Artem Verovenko DTX 2019 Interview
NATALIE TURNER [00:00:14] Hello and welcome back to day two of Digital Transformation Expo. You’re with me Natalie Turner from Disruptive Live. And today, I am joined by the CEO Artem of Sam from Replyco. How are you today?
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:00:26] I’m good. Thanks for having me today.
NATALIE TURNER [00:00:27] No problem at all. So Artem, you I have to say, you are so young looking and you are the CEO of Replyco I mean, that’s incredible. How did you how did you get there? Tell us about your journey.
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:00:38] Sure. Sure. So I started from e-commerce industry about 10 years ago. We founded the company called Linnworks. I was part of the founding team. Essentially literacies. Rule was to try and solve the automation piece for the online retailers, ranging from bedroom sellers all the way to the large enterprises like Ford Dyson, etc.. And on the back of that, I founded a company called Replyco. And what we specialise in is in trying to solve the same automation issue. But this time round in the customer support space.
NATALIE TURNER [00:01:14] Amazing, wow. So thats a lot of information right there, but Replyco. Like tell me a little bit more about that. How long has that been going for and have you achieved the goal that you set out to? what’s the future looking like?
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:01:27] Sure. So we founded the company in December 2017. The view is that modern buyers are getting increasingly frustrated with the average response times and the SLA standards out there. I think 24 hour response times are no longer acceptable. And so even twelve hours no longer acceptable. And so we set out on a goal to try and reduce this to minutes, you know, help, help online retailers and buyers have immediate communication through social media channels with the help of AI, but also through conventional channels such as eBay, Amazon, Shopify and so on and so forth.
NATALIE TURNER [00:02:09] So the challenges modern buyers have, you’re talking about, you know, 24 hours is too long. What other challenges are we facing? what other things are annoying people basically.
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:02:20] Sure. Well, the problem with the conventional ticketing systems is that, you know, there is no personalised experience as such. And, you know, the escalations and so and so forth, they all take take ages. And so I think what modern buyers are looking for, they turn their attention to social media channels where they can go and have their issues escalated, have immediate conversation with the brand. And that’s great because it works. And I think we want to see more of that. I think there are some big, large brands have already facilitated this change and who are doing a tremendous job. But what about the smaller businesses? What about the small and medium enterprises that really want to take advantage of this of this new opportunity as well? And the problem is quite complex because, you know, we are looking at marrying, you know, a very complex component, starting from marketplaces and shopping cars, like I mentioned to eBay, Amazon, Shopify, Magento, then moving on to couriers, DPD, Royal Mail, DHL, etc. And then, of course, the social media platforms, of which there are many. We’re talking Facebook Messenger, we’re talking WhatsApp, Instagram, Viber. You know, we chat and on and on and on. And then you want to also have AI sitting right in the middle between these three components so that AI can have a meaningful conversation with the with the online buyers. Just imagine the world where you go to the social media platform and you just say, where is my where’s my order without having to justify an answer, security questions without having to, you know, search for that tracking number, you know, check through your emails, where is the tracking number and try to find out where your item actually is. I think this is what we’re talking about. We’re talking about having to personalise using AI to have personalised conversations with with buyers and help them get get their answers right away.
NATALIE TURNER [00:04:23] So you were talking about social media, which is great. No one’s actually talked about social media. And I think it’s so prevalent in today’s market, whether in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, any sort of technology. I mean, how do you think social media is going to help with these challenges and create more opportunities and a sense of what you’ve been talking about?
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:04:42] I think social media is the future. Looking at the adoption rates, you know, looking at the fact that, you know, 16 year olds, they never used emails, they never used ticketing systems. They don’t want to use that. They just want to use social media channels. That’s all they know. And I think, you know, it’s only a matter of time when social media will take over. And that’s why we want brands to start essentially introducing social media into into buying experiences. But it’s like I mentioned to you before, it’s it’s a lot harder said than done, because, you, you essentially need to have a very serious technology in place to do that. And so what we are trying to do at Replyco is try to to reduce the entry level and provide online retailers and buyers out there with ready to go off the shelf solution.
NATALIE TURNER [00:05:30] Fantastic, we were talking earlier about the complexity of online retailers and how we can interpret and integrate social media into that. I mean, can you talk us through more about that?
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:05:42] Yeah, absolutely. I mean. The challenges that the online retailers have is that essentially it’s not just about, you know, integrating with the social media channels. It’s hard in itself. For example, take Instagram, Instagram. Currently, they don’t even offer API for you to be able to, you know, pull the messages out of the off of of Instagram and then send them back to Instagram. So this is you know, this is where we need social media platforms themselves to embrace this change and help us to achieve what we are after. Social media provides us with instant personalised communication channel, which buyers love, which sellers who’ve tried them love as well. And we just need to find the way by working together with the couriers, with the marketplaces, with the shopping cards, with the social media channels to try and, you know, and bring this. To try to essentially create a boxed product that both buyers and sellers will enjoy using.
NATALIE TURNER [00:06:48] So to wrap up, what is the key message that you’re hoping to get out to DTX today? What are you hoping to achieve from this event?
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:06:55] Sure. Well, I think the AI is the paramount for this without the AI we will not be able to achieve anything here. And I think after speaking with a lot of retailers, there is a bit of hesitation in terms of, you know, using AI and whether AI is actually the solution to their problems. It will not solve all of the problems, don’t get me wrong. But I think AI is a fantastic communication facilitator. It can make a person on the other end feel, you know, when rightly executed. It can. It can create this personalised experience and it can help reduce costs. It can help increase satisfaction rates. It can help, you know, drive the business forward. So what I would say, you know, what I would recommend to retailers out there is not to be worried. It’s to start attending the shows like today, you know, where they can learn about the latest technologies, where they can learn about the world of AI, where they can learn about the companies like mine that can help them achieve greater things when it comes to their businesses.
NATALIE TURNER [00:07:52] Amazing, alright. We’ll look we’re going to leave it on that note, but thank you so much for joining us on Disruptive Live. It’s been an absolute pleasure meeting you, still very impressed, young CEO. I think the future is looking really bright for sure.
ARTEM VEROVENKO [00:08:03] Thank you very much.
NATALIE TURNER [00:08:04] No problem. Right? Well, that is all from us for now. However, please don’t go away. We will be back after a very short break. See you in a bit.