Modern Customer Journey: Omnichannel
"Omnichannel" is the technical term for a multichannel shopping experience in which customers can embark on their journey at one point and continue it anytime, anyplace. Companies like 24Helmets.de that understand how their customers act across the channel spectrum can boost sales and reinforce customer loyalty.
Like all good new-economy fairy tales, this story begins in a garage: Until just a few years ago, entrepreneur Daniel Dimpker used a garage to stockpile boxes of motorcycle helmets. After work, he would market and ship helmets to friends and their friend networks. Soon his hobby grew into something more. Dimpker gave up his job as a direct marketing specialist in order to concentrate on sales and distribution of motorcycle helmets, apparel and accessories. Ever since, his company 24Helmets.de has reported sales growth of 30% each year. For some leading brands in this segment, 24Helmets.de is one of their largest agents in Germany and Europe.
"Austria and Switzerland are our biggest foreign markets," says Dimpker, "but we have an increasing number of customers in Eastern Europe, and even a few from overseas. We’ve had orders from Australia, Canada and Mexico." In his Hamburg shop, surrounded by carefully arranged helmets racks of leather jackets, and ceiling-high shelves of boxes, he stands behind the sales counter with a fresh cup of coffee. In 2015 he opened the store to complement his online shop: The 300 square meters include a showroom, storage space and an office.
Today, consumers can view, rate, and purchase practically any product, at any time, from anywhere in the world, through various channels. Social networks and online ratings make for better-informed consumers before a sale is concluded. "A purchase on 24Helmets.de typically begins with a visit to our website also: 75% of our sales originate online. But we also provide style advice to our customers by email and phone. Many customers even make the trip downtown just to try on their favorite product in the store," he says. Dimpker uses an iPad as an "extended shelf"– to show the customer other available models, sizes, or colors in his inventory that are not on display due to the limited size of the showroom.
Availability is key. "We ship an order within one day, and in the case of a return, we reimburse the customer’s money just as quickly. This makes us one of the most reliable partners in the business." For Dimpker, advice, promptness and easy returns are the factors underpinning his multinational success.