Our panel, which includes Callum Campbell, CEO Linnworks; Sarah Carroll, Founder Grow Global; Jim Herbert, VP Europe Big Commerce; and Nick Brackenbury, Co-founder NearSt, will be looking at how ecommerce has changed in 2020 and the challenges retailers now face. They discuss local vs global, marketplaces vs social and why you need to be ready for accelerated growth.
Listen to the session to hear:
Retailers need to continue to take digital seriously in 2021 while also respecting their other channels, according to panellists looking at the future of ecommerce at Linn Academy 2020.
The panel session was hosted by Linnworks CEO Callum Campbell who was joined by Jim Herbert, vice-president Europe at BigCommerce; Sarah Carroll, founder of Grow Global and Nick Brackenbury, co-founder of NearSt.
One of the biggest themes of 2020 has been the use of technology to overcome the barriers retailers and sellers have faced, as well as the increased move online for both general brands and retailers and those looking to establish D2C businesses. Those themes are likely to continue in 2021.
“There has been an adoption of ecommerce from companies that probably weren’t going to look at it for a few years,” said Herbert. Carroll agreed: “The move to taking digital seriously and investing in digital marketing – that is definitely here to stay. The commitment to digital is sky-high.”
Amongst these is a very evident shift from brands and manufacturers to the direct to commerce model where greater margins and customer insights can be available.
A frictionless shopping experience is key for retailers
But other behaviours are also likely here to stay, including an increased desire for customers to check local instore availability. Brackenbury said that at peak the number of customers going online to check availability in their store was seven times the norm. Today that’s levelled off at about three times the normal levels and has been stable for the last three or four months.
The trio agreed that retailers have to focus on a frictionless experience, whether that’s instore or online. “The businesses that understand that customers ultimately want a really low friction experience irrespective of what channel they are buying from are really winning,” said Brackenbury.
Essentially priorities haven’t changed. “In the past the retailers who have performed best are the ones that have understood themselves - why people want to engage with them - and understood their customers,” said Herbert. “I don’t think that’s any different going forward, it's just now it’s digital.”
“It’s all about keeping that customer right at the centre and making sure it’s as simple for them as possible to make the purchase,” said Campbell.
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