Q&A: Callum Campbell, CEO, Linnworks
Joining us as an expert panellist at our DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY event on May 20, Callum Campbell is the CEO of Linnworks, a leading SaaS commerce platform that works with brands like Ford, Casio, Belkin and Ten Thousand.
As CEO, Callum is responsible for ensuring Linnworks empowers brands to grow their business online. Prior to becoming Linnworks CEO in 2017, Callum founded Autonative, a global automotive ecommerce software and services business, where he currently sits as a board member. Callum earned a first class honors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath. Through Linnworks’ partnerships with leading global marketplaces including Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Google and Facebook, Callum champions the vision of Total Commerce and the need for brands and retailers to be set-up to sell to their customers wherever they choose to purchase.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I have always been interested in systems and numbers, I studied engineering at Uni. I also love adventure activities like surfing and skiing. To me, entrepreneurship and building businesses felt like a good mix of the two.
I started with a number of small business ventures with my friend, Warren Spokes. We started in ecommerce because we saw the world was changing and it was the future. Although there was an element of luck and chance involved! We didn’t realise the acceleration was going to come so quickly. Warren started selling car parts online and I joined him, we then pivoted to help vehicle manufacturers sell parts online and that was the beginning of our first venture, Autonative.
Shortly after Autonative partnered with Linnworks we decided to invest, which was when I joined as CEO in 2017. We felt ecommerce was a significantly growing market and Linnworks was a great product, with people that solved a real problem and created real customer value. Therefore there was an opportunity to build a great business that could have a very real impact on the world.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
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.
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, Turtle Wax, Belkin and Casio.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
We are at the heart of our customers ecommerce ecosystem, connected to the marketplaces, couriers and sales and marketing software that helps brands achieve total commerce control.
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.
Our mission is to help brands sell better by providing control and automation to their ecommerce operations.
What advantage does it add?
First off, we’re helping brands and retailers to grow their business. That means selling everywhere customers are, scaling up multi-channel capabilities and ensuring customer expectations are met as ecommerce sales grow.
We also help customers automate workflows and eliminate manual tasks. Integrating commerce technologies into one central system avoids duplicate effort by connecting key selling channels into a single selling and fulfilment process. By synching operations automatically, brands and retailers have an up-to-date picture of how their business is performing across all selling touchpoints.
Having full visibility of business data and selling information helps our customers to make data driven decisions to maximise revenue.
How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?
The aim of our implementation process is to to guide clients through the setup options, so they are in a position to be able to master Linnworks and control any changes needed in future with minimal requirement for third-party assistance.
The process includes a full assessment of individual requirements, a customised build specification, a dedicated onboarding specialist and training on each feature required for build. Implementation can be turned around as quickly as a matter of weeks, even for large scale projects.
We measure success based on meeting the client’s expectations, deliverables, timelines and any support they need during the onboarding process. The Linnworks onboarding and customer success teams are an important part of driving our clients growth and we work very closely with them to achieve success!
How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like? Can you share a case study with us?
The biggest advantage for our customers is having a central view of all selling channels for an up-to-date view of sales performance and key business metrics. Taking advantage of the significant opportunity in ecommerce is possible as brands and retailers can sell direct to consumers, through marketplaces and on emerging selling channels, without the need to add more resources and processes to their existing workflows.
Customers have complete channel freedom and have the ability to scale their business to process high volumes of orders and inventory across all selling channels, connecting with marketplaces, ecommerce platforms, major couriers and fulfilment centres, with Linnworks serving as the single source of truth for a real time view on business performance.
If you’d like to find out more, we have a couple of great on-demand videos with Ford, Turtle Wax and Source BMX from our Linn Academy event at www.linnacademy.com
Are there other companies you partner with?
Linnworks is both Amazon and eBay’s largest European commerce partner. Our diverse integrations ecosystem lets retailers & wholesalers expand the functionality of their back office. We integrate with over 100 marketplaces, shipping and courier services and ecommerce service providers.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2021 / What challenges are retailers facing right now to prepare better?
The challenge is staying afloat as the world adjusts to total commerce shopping habits and increasing customer demands.
Retailers need to develop their own branded lines of products and sell them directly to consumers. They need to develop a selling strategy for online marketplaces, as these are only going to get stronger. Building a framework that aligns with the business goals and allows the business to work with marketplaces effectively is a must-have. If dismissed, retailers are missing out on a huge (over 50%) share of the market.
Total commerce control is the future of ecommerce. Selling products to customers, wherever they are choosing to shop, including social media sites. An effective total commerce strategy requires automated processes: inventory management, order management and product information management.
How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?
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.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
We continue to develop our platform to help ecommerce businesses grow, automate and be in control. The business is growing and we are having a big impact on the world of commerce as we continue to grow in Europe and across the US. In particular we are focusing on analytics capability and bringing valuable insight to our customers so they can get a clear central view of their business, and make great decisions.
To find out how Linnworks can help your retail operation, click here.
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