10 Dez Customer interview – matches21 GmbH – Michael Merk
You have been looking for a very special (Christmas) gift for a long time, but have not found it yet? Then it is worth a visit to www.matches21.de. The successful online shop has specialized in exactly those products that you have been looking for in vain. With over 3,000 products around the topics gifts, decoration for all seasons, toys, leisure and household you will surely find what you are looking for and can make yourself or your loved ones happy. And if you have any questions, comments or wishes, you can always contact the helpful team of matches21 – this is customer service in action!
With the loving selection of the individual articles you will soon notice that behind the company stands a professional and well-rehearsed team with a good feeling for current trends and modern online shopping.
We talked to Mr. Merk, the founder and CEO of matches21, about the courage to start our own business, the importance of sustainability, regionality and social commitment as well as learning from customer feedback. It was an exciting, inspiring and very pleasant interview, which we would like to warmly recommend to you.
Dear Mr. Merk, we are very pleased to have this interview with you today. Would you like to start by telling all readers how your company matches21 came into being and what is special about the company history and the team behind it?
I am equally pleased. The idea for the project behind matches21 had been around for a long time before I ventured into self-employment. The experience and connections from previous jobs and circles of acquaintances, as well as a certain creative streak, which I was already able to demonstrate at that time, already gave the rough direction: Everything that makes your own home more beautiful. The start was classic in private premises with a few shelves, a desk and a packing table. But after the first three quarters of the year, the available space was already more than exhausted and we had to expand. At this point, my business partner also joined in. After more than 30 years in sales, he brought all the components of the company to a new level. Another three years later we bought our own property and moved into our current company headquarters in Lehrberg. We have existed since 2012 and we already have employees who have been with us for more than 5 years. That makes us a little bit proud and shows how great our team works and sticks together.
This is really a nice story of how we came into being, and you can look back on it.
Where do you get the inspiration for the composition of your assortment?
That is quite different. Everyone, both within the company and within the circle of family and friends, has an influence on the assortment. We follow up many ideas and suggestions, visit the relevant trade fairs and get feedback from our suppliers. In case of doubt, i.e. when we are not sure, there are small meetings and we all brood together.
Thank you very much for this interesting insight. In any case, it sounds as if you always keep your eyes and ears open.
Not only do you attach great importance to responsibility for our environment and social commitment – you also attach particular importance to partnerships with companies from your region. We think that’s very nice. Can you tell us more about it?
Yes, that’s how it is and we think that’s important. The wooden home accessories mentioned above, for example, we get from both regional and national producers in Germany, just as our own range of floor mats and carpet runners is largely produced in Germany. In addition, we also rely on partnerships with regional companies in order to individualize our products according to customer wishes. Overall, the proportion of domestically produced articles in our range is well over half. And goods that are no longer saleable, such as returned mail order items, do not end up on our rubbish, but rather serve a good cause as regular donations to local charities.
Wow. We think that’s very exemplary. But why is a good online reputation so important in online business and how do you think you can strengthen your presence?
Like everywhere else, you first have to earn the trust. After all, the market is huge, fast-moving and the anonymity is greater than in a traditional retail store. Here, buyer feedback is clearly required via seals of approval and rating portals.
We agree with you there. You have now been successfully collecting ratings with AUSGEZEICHNET.ORG for over 6 years. Which tools do you use to collect reviews? And how do your customers react to review requests?
Yes, first and foremost the rating seal of AUSGEZEICHNET.ORG is our figurehead to convince potential customers of our professional handling and first-class support. The public company profile on Google also proves to be very valuable here. The vast majority of buyers find it good to be able to pass on their feedback and often take the initiative themselves.
Has the customer feedback already helped you to improve the selection of your products or to optimize your online shop?
Definitely. The feedback of the buyers also flows into our decision-making regarding new products, the expansion of existing product lines or technical changes in the shop. For example, the feedback on our wooden construction kits was so positive that we have now been able to build up a unique, huge range of over 700 models.
Oh, great, we’re so glad. Almost daily you also present new product highlights. What else can your fans look forward to during the Christmas season? Are there any special promotions?
Just visit our shop at www.matches21.de and let us surprise you! As you already mentioned, we have something new to discover almost every day. In the last few months alone, over 700 new products have been added to our range for this year’s winter and Christmas season.
We would like to thank you, dear Mr Merk, very much for this exciting interview!