Retino founder Petr Boroš conceived the idea of an efficient tool for e-commerce returns management at the time when he was running his own e-shop, Higarden.cz. As with thousands of other online retailers, he struggled to come up with a solution to deal with returned goods effectively while still keeping customers satisfied. In 2017, when Petr and his colleague successfully sold Higarden, he founded his next venture Retino with the highest ambitions – to address the pressing challenge faced by almost every e-commerce retailer worldwide. Today, only every other customer is satisfied with the returns and complaints process in e-shops, affecting vendors’ customer loyalty and long-term business growth.
Today, e-shops usually resolve returns via phone calls and e-mails, using Excel spreadsheets to keep track. The whole process is fragmented into many channels and e-shop employees spend their time on repetitive tasks. This is the case for the majority of e-shops and it is by no means just an issue for small businesses.
Perhaps this is the reason why Petr’s vision caught the attention of Czech and Slovak e-commerce heavyweights including Josef Matějka (CZC), Martin Rozhoň (Vivantis) and Peter Hajduček (Footshop), who now help Retino in building its business.
Efficient e-shop operations and customer satisfaction
With his team, Petr developed an integrated software-as-a-service platform that brings together all communication and information regarding a particular return case in one place. E-shops can install and integrate it into their websites with a single click and then easily identify the respective goods, monitor the progress of the returns process, and communicate with customers. They can save up to 75 % of the time and costs associated with returns processes.
Customers can set up their returns process in a few clicks, choose the method of delivery, and monitor how the given case is progressing. The overall process is significantly faster, increasing customer satisfaction and thus the likelihood of repeat purchases.
The Acomware's 2018 study claims that if an e-shop refunds its customers immediately, up to 70 % of them will buy in the same store again. If an e-shop refunds them in three weeks, only 9 % will shop again. Using the Retino solution, customer satisfaction with the returns process reaches up to 95 %.
New distribution model brings quick results
Retino has been acquiring its customers mostly through direct sales since entering the market, thanks to which the company received valuable feedback that has helped develop Retino into its present state. When the company verified the functionality of its solution, the team decided to change its distribution model. In October 2018, the Retino plug&play module was launched on the largest Czech end-to-end e-commerce platform, Shoptet, currently actively used by over 17,000 e-shops in the Czech Republic.
During just the first 19 minutes following launch on the Shoptet platform, Retino registered 100 new users and to date has processed 3 million orders from over 100 vendors. Furthermore, Retino has a pipeline of over 1,000 potential customers only within the Czech and Slovak markets.
The company charges e-shops a fee of EUR 0.6 to EUR 1.90 per opened complaint or returns case. Since launching the service in the third quarter of 2018, the company has processed over 15,000 cases with the volume growing every month, resulting in rising revenues, which reached EUR 7,000 in the last quarter of 2018.
Rise of e-commerce signals business opportunity
Stable growth of the European e-commerce market, which is estimated at 7.5 % p.a. over the next four years, favours Retino as the volume of complaints and returns rises with it. Last year, the number of complaints and returns in the CEE region reached approx. 35 million, of which over 14 million were addressable by Retino. This number is expected to double over the next 3 years.
As the sales model applied on the Shoptet platform proved to be effective, Retino intends to replicate this success on global e-commerce platforms including Magento, BigCommerce and WooCommerce, which host hundreds of thousands of e-shops around the world. In order to do so, the company now needs to strengthen its development team and raise capital to support further distribution and marketing activity. As a result, Retino decided to launch an investment campaign on the Crowdberry platform. In exchange for growth capital, it is offering investors an equity stake in the company. This opportunity also attracted existing Retino investor StartupYard, a leading Prague-based accelerator, who showed interest in joining the ongoing investment round as well as expressing satisfaction with the company's development to date.
More on the Retino investment campaign here.