Damen Anchor & Chain Factory (AKF), in the Port of Rotterdam, informs it has completed its first online order transaction. Much of the Damen product range has had an online enquiry option for some time, though AKF is relatively new to the concept. And with Damen’s online presence growing constantly, there is a strong potential for future web-based commercial growth, the company said.
Theo Kloosterman, AKF Manager, explains how the order was swiftly brought to fruition. “It started on February, Friday 13 – 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.” Kloosterman 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 total delivery was twelve lengths of 16mm Grade U2 stud-link anchor chain each measuring 27.5 meters, 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.”
Only recently AKF began to offer an online enquiry option – following the rest of the Damen product range, which had started to do so three years previously. The web-based process is demonstrating growth for Damen as a whole, according to the company’s online marketing and social media specialist Björn Smets.
Smets stated that currently, each day brings in strong, qualified online leads. “Online activity has more than tripled since we started,” he said, 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’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,” Smets said, adding that Damen products are now easier to find and experience by individual visitors.
With regards to AKF, 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.”