Jan-Willem Roest, after many successful years in the role of general manager at PayPal, has now made the decision to join Paazl as CEO. His passion for innovation has led him to take a turn from his payments history towards the world of e‑commerce delivery. Willing to make an impact in that important ‘last mile’ and remove friction, he saw the potential for growth in Paazl.
We sat down with Jan-Willem to learn about his past with the e‑commerce industry, his views on recent developments, as well as his vision towards the future.
Given your extensive corporate experience, can you tell us a bit about your past roles?
“I was working for PayPal Benelux and Ireland where I spent nearly 10 years, starting off as a Relationship Manager. After that, I graduated to Head of Relationship Management. Then, I looked after digital goods across Western Europe and in May of 2015, I was appointed as General Manager. During my time there, we moved to 80% of Top 200 merchants now accepting PayPal, while the consumer base grew rapidly to over 5 million users. Before PayPal, I built my career at IBM and Lenovo.”
What motivated you to join Paazl?
“I thought it was time for me to see what I could do with my corporate experience and if I could actually use it to help the smaller, yet very promising, businesses to grow. E‑commerce, in general, is something that intrigues me and I believe that the market is ready for innovative players like Paazl. On one hand, they enable merchants to work simultaneously with different carriers, expand their operations cross-border, and optimize costs. On the other hand, they make consumers willing to return and shop for more as Paazl ensures convenient, always on-time delivery of the purchased goods. I find it to be critical for success in the e‑commerce industry.“
Growth is a given in the e‑commerce industry, with a continuous upward trajectory in terms of revenue. What do you see for the future of e‑commerce, Jan-Willem?
“During the past years, e‑commerce merchants were focusing primarily on personalizing their shopping experience by enabling various payment methods. Today it is no longer a need, it is a commodity. The fundamental driver for e‑commerce success, in my opinion, is the last mile. Delivery is one of the biggest opportunities for brands and retailers to grow. Also, one of the hardest challenges to manage on their own because so many parties are involved in that process.
I find Paazl to be the game-changer in enabling a convenient and optimized delivery process. Their technology is still a hidden gem but amongst the companies who have discovered it, such as Rituals, Hunkemöller, Under Armour, and others, you can really see fast growth across borders. In the end, growth in e‑commerce is what matters most. E‑commerce and Logistics Managers are looking for more ways to optimize their processes and boost conversion. That’s exactly where Paazl’s software becomes the ultimate solution.”
You called Paazl’s software ‘the hidden gem’. What makes it different from the competition?
“Paazl offers a unique proposition compared to other software solutions in the delivery industry. On the back-end, it is a centralized, data-driven carrier management platform, that covers shipping, labeling, carrier contracts, and delivery options. They are all seamlessly integrated with the client’s warehouse and customer service. On the front-end, it is smartly visualized in the checkout page, delivery options that provide choice to consumers in terms of shipment times and locations.”
What future do you see for Paazl in terms of growth?
“To enable long-term and upwards growth, my goal is to ensure that our solutions are agile and scalable in the years to come, that customers are happy with the uptake in their conversion, and Paazl’s revenue and customer base are steadily increasing.
Maintaining customer satisfaction is key. By listening to their wants and needs and providing advanced solutions, we continue to nurture the relationships and build a solid foundation on trust and stable communication. When it comes down to agility and scalability, we need to look at the innovative services that we can build upon our existing technology that matches our customers’ needs. The roadmap for innovation should be always aligned with the roadmap of our customers’ growth.”
Paazl has paved the way for personalized checkout experience, which has led the business to over 20 million shipments year on year. In your opinion, what have been the biggest milestones for Paazl in the past 10 years?
“The first milestone was becoming a forerunner in the e‑commerce industry who understood the need for adding convenience to the last mile before it was even understood by the industry itself. The next one was establishing collaborations with Salesforce and Magento. By enabling the process of integration with Paazl, it made it easier for brands and retailers who use either of those platforms for their online stores to advance their delivery proposition with ease. The third milestone is developing Paazl Checkout Widget, which gives brands and retailers the opportunity to show various delivery times and locations in their checkout pages. With this, I think Paazl has piqued the interest of the whole industry to make their e‑commerce delivery convenient. I am greatly excited to continue growing Paazl’s outreach so many more businesses could benefit from its innovative solutions.”
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