We talked to Roy Wan of Return Helper, a data-driven return management solution that optimizes return process and the aftermarket activities for online retailers.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Roy Wan: Covid-19 has been changing how people live, but luckily we are doing fine in Hong Kong.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Return Helper.
Roy Wan: I have spent 11 years+ in the eCommerce industry (eBay, Channeladvisor, etc.), and I have seen stories after stories that eCommerce sellers are losing a lot of money in return so, in 2018, my ex-colleagues and myself decided to quit and start Return Helper – the all-in-one eCommerce return management platform. We want to build a complete solution to help eCommerce merchants resolve eCommerce return effectively, efficiently, and eco-friendly.
How does Return Helper innovate?
Roy Wan: Traditionally, eCommerce return is taken as a logistic issue. However, the return does not end when the eCommerce parcel is returned, so it is a supply chain issue. Power by Big Data and machine learning, Return Helper combines sales channels, logistics, aftermarket services into one centralized platform so eCommerce merchants can easily resolve eCommerce return issues.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Roy Wan: Amid the pandemic, more and more people shop online, so the return volume grows a lot as a result. Also, more retailers realize that eCommerce returns, which could come from anywhere in the world, might also need “quarantine,” so we have also seen more eCommerce merchants looking for a 3rd party return solution.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Roy Wan: As Return Helper is a global business, I still need to travel a lot during the pandemic, but there are always “14 days+ quarantine” wherever I travel to, so I have less time stay with my family in these difficult times. It does make me truly appreciate the time when I stay with my family.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Return Helper in the future?
Roy Wan: Stress and anxiety is inevitable, especially for startup founders. My founding partners and I always support one another, and that is why we can continue to grow. Our revenue in 2020 has grown 5X, and we are going to grow in the future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Roy Wan: There is some similar solution in the US / Europe, but they do not have a presence in Asia. Also, we are a complete solution powered by machine learning and Big Data, and it is why we can stay on top of the game.
Your final thoughts?
Roy Wan: Covid-19 is going to last for a while for sure, so I think we all have to adopt to the “new normal.” As a startup founder, we will have to be as creative as we can and keep innovating so that we can always stay on top of the game.
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