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Linn Academy 2021 On-Demand: From launch to growth: Lessons from scaling up an ecommerce business during the pandemic.

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Linn Academy 2021 Virtual.

Catch up on this Linn Academy on-demand session here.

When non-alcoholic brand Spiritless launched at the start of the pandemic, it had to evolve and grow much faster than originally planned. In this session, Lexie Lancaster Larsen, COO, Spiritless, and Sarah Carroll, Founder of Grow Global, look at what they learned.


  • The challenges Spiritless faced as a new brand in the pandemic
  • How it had to move faster on ecommerce as hospitality shut down
  • The key lessons learnt from taking the leap
  • How Spiritless’ business plan has changed
  • The challenges of launching remotely

Lessons from scaling up an ecommerce business during the pandemic.

In October 2019 Lexie Lancaster Larsen founded non-alcoholic spirits brand Spiritless, not realizing the launch would coincide with the global pandemic. It meant reacting quickly to the new challenges.

The first of these was that the company’s first round of fundraising came the week before shutdown. “It set the tone to remembering to be nimble and pivot and change quickly,” she said. Spiritless was then faced with having to shift its concentration on ecommerce with the closure of the hospitality sector where customers would normally be trying such products in person.

She admitted there have been various scary moments since launch, including supply chain uncertainty. “The challenges keep coming but that’s what business is, it’s about solving a problem as fast as you can and solving it a bit better than your competitor.”

Businesses have needed to be able to pivot quickly, said Sarah Carroll, Founder of Grow Global. “It depends on the stage the business was at before in terms of their business sophistication. For those that had invested well in their ecommerce previously their opportunities were abundant. For the people who had just started dabbling in ecommerce they struggled a little more,” she said.

Carroll said any growing business had to focus on three things in preparation to scale. They include thorough research, investing in digital skills and ensuring the back office is world-class so that it won’t be the element of your business that holds you back. She also advised companies to get as successful as possible in their domestic market first before expanding further.

“It’s about getting ahead of where you want to be,” said Lancaster Larsen. “Just staying 90 days ahead will save you a lot of pain points.

Watch the session on scaling an ecommerce during the pandemic.

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