Interview: Callum Campbell, Linnworks CEO on the rise of effortless commerce and 2022
The last 18 months has accelerated the prevalence of ecommerce at a pace never seen before. While the adoption of online shopping has been steadily climbing for years, the pandemic pushed consumers and businesses online for all types of transactions. This rapid shift has directly impacted and changed consumer behaviour and expectations.
We talk to Callum Campbell, CEO of Linnworks, to find out more about how they are supporting brands and retailers to connect and simplify commerce with their platform.
What do Linnworks do?
Linnworks provides brands and retailers with a central commerce platform that simplifies, connects and automates the processes involved in selling online.
The business of selling has become more complex and fragmented – especially over the last few years. Linnworks helps to manage and control multi-channel inventory, orders and fulfilment from a single dashboard, and provides deep insights across sales channels and operations. By equipping brands and retailers to conduct commerce wherever their customers are, Linnworks powers businesses to drive growth and boost brand success.
We operate across Europe and North America and serve some of the world’s biggest brands including Ford, Disney, Belkin and Casio.
How are retailers and brands investing in technology right now?
Brands and retailers are looking at what is the right technology to drive the outcomes they are after and now, more than ever, they recognise that they need to invest in tech if they want to survive – it’s no longer optional. We’re seeing decision making around technology investment happening a lot quicker than pre-pandemic.
The good news is that brands and retailers now have really experienced people in their teams, and they are making better and smarter decisions around when and how to use tech. They are investing in infrastructure for the future and as a long- term plan. This is not a cost driven decision but an investment driven strategy.
As more consumers turned to technology to connect with one another during the Pandemic, social media became a popular place for discovering new products, new clothes and other items. Will the rapid growth of social commerce over the past year continue?
Brands are making it super easy for consumers to buy products wherever they are spending time – because today, buying journeys organically begin on social media or another entertainment platform. Over the weekend I was watching the tennis on Amazon (Prime). As soon as Emma Raducanu won her game, the tennis racket was right there, available to purchase on their platform. This integration between the entertainment and commerce experience is here to stay. Increasingly, this is where the market will go, and it will become harder to get people to your own website.
The changes in consumer behaviour that we’ve witnessed in recent years are here to stay. That means the importance and influence of marketplaces will only continue to grow with time. We’re going to continue to see an increasing shift of consumers buying on websites to consumers buying on marketplaces. Marketplaces are capturing more and more market share and that is because of the nature of the business model.
Any views on what we’ll see on our high streets?
Bricks and mortar as we know it will be reinvented as something new. As an example, increasingly with more people shopping online, less stock will be available in store. In some cases, we’ve already seen limited stock in stores as more SKUs are being held back to be shipped online. This will impact the retail experience and force a ‘reinvention’ of the high street from a shopping experience to an instore brand experience. The fundamental shift from bricks and mortar to ecommerce has now happened and this trajectory will keep going – it can’t be reversed.
So, what to expect in 2022?
Next year will be significant for brands and retailers. With the push for convenience set to continue, retailers and brands will need to offer seamless customer journeys that connect platforms and devices to take the friction out of shoppers discovering and then going to purchase and receive goods. It’s no longer about keeping up but rather, taking big steps forward and investing deep to drive differentiated experiences as the rise of effortless commerce continues.
What will you be covering at the TRB Digital Transformation event in November?
In November, I’ll be sharing some trends and insight into what’s driving successful digital transformations and what retailers and brands need to be thinking about to ensure they are one step ahead of their competitors, thriving in a digital world.
What is Linn Academy?
Linn Academy is our annual commerce conference for the Linnworks broader community i.e., experts from brands, vendors, marketplace leaders and tech platforms. I’ll be sharing more about Linnworks and where the business is at and then we’ll hear from industry leaders like Facebook, Forrester, Hotel Chocolat, Big Commerce, Fruugo and other tech providers to talk about what’s going on in their worlds and how they see things going into peak and 2022. (You can find the agenda here).
The event is centred around commerce thought leadership, education and insights to help brands and retailers win in the effortless economy. Interested in attending Linn Academy? Register here.
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