Our solution and approach are unique, but we found general inspiration in several services that already exists in both Asia and Europe. Our idea is to introduce much more better and complex service.
But current global situation with COVID-19 and its impact on SME is strong impuls for simplification of such a services. We see literally millions of merchants and entrepreneurs of any size that are forced to close their shops or other business premises. Since even quite a small businesses currently needs simple and effective solutions for their first steps in digital environment.
What it does
Retailys.com is complex e-commerce platform that help retail businesses with digitalization and administration of the core of their business from a one simple administration. They can process all important aspects of their daily operations, including inventory management, order management, pricing, shipping and customer relations and save their time due to automatization of routine processes. From one administration there is opportunity to manage different online selling channels, such as web-shops (in different languages, currencies and meeting the local requirements) or global marketplaces (Amazon, eBay…).
The system includes advanced product inventory management and warehouse management, orders from all sales channels are displayed in one place and easy to navigate. Using API, new sales channels can be easily integrated to offer products at more multiple sites. Also other third party software can be integrated, such as CRM, accounting payment methods or logistics.
What was out path?
We already have quite a journey behind us from the original idea a few years ago to the currently existing solution. And we are proud that we managed to gather strong and dedicated team. But there is still lot of work for us to be done to make our solution both complex and simple for its users, so we could help even quite a small businesses to go online and sell their products to multiple countries.
What the solution contains or covers?
ONLINE STORES AND MARKETPLACES MANAGEMENT: Create multiple online stores, each in a different language or with different currencies. Open accounts on global marketplaces - Amazon, eBay and European markets that are visited by millions of users worldwide! PRODUCT MANAGEMENT AND WAREHOUSES: Parameters, descriptions, localization, pricing, stock availability or missing goods. Detailed classification in categories. And all this for all sales channels managed from one place! - SUMMARY OF ORDERS: Orders from all online stores and other channels are clearly displayed in one place. Edit their statuses, create invoices and automatically inform the customer about the order! CASH SYSTEM: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, issue documents directly from the system. Everything is connected with the product inventory and warehouses as well as to e.g. loyalty cards database. PAYMENTS AND SHIPPING: Use different payment and shipping methods for each site. Combine cash on delivery, payment gateways, deferred and mobile payments, and more. Set up different shipping services, prices or delivery times for each site. SUPPLIERS: Connect with suppliers, import products, sync warehouses automatically, and have thousands of products on offer! You can forward orders to suppliers directly from the administration!
What are the key integrated functions?
SALES CHANNEL CREATION: Retailys allows you to set up unlimited sales channels across Europe in one administration. When creating, the individual channels are adjusted according to the local specifics of the country (currency, language, text layout). PRODUCT PARAMETERS AND TAX RATES: On the product card you can easily set up not only the basic parameters of individual products (descriptions, weight, prices, ...) on each of your sales channels, but also, for example, value added taxes, which may vary in each country for specific products! REPORTING: In this section of the administration, you can monitor the summary list of the number of orders, the amount of turnover, the number of customers or what is the top products to sell online on individual sales channels. And all this in one place! ORDER MANAGEMENT: In the summary statement, you can see the total number of orders, amount of turnover, number of customers or the best-selling goods in individual online stores or other sales channels. And all this in one place! CUSTOMERS & CRM: Retailys can also be used as a customer database or CRM, because each created order is automatically recorded and assigned to the customer. This information can be further analyzed or modified.
How is it built
The solution is mostly built using PHP 7.3, using Symfony Framework and Nette Framework. The administration environment is built with Metronic and we are using REST API, docker, MariaDB with geographical redundancy and Redis . We are building cloud SaaS app using Microsoft Azure where are containers composed and structured by docker, but also orchestrated and scaled by kubernetes.
Challenges we ran into
During the whole weekend, we ran into many different challenges, both technical and operational. We had to work under quite a pressure, with short deadlines. We received interesting feedback on what we are doing, could discuss it with very experienced people, including our hacking fellows, and we also heard number of interesting ideas and recommendations related to our work.
But probably the biggest challenge was to finalize project for a pitch to be as good as possible in a very short period of time.
We now have fully operational product, but this is just a beginning. We will do our best to make the cross-border e-commerce as simple as possible. That's why we need to focus on rapid improvement of our front-end, but also create a tutorial and manual to provide appropriate guidance for new users. We see that the simple onboarding is key aspect. It is our way how to help with mitigation of COVID-19 impact and hopefully save businesses and jobs.