds a perfect fit for eCommerce with hosting and support from TDM Group
From just a single Edinburgh store in 1981, today schuh is one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful footwear retailers. A strong, multi-channel approach has helped the company to grow and expand even in times of economic turbulence. With a commitment to innovation in a fast-moving, consumer-driven industry, schuh has developed a highly successful eCommerce channel. The company launched its first interactive website in 2002, to complement its chain of high street stores. Since then its eCommerce channel has established itself as a key part of the business, responsible for significant revenue generation.
The eCommerce channel has become increasingly important to the company’s success, as consumers have changed their buying habits to include digital browsing and purchasing methods. Claire Steyert, Internet Development Manager at schuh, says, “We regard our eCommerce operation as an integral part of the business. It’s important for the customer to enjoy a seamless experience, whether they interact with us on the high street, on a mobile device or using a desktop computer.”
www.schuh.co.uk is now schuh’s highest performing channel, representing over 20% of sales and outperforming even the largest of its stores and concessions.
Creating a solution that fits
A successful eCommerce channel requires a reliable and secure supporting infrastructure. In a highly competitive industry, downtime is not an option as it can have serious repercussions for both immediate revenue levels and for returning customer numbers. It is with this in mind that schuh works tirelessly to bring together an exceptional standard of infrastructure with a first class user experience on their website. Technical concepts such as load-balancing and website security are driven directly by business objectives, such as improving the customers buying experience and quality of service.
TDM Group has been an infrastructure partner of schuh’s since 2003. Claire acknowledges TDM Group’s contribution, saying “The great thing about TDM Group’s involvement is that we don’t have to worry about the infrastructure everything sits on. Their support frees us to press on with developing the internet as a channel and ensuring a good experience for our customers.” As schuh’s eCommerce channel grew, TDM Group were ready to help support the expansion of their IT infrastructure. This has resulted in a longstanding working relationship during a changing digital landscape, which schuh have been able to successfully navigate, reaching out for additional support when required.
Like schuh’s high-street outlets, the website experiences seasonal sales patterns: Christmas and the back-to-school periods are particularly busy times. Claire comments, “eCommerce is a now a big portion of our business and continuous uptime is critical to delivering excellent service to the customer, who is our primary focus. It’s essential that customers can shop online whenever they choose, 24/7, and receive great service. They just expect our website to be there – they won’t come back later if it’s not available.”
TDM Group meet this requirement by providing schuh with hosting on a 24×7 basis with support and management for ESX servers across two sites, which constitutes a significant part of their overall virtual environment.
How TDM Group supports
IT infrastructure that is monitored, managed, highly available and secure
Resources that can scale to meet changing business demands
An experienced sounding board for new concepts and ideas
A business partner
A long-term technology partner that the business can depend on
”The great thing about TDM Group’s involvement is that we don’t have to worry about the infrastructure everything sits on. Their support frees us to press on with developing the internet as a channel and ensuring a good experience for our customers.”
Claire Steyert, Internet Development Manager, schuh
In the competitive world of fashion retail, schuh continues to launch new products and services, and developing its web presence is all part of this commitment to innovation.
The company is about to release a new site, with the same code base presenting information optimised for whichever device the customer is using: mobile, desktop or tablet.
schuh is also expanding its digital footprint internationally with its European website – schuh.eu.
Throughout these exciting developments, TDM Group remains a constant partner, helping schuh manage and develop an infrastructure that can support the company’s ambitions for growth and expansion.
“TDM Group maintains regular contact with us and we’re very happy with a relationship that now spans many years,” concludes Claire.