Flexible hosting as a basis for the growth ambitions of the webshop Deloox

Strong international growth ambition and at the same time handling peak loads in our own country: such is the reality at the online store Deloox. While the focus is on European growth, it is important that infrastructure remains stable and scaled where necessary.

In the Dutch market, where the various online stores catch each other’s flies, the online store Deloox – then still Superwinkel – chose three and a half years ago to fully invest in perfume and beauty products again. Until then, the online department store had a wider range, and also offered, for example, toys and consumer electronics. Despite being chosen as the best online store in the department store category, this wide selection proved to be an unmanageable card in the mutual battle with Bol.com and Amazon. Deloox decided to return to the industry it started in.

After an extensive markprocess, where the name was changed to Deloox, is the focus again on one and the same product market. In the Netherlands and abroad, because the online store has now been expanded to the Belgian, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish markets.

The challenges of internationalization

In addition to maintaining and strengthening the top-hundred list of the largest online stores in the Netherlands, Deloox’s biggest ambition is to become one of the largest online beauty stores in Europe. However, these ambitions also present challenges. For example, the company must perform all activities multilingual. In addition, each market is different. In terms of market access, but also in terms of competition. In Germany, for example, a lot of investment is needed to create brand awareness, while there is much less competition in other markets.

Each country also has its own characteristics, for example in relation to payment methods and customer preferences. What are the requirements for payment options? Which carrier is perceived as reliable? Deloox must also answer such questions when realizing its international ambitions. By operating as locally as possible, with local customer service, postal address and telephone number, Deloox wants to make the customer feel as reliable as possible.

Need flexible hosting

Also multivaluta is a challenge, for example in Sweden. Deloox has completely built its platform for both the front and back of the website. In the beginning, a solution for other currencies was not taken into account. Deloox grew on an infrastructure designed for the Dutch market, but which should be able to grow with it because of its ambitions. This has in house development department always solved itself.

The scalability of this infrastructure is crucial to (continue to) enable growth, both in hosting and landscape. This is where scalable hosting comes in. A flexible hosting solution can easily carry the increasing traffic from different countries, and thus the increasing server load. Deloox was looking for a scalable hosting solution that could grow with the company’s ambitions.

Proactive cooperation

But there is another important factor to consider in the search for a solid infrastructure: peak loads in high season. In the perfume and beauty market, there is a fixed peak period in November and December, starting with Black Friday and ending after the Christmas period. The traffic can increase to three times the normal amount during that period. This is essentially something where Deloox was looking for a party in the field of hosting that proactively thinks with, to be scalable in those kind of peak moments. It was not necessary to establish an infrastructure that has this capacity all year round, but an infrastructure that is scalable to be able to carry those kinds of peak loads. In the Netherlands alone, the average traffic is at such a level that the higher load capacity during peak times is really necessary.

In that search, Deloox ended up at True almost four years ago. From the very beginning, it has therefore been the main goal to set up and make the hosting infrastructure scalable, in order to contribute to the international growth ambition.

With collaborations such as with Deloox, True engineers contact you in the months prior to known peak periods to discuss these moments. How many visitors are expected? How much requests a minute? Against this background, a proposal follows, with certain substantive adjustments, tailored to the period in question. Everything will be screwed down again in January. This collaboration has been going on for four years now and this pro activity is especially appreciated at Deloox. Anticipating problems, but also responding directly to any acute problems, forms the basis of a solid infrastructure and cooperation.

Next step: resources per. micro service

At this moment, everything at True is ready to contribute to Deloox’s success. The webshop’s next step is therefore to continue the European expansion, both in the countries where the company is already active and in new countries. Due to Deloox’s enormous growth and the fact that the company has developed its own software, the company increasingly wants to convert the various applications from its landscape to micro-services, while choosing more from the shelf-solutions. Thanks to this choice, Deloox can also guarantee the scalability of the components within the software area.

Because Deloox wants to integrate separate services, the company is looking at the possibility of setting this up on a Kubernetes structure. This way, it can reconnect the hosting to the software. With a Kubernetes solution, the infrastructure is set up in a more modular way, which means that Deloox can also allocate resources per. microservice. The performance of all these separate applications in the landscape can thus be supported even better as Deloox continues to grow.

We like to be at the forefront of realizing that kind of ambition. By thinking with, sparring and advising and offering the best (hosting) solutions, we form the basis for our customers’ dreams.

About the Author: Mark Bevelander is Account Manager at True.

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