Headquarters: Washington, DC
Optoro is a technology company that seeks to transform the way retailers process and sell their returned and excess inventory. Through its use of data analytics and multi-channel online marketing, Optoro's software platform determines a path for returned and excess goods, maximizing recovery value, enabling consumers to get great deals, and reducing environmental waste.
Reverse logistics is an important part of the supply chain in a variety of industries, including retail, automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and others. Reverse logistics services have been developed and implemented by countries all over the world to extract value from returned and damaged products. Activities involve warehousing, reselling, recycling management, returns management, replacement management, and environmental compliance.
The return rate from eCommerce sales is two to three times the return rate of brick-and-mortar, sometimes higher in fashion and apparel, representing a major logistics cost.
Returned and excess items create an average of 5 billion pounds of landfill waste every year.
Through its use of data analytics and multi-channel online marketing, Optoro's software platform determines a path for returned and excess goods, maximizing recovery value, enabling consumers to get great deals, and reducing environmental waste.
Optoro focuses on three primary areas: Returns initiation and the customer experience (including express dropoff), Returns management (including processing and triage), and Handling inventory and out-of-stock issues.
Optoro collects revenue in several ways: Most customers who use the software pay monthly licensing fees. When Optoro sells goods on Blinq, its direct-to-consumer remarketing eCommerce channel, and Bulq, its discount wholesale marketplace, the company takes between 15% and 50% of the amount it recovers for its clients, which ranges from 20 cents to 70 cents on the retail dollar.
Both store clerks and warehouse associates use handheld devices with Optoro’s software to scan, grade and test returns, whether they’ll be resold, recycled, or sold wholesale. The software draws from real-time market data to provide instant feedback.
An Optoro survey of shoppers found that 71% said they were more likely to shop again at a retailer if they had a positive returns experience.
Initially, Optoro focused on solving returns for the biggest retailers, but with the shift online, Optoro is continuing to invest in expanding its overall solution to make it more accessible downstream, for companies with $25 million or less in annual online sales.
With so much inventory tied up around the globe – an estimated 15% of it at sea, according to CEO Tobin Moore – out of stocks have become a huge problem in retail and eCommerce. Optoro is helping retailers solve this issue by quickly getting more returns back to stock and available for full-price sale, especially time-sensitive fashion items.
Optoro was able to help American Eagle Outfitters reduce its returns processing time from an average of 45 days to under a week. For another large retail client, returns were used to fulfill 20% of its backorders.
Optoro partnered with IKEA in 2019 to implement its technology in 10 IKEA distribution centers and 50 retail stores in the US. Through its buy-back program, IKEA was able to resell 30.5 million returned, damaged or displayed products at discounted prices, reducing waste and even generating new revenue streams.
Optoro recently received a strategic investment from Zebra Technologies, and together, both bring best-in-class hardware and software to offer an end-to-end reverse logistics solution that optimizes retail returns processing. In addition to the investment, the companies will also pursue new solutions and technology to further innovate returns management, cutting waste and driving more profitable growth for retailers.
Optoro recently appointed Douglas Bemis, former CTO of Uber AI Labs, as its Chief Technology Officer to lead engineering and data science teams as it scales its platform.
Optoro was recently named the winner of the 2021 Gold Stevie Awards in the B2B category.