Co-founder and Managing Director
HOW WAS SHORE FOUNDED?
Henn: The main idea for Shore arose from the deep conviction that the digitalization of the economy is progressing more and more. While at first only large corporations used the possibilities of digitalization to manage internal processes and customer communication, now many other businesses of different sizes followed with the same needs. Today the trend is that each business – irrespective of its size – tends to explore the world of digitalization. Shore embraces this trend and tries to identify the challenges as good as possible and provide a solution to them. The concrete idea, then, occured to me in 2012, when I realized to what extent the world was being digitalized for consumers and I saw an immense need to catch up for the economy. From this day on I have been working every spare minute on Shore and digitalization and this feels great because this chance is both unique and fantastic.
PHILIP, YOU WERE ONE OF THE FIRST EMPLOYEES AT ZALANDO. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF LEAVING BERLIN AND FOUNDING A START-UP IN MUNICH?
Magoulas: Alex was introduced to me in 2012 by a common business contact in Berlin and we immediately got along quite well, both personally and in terms of content. The decision of coming to Munich to found Shore together, fell already after our first conversation. I strongly believe that in business and, particularly, in an early phase of a business, the first impression is the best indicator of decisions out of all factors. His vision of Shore as "entry for small businesses into the digital world" convinced me immediately and so it was obvious for me to accept the new challenge ethusiastically. In addition, there was another major reason: I was looking for a business concept, where the majority of the capital is invested in employees and their skills, rather than in goods or marketing. This has always been a reality for Shore and so the employees are our potential and capital - and this also clearly emerges from Shore's corporate culture.
WHY WERE YOU CONVINCED THAT SHORE WOULD WORK?
Henn: There are several factors: Thanks to our cloud approach the service provider doesn't have to buy and unconveniently install a software any more. We make this with a few clicks. In addition, our license model is quite flexible: The service provider pays a low monthly fee and in return is guaranteed the maintenance of all operational processes. Moreover, he automatically receives all improvements and all new functions of the core product. But what is most important is: He quickly will have success with it. He increases his visibility on the web and will be found, has a good website, and thanks to the Online Booking function he receives his first bookings, and from there, he has the first customers in the system. With a few clicks he can operate efficient marketing and so on. Experience shows that even with the smallest functionalities, like the Appointment Reminder, SMB owners get back the price of the monthly fee.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES SHORE BASICALLY FROM OTHER PROVIDERS?
Magoulas: I think we stand out due to our proximity to customers. They don't simply conclude a contract and are then left to themselves. We support them during the set up of the software and the import of data. We proactively get in touch with them and ask, if everything works well and they are satisfied. They always have an Account Manager. This was important to us from the very beginning - even though this takes considerable effort. In addition, the product development and customer service departments work closely together. This means that we take our customer's feedback seriously and that it has an impact on the product development. In the end this promotes our product – and there by the service providers, too.
SHORE IS GROWING FAST - WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT GOALS IN TERMS OF INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE?
Magoulas: We are present over a wide area in Western Europe. In addition, we opened our first U.S. office in L.A. and our business in the United States had quite a successful start. As for the future, the next geographical step will certainly go beyond the borders of the Western World. Whether that will be China, Brazil, Australia or another market – we'll see.
Henn: From my point of view, the good thing about our product is that, in the end, it works all over the world. It's applicable to every sector, to every culture and every language. Our suite of solutions will be a definite advantage wherever people offer a service and where there are sales and operational processes to manage. In any case, I am sure that we are only at the beginning of a long journey.