Deichmann: bridging the store and online
German shoe retailer Deichmann was a pioneer of online selling – and today it continues to innovate in ecommerce delivery, collections and returns. It was an early adopter of internet technology, becoming one of the first retailers to sell shoes online, as far back as 2000.
Today the Essen-based group operates 29 different online shops around the world, and sells via four online marketplaces, including eBay. As well as selling online, Deichmann sells through some 1,200 stores around Germany. It also sells online and through stores in 24 international markets, including 21 in the European Economic Area.
The retailer links stores and online closely together, and its entire collection is sold in both. Customers can check online, via desktop or mobile phone, to see if a style is available in a specific size at a local store. Deliveries and returns are all free of charge.
Such features mean Deichmann performs strongly in InternetRetailing research for its joined-up logistics. That research finds that Deichmann enables shoppers to check store stock online, offers prepaid returns, as well as allowing customers to return unwanted items ordered online to the store.
Heinrich Deichmann, chairman of the Deichmann SE management board, says: “We consistently strive towards offering our customers the very best in every channel when it comes to products, prices and service and also to making the switch between channels as simple and convenient as possible. It’s not important for us to distinguish what proportion of sales is contributed by each distribution channel: what counts is that customers buy from us.”
Deichmann introduced a Ship2home delivery service in 2015. When customers can’t find their chosen shoe in their size in the store, they can pay for the shoes in store and order them for home delivery, free of charge. If they subsequently wish to return them they can do so by post or in the store. This service was expanded in 2017 to cover all stock available in other branches as well as online.
In Germany, Deichmann is currently trialling a new store format. Five stores now have large touchscreen monitors where customers can view the full range and order items online. Sales staff have handheld scanners that enable them to check where stock is available and have it delivered to the customer. Deichmann is also offering “window shopping”, using a system built into the shop window, to enable customers at around 10 stores in areas including Berlin, Essen and Düsseldorf, to order shoes for home delivery.