Q&A: Sarah Znideric, Linnworks
Sarah led digital strategy for some of the UK’s largest brands before joining Linnworks in 2021 to run Global Alliances. Passionate about taking a customer-centric approach to ecommerce, Sarah champions the utilisation of marketplaces and social commerce channels to ensure retailers adapt to the Effortless Economy.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Before joining Linnworks in April 2021, I spent over a decade in board roles for ecommerce growth businesses leading client service, digital marketing, consulting and digital transformation teams. I have been fortunate to work with some of the largest and most successful brands in the UK and lead digital performance projects for businesses including boohoo.com, Direct Line Group, Pets at Home and Wickes, as well as launching new DTC capabilities for organisations such as Kraft Heinz and Diageo.
In my role at Linnworks, I lead our global partnerships with prominent and emerging marketplaces and social commerce channels, ensuring we have the best possible ecosystem to support our users to grow their sales and reach new customers. It’s a fascinating time to be working in this space, as more businesses embrace the opportunity provided by marketplaces to grow their sales and adopt a direct-to-consumer strategy, alongside the rise of retailers launching marketplaces and dropship offerings to increase and enhance their product range.
What does your company do? / What is your USP?
Linnworks is inventory and order management software, built for modern retail. We connect and automate at every stage of the buying cycle. 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, as well as more entrepreneurial retail organisations who use Linnworks to help them expand into new markets with speed and efficiency.
What’s special about the platform and your approach?
At Linnworks, we know today’s consumer wants to shop as conveniently as possible. We are already well into what we call ‘The Effortless Economy’, where we have seen a rise in effortless consumption and consumers shopping for products wherever is convenient for them. For retailers, managing multiple sales channels simultaneously behind the scenes can get complex quickly, especially as ecommerce businesses grow. Our platform helps retailers meet their customers wherever they are shopping — this includes marketplaces, websites, social platforms and physical stores.
What advantage does it add?
Using Linnworks, brands and retailers can grow their sales by accessing new channels, automate their operations by building smart efficiencies across their business and leverage centralised data and insights to make effective business decisions.
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?
Linnworks helps sellers expand their multichannel operations and enable retailers to expand internationally, including our warehouse management, inventory management and order management features; you can view the case studies here.
Warehouse Management: How Buy Wholefoods Online transformed and scaled warehouse management operations using Linnworks automation. Read more HERE
Multichannel: How automating inventory and order management delivered multichannel sales growth for Direct Plants. read more HERE
Are there other companies you partner with?
As we sit at the very centre of an ecommerce business, we have the unique opportunity to build a vast ecosystem of engaged partners across the entire ecommerce spectrum, with partnerships continuing to be a huge focus for our business. A core priority has been to build alliances with the world’s leading sales channels and marketplaces and drive mutual value to our shared customer base.
We were delighted to partner with the International team at Walmart this year to open their North America marketplace to UK sellers for the first time, resulting in a one-of-a-kind seller summit event with over 600 registrations from interested businesses looking for International expansion.
We have been traveling the country attending pop-up roadshows with the team at eBay as part of our continued effort to support and grow SMB businesses with potential to scale across new channels and geographies. We were very excited to be presented with a global partner award this week by eBay’s CTO Mazen Rawashdeh during their global developer conference.
In addition, we are working closely with some of the latest retail channels being launched as marketplaces through partners such as Mirakl and Virtualstock, as well as social commerce channels such as TikTok.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for the rest of 2022 and into 2023 / What challenges are retailers facing right now to prepare better?
The current economic climate is without a doubt a huge consideration for all ecommerce businesses as we plan for 2023 and beyond. Here at Linnworks we are constantly listening to our customers to understand their core challenges and to learn how we can best support them. One of the largest opportunities for our UK customers is International expansion, so our partnership with Walmart and other leading US channels, alongside our wider ecosystem of courier providers, tax and payments partners, are really supporting customers to diversify their offering into new markets. Additionally in our domestic market, the ability to streamline business operations using our platform and access new sales channels to reach new customers and drive additional revenue are all helping to prepare businesses for uncertain trading conditions.
What is on the horizon for you as a company?
It’s been an incredibly exciting year at Linnworks. Just twelve months ago we announced the completion of our majority investment from Marlin Equity Partners which has supported our global expansion and ability to support our growing customer base in North America. This was further accelerated last month with our acquisition of US-based inventory and warehouse management solution SkuVault, meaning we now have the most robust IMS/OMS solution for customers, partners and the global market with the support of our combined teams. On a personal note I am really looking forward to seeing the growth on some of the new channels that we are adding to our ecosystem such as Zalando, Europe’s largest ecommerce fashion retailer and TikTok Shop, which has tremendous potential for brands to embrace social commerce.
Any final thoughts?
If you are a business selling online, think about how we as consumers are changing the way we buy and now have greater expectations for an effortless economy. Then ask yourself, are you really ready and are you capturing every revenue opportunity? I am looking forward to attending THE Retail Conference in November so if you are coming along, please do say hello. I never turn down the offer of a coffee and chat!