iomart Hosting keeps online retailer sweet after X Factor judge Gary Barlow’s tweet points 1 million fans to website
Leading UK managed hosting and cloud computing company iomart Hosting helped Britain’s biggest online sweet shop A Quarter Of cope with unprecedented demand after X Factor judge Gary Barlow tweeted to fans before last weekend’s final.
Two days before Little Mix were crowned 2012 X Factor winners, Gary Barlow, whose Twitter name is @GBarlowOfficial, tweeted to his 972,000 followers to ‘Check this bag of goodies out www.AQuarterOf.co.uk.’ Within seconds more than 15,000 people had logged on to the retro sweet retailer’s website.
iomart Hosting managing director Sarah Haran, said: “The bandwidth graph for A Quarter Of clearly shows the huge spike in visitors to the website but there were no issues other than the retailer’s staff having to go into overdrive to meet the unexpected demand for Christmas orders!”
Michael Parker, managing director of A Quarter Of, said: “We had no idea what was going on. There was a sudden massive flood of orders, which, on top of Christmas, put a real strain on operations. But we’ve got a great technology team and a great hosting company, so we just ploughed on until we got everything done.”
A Quarter Of moved to iomart Hosting in 2007 after experiencing serious problems with a previous provider.
Michael Parker explained: “iomart Hosting have been really, really good since we moved to them. I noticed a surge in traffic to the website last week when the tweet went out but nothing more dramatic than that. In the past when we’ve had sudden surges of traffic, and we’ve had a fair few, we frequently had the server go down and were completely unable to cope. In one instance in the run up to Christmas in 2003, the site went down for 8 hours and I ended up with an email inbox with 5,000 emails in it. We had to put the phone on automatic answering because we just couldn’t cope! This time with iomart Hosting everything went smoothly.”
So what sweets did the Take That star buy?
Michael Parker says: “We’re not in a position to say what it was that Gary Barlow ordered from us. But we are incredibly proud to count him as a fan. Lots of people in the office have been fans of his for years and some of them are still a little bit giddy about the whole thing.
It’s great to know that even superstars love retro sweets. There’s something about enjoying them which transports you back a much simpler time.”
A Quarter Of recently featured on Nigella Lawson’s website as her ‘sweetshop of choice’, and also counts MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace as a fan.
iomart Hosting provides managed hosting and cloud services for a number of well-known online retailers. It is a subsidiary of iomart Group plc which is ranked as one of the top 25 cloud services providers in the world by Talkin’ Cloud 50 and was named Scottish Digital IT Company of the Year 2011.
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