The pandemic COVID-19 revealed that there are more than 100,000 E-commerce stores in Saudi Arabia. The surge demand of shipping companies required merchants to do a lot of research. The selection process of shipping companies takes up to 45 days from initial contact to technical integration. Torod found an opportunity to reduce the gap by implementing a web platform that allow merchants to find the best-fit shipping provider. Therefore, Torod signed contracts with 18 shipping companies and integrated with 6 of them. Now, Merchants can sign-up on Torod and start shipping directly.

What it does

Torod is a web platform that enables E-commerce Store Owners (Merchants) to connect their store, sync orders, and assign them directly to the best-fit shipping provider in KSA. Torod platform will recommend the best shippers based on: Product Type, Size, weight, shipping origin point, destination. Then, will allow merchants to compare different shippers and Service levels in order to make an informed decision. No Contracts required, and zero coding required. All prices are pre-negotiated with a premium discount, and all the shipper APIs are connect to Torod platform. In addition to that, Torod provides Rule-based automation system, that allows merchants to automate shipper-selection based on pre-defined variables, such as item type, weight, value, shipping destination or payment method.

How we built it

  1. Identified the problem in the E-commerce industry from the merchant perspective
  2. Identified the problem in the market from the shipper perspective
  3. Designed Torod product plan and roadmap
  4. Designed Torod Prototype
  5. Built a team of Front-end designer, CTO, commercial team member, and operations team member
  6. Developed MVP (Minimal viable product) using HTML and CSS
  7. Developed back-end prototype using PHP symfony
  8. Signed contracts with Shipping companies such as SMSA, J&T

Challenges we ran into

  1. Merchant vs. Shipper financial reconciliation.
  2. Temperature Controlled logistics for healthcare, beauty items.
  3. Live tracking with shippers that use aging technology, or only update tracking status once a day

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. 3 Shippers API Integrated (15 Shipper contracts ready, and APIs collected)
  2. Zid Platform Integration connected
  3. Website landing page and sign-up ready
  4. HubSpot CRM and ChatBot integrated and functional Merchant Dashboard development is ready
  5. Won 14k Grant from Monshaat in a competition
  6. Became Techstars portfolio company
  7. Built a team with diverse talents and expertise that can support the success of Torod.

What we learned

  1. We assessed merchants in ecommerce market size.
  2. We learn about other countries logistics and solutions.
  3. We understand merchants challenges especially in logistics
  4. We learn how to build a solid team through transparency and empowering each other.

What's next for TOROD

  1. Prepare Torod Integration with 6 E-commerce Technologies (Zid, Salla, WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, OpenCart).
  2. Integrate with 25 Shippers (Covering range of services and reach to KSA).
  3. Provide an added value service through Cash on Delivery financing through 3rd Party lending company such as Tabby.
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