Category: Around town

Adventures with online shopping – Part 1/504 – Chance encounter

In 2015 I bumped into an old friend at the local recycling depot. The last time I had seen him was when we both worked at Stansted Airport where we worked in a restaurant when we were about 16 years old. Fast forward 25 years and thankfully our careers had moved on a little since those days, and we weren’t still washing up and cooking sausages.

We got chatting and soon got onto what we were both doing for work and it turned out he had been working in the railroad industry and I was running a digital design company. “Interesting” he said, “I might have some work for you with the other businesses I run”, and so I kissed goodbye to the old Dell I had bought up to the skip and we exchanged details and picked up the conversation a few days later.

It turned out that as well as his main work he was also running an online shop selling workwear clothing called Largam Works and he needed some help with the shop. He was an official reseller for Carhartt workwear, Filson and Red Wing boots. All of which I liked the look of. They were really good quality brands and I think that helps. You have to believe in a product in order to honestly sell it and these were all brands i knew reasonably well. I owned a pair of Red Wing boots and had worn Carhartt in the past. Filson was more of a premium American brand that I was wasn’t familiar with but having seen the clothes I was really happy with the quality and range they had. At the very least i might be able to get a cheap jacket for my troubles.

He wanted to know if i knew anything about online retail and if i would be interested in having a look at his website to see if I could help out with some changes he needed as he wasn’t happy with the company he had been using and wanted our opinion on the setup and how to take things forward. He didn’t know anything really about websites or marketing but he did have good connections and an entrepreneurial spirit that I could connect with.

This struck me as a good opportunity and so I took him up on his offer and started investigating the business and how it worked.

My background has always been in supplying material for marketing teams that either worked for an online store or for owners of such businesses, so I was in a good position to at least asses what they had been doing to date and see if there was anything we could do to support the business and do it better. By the Scruff has designed websites for online shops in the past and we are also very knowledgeable about email marketing and advertising. At our heart we are creative digital designers, so our job is to promote a business or a brand, using familiar techniques that essentially get people to buy a product. This could be a really good fit for us.

Magnus was concerned that the fee he was being charged for ongoing management and hosting was not getting him the returns he wanted and that he was a better way to work. The company he was using was going through a difficult patch and changes in staff meant that the level of service he was getting was below the standard he expected. I agreed to investigate the business and see what the setup was before we go any further.

The first steps

  • How is the website built and managed
  • What control over the website page templates do we have
  • Is Analytics installed
  • What payment gateway is being used
  • Who hosts it
  • Who manages the orders
  • How is the fulfilment of the orders managed
  • How many people are involved in the business
  • How many sales are there each month
  • How much money does it make
  • Can I make any money out of this

So the process began. We were keen to get some new business, especially through a past connection that had been ignited through a chance meet at the skip. Referrals are always the best way to get work I have found and this way we have already got a level of trust that takes time to establish. Even though the local skip was not a place that i was expecting to have this meeting, it did work all the same. Maybe I should think about more visits to the skip and leave a load of business cards scattered around place. Its a bit like some networking events I’ve been to in the past where you have to sift through the crap to get to the people who you really need to speak to. In this instance it was the card & paper recycling unit that hooked me and Magnus up.

The journey continues…

Part 2 – Discovery phase


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We have moved

By the Scruff have moved offices and are now co-located with the wonderful people at Brightlemon. We are situated in a open plan office on the ground floor of what used to be the Financial Times, many moons ago.

Still ideally situated in the heart of Tech City we can now provided our services in a typically urban digital environment.

Brightlemon are experts in building community based websites for the likes of British Council, NHS, Amnesty International, UKTI and many other larger organisations. We are working with them to provide creative solutions for their clients and will benefit from their expert skills and experience in building focused community websites.

If you are in the area and want to meet for over a coffee and discuss projects and challenge us to a game of ping pong then get in touch.


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Trying to find an html email developer or a place for lunch in Shoreditch?

So you are either looking for a place to have lunch in Shoreditch or for a company who provides an HTML email design service. Either way, we are able to help you.

If you have read our blog before and have tracked what we discuss you will notice that what we post is not always directly related to who we are or what we do such as the Shoreditch Lunch Club (a vain attempt at trying to attract business from people who might accidentally stumble upon us while looking for a place to eat in Shoreditch). As yet we have not had a single call from anyone who wanted to speak to us about developing a new email campaign whilst looking for the best place to get lunch for under a fiver. That’s not to say it won’t happen but I bet we are more likely to get a free lunch from one of the restaurants we have scored for lunch – at least I hope so.bts-bjp


In any case, if you are looking for a company to speak to about your HTML email campaigns then we could be the right business, assuming we’re not out to lunch that is. Click here for some more details or give us a call.

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