20 March 2015

Online enquiries Damen Shipyards Group boost in all markets

Damen Anchor & Chain Factory (AKF), in the Port of Rotterdam, has successfully completed its first online order transaction. Much of the Damen product range has enjoyed an online enquiry option for some time, though AKF is relatively new to the concept. With Damen’s online presence growing constantly, there is a strong potential for future web-based commercial growth.

Theo Kloosterman, AKF Manager, explains how the order was swiftly brought to fruition. “It started on February, Friday 13th – a lucky day,” he quipped. “An enquiry came in at the end of the day, asking if we could supply 300 metres of chain and associated components.” Mr Kloosterman quickly confirmed availability of the required products and, by the following Monday, had put together a quotation for the client – a yacht repair specialist based in Portugal.

The client also sent us some pictures of their anchors, so we were able to advise them on product specifics and fine-tune the order to suit their exact requirements
“The client also sent us some pictures of their anchors, so we were able to advise them on product specifics and fine-tune the order to suit their exact requirements. The total delivery was twelve lengths of 16mm Grade U2 stud-link anchor chain each measuring 27.5 metres, fourteen kenter shackles, two swivel forerunners, two 3-link adapting pieces, two D-type anchor shackles and two crown shackles, altogether weighing in at 1,780kg.”

Online enquiries

Only recently AKF began to offer an online enquiry option – following the rest of the Damen product range, which had started to do so 3 years previously. The web-based process is demonstrating clear growth for Damen as a whole according to the company’s online marketing and social media specialist Björn Smets.

Mr Smets states that currently, each day brings in strong, qualified online leads. “Online activity has more than tripled since we started,” he says, pointing out that more clients are now aware that they can find Damen products online, thanks to ongoing website development and a robust social media campaign. Damen sees leads coming in from many countries and for many different vessel types.

Damen products are easier to find and experience by individual visitors

New business

Damen’s online presence has often led to the generation of new clients, including the sale of a Fast Crew Supplier 2610 vessel to a UK-based company that Damen had not previously worked with. “Online leads can generate whole new relationships – people just have to be able to find you,” says Mr Smets.

As a result, Damen products are easier to find and experience by individual visitors. “This makes it very easy for people to find exactly what they are looking for, says Mr Smets”

Recently, the user-friendliness and high success rate of www.products.damen.com earned Damen a coveted award. The company, along with their website partner, Evident, won the Business Transformation category of the Benelux Sitecore Experience Award 2014. The company’s online catalogue is constantly evolving and Mr Smets says that, in future, visitors will enjoy an even more personalised experience.

Just the beginning

With regards to AKF, Mr Smets is also confident that this is just the beginning for online-generated sales. “In the last few months we’ve seen quite some leads coming in for AKF and I think this product range is particularly well-suited to online sales as it is easily transportable. This is certainly not a one-off event."

Read also: Damen Shipyards Group wins Sitecore Business Transformation Award

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