In the latest instalment of our eCommerce industry executive interview series, we spoke to Linnworks CEO Callum Campbell about his company, the challenges the sector has faced over the last 12 months and its biggest opportunities going forward…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
Linnworks is a leading commerce automation platform that works with the world’s major marketplaces and sales channels including Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento. Linnworks enables businesses to manage their multi-channel inventory, orders and fulfilment from a single dashboard and provides deep insights across sales channels and operations. Our mission is to help brands sell better by providing control and automation to their ecommerce operations.
Linnworks customers become total brands that can conduct commerce wherever their customers are. These are brands that are winning now and confident in their future. Through us, brands become totally empowered by not missing out on any opportunity to transact with customers and deliver on the promise of their brand.
By equipping brands and retailers to conduct commerce wherever their customers are, Linnworks powers businesses to drive growth and boost brand success. As both Amazon and eBay’s largest European commerce partner, Linnworks serves some of the world’s biggest brands including Ford, Belkin, Oatly, Toyota, Casio and FOCO.
What have been the biggest challenges the eCommerce industry has faced over the past 12 months?
The major challenge for brands is ‘connection’ – staying connected to their customers in the multiple environments where they are spending time, and connecting and automating commerce operations. Brands must overcome the complexity and cost of integrating technology and adapting processes to bring centralised commerce control across multiple channels, simultaneously. Linnworks solves this connection problem, making it easier for brands to take advantage of the growth of multi-channel commerce and participate in the effortless economy.
Consumers now want an effortless shopping journey, from discovery to delivery, so retailers need to consider each step of their transaction experience as part of their brand. This includes everything from product discovery to the checkout experience, shipping and payment options and the returns process. Brands must not only have a multi-channel selling strategy, but they also need to build a seamless end-to-end experience for their customers. When it comes to choosing a tool, retailers should aim to simplify their tech stack and select a solution that enables them to manage all commerce operations from one central dashboard or location. This includes inventory management, order management, payment solutions management, fulfillment, shipping and delivery management.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Online shopping increased dramatically in 2020, and while Linnworks found that many consumers plan to return to in-store purchasing, consumers have also become accustomed to the convenient services that were offered via online shopping during the pandemic and expect them to stay. Everything is now just a click away, and consumers expect the checkout process in their purchase journey to be no different. According to recent Linnworks consumer research, 46% of consumers will actually sacrifice cost savings for an overall convenient shopping experience, so implementing flexible payment solutions is one step in enabling a frictionless end-to-end experience for users. Additionally, customer demographics are changing. Millennials tend to be much more focused on the now versus saving money for the future, and more than half don’t have a credit card. Therefore, younger shoppers are looking for alternative solutions such as buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) which can enable their shopping habits and support convenience preferences. So for retailers, offering flexible payment options is a key component in enabling a frictionless purchase journey and delivering the purchase experience customers value, and therefore are more likely to drive loyalty and repeat purchases in the future.