Q&A with eCommerce Expert Wayne Baskin | Facilitator, Business & Retail Speaker

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Q&A with eCommerce Expert Wayne Baskin | Facilitator, Business & Retail Speaker - 29 August 2019

Q&A with eCommerce Expert Wayne Baskin | Facilitator, Business & Retail Speaker

Wayne Baskin is the Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer for Booktopia. Wayne is responsible for the overall business strategy, vision and customer experience while also overseeing logistics, business pricing and inventory strategy. He oversees all R&D which includes all system development, integrations into external systems and third-party channels. He is a specialist in all-things eCommerce including “the Booktopia Story”, logistics, customer experience and distribution centre automation. He is the 2019 winner of the Industry Recognition Award at the Online Retailer Awards, cementing Wayne as an industry leader.

What do you put down to the success of Booktopia?

There are so many different factors which have contributed to the success of Booktopia including timing, tenacity and teamwork. However, I think the number one thing which has meant Booktopia has been so successful is our "Customer Obsession". Since the very beginning when making decisions we have always asked ourselves, "What's best for the customer?” This is not always in line with what's best short-term for the business however we know that long-term if our customers are happy and we have a sustainable business then Booktopia will be successful.

When building an eCommerce business what is the biggest challenge?

That's a very interesting question because I always seek out challenges as I know if we can solve them then we are going to be ahead of our competitors, so there have been many enjoyable challenges over the years. 

I think one of the biggest challenges for us has been trying to convince our key suppliers and partners of what the future holds and getting them to come along on the journey. In books, we are dealing with an industry that has been around since the 15th century and sometimes it feels that some of our partners still think they are back there when Gutenberg invented the printing press. Another big challenge that I know every business has and we are no different is finding good staff who share our culture and values. We have such a great enthusiastic team but that's only because of our rigorous and sometimes very tiring recruitment process.

Can you share an eCommerce trend we need to be watching out for in 2020?

I think there are going to be so many trends as we move into the future, but I think the ones to watch out for will be an increase in delivery choices. Speed of delivery has been the big driver of growth for many eCommerce businesses but I think many customers may start to choose reduced cost over the speed of delivery. 

Logistics costs are always increasing and the "free shipping" trend is thankfully slowly dying, and to compensate this many retailers are going to have to get smarter by offering a range of delivery services to match the customer's needs. A few other trends including Buy Now Pay Later is continuing its surge as the competition in the space heats up. Many of the smaller retailers are also going to need to look closer at more sophisticated fraud prevention methods and contextual commerce growing as companies such as Instagram and Google continue their innovation in the space.

Tell us about a career highlight?

I've loved every stage of my career from the very beginning working as the first engineer at Booktopia developing all the systems including the Website, Warehouse Management System and Content and the Customer and Order Management System. And now today, as the CTO and Deputy CEO looking after all operations, strategy, user experience, product and technology at Booktopia. 

I've been lucky to work with so many great people both at Booktopia and in the Online Retail community and also be part of many other companies journeys including Afterpay and Car Next Door as an Advisor and Director respectively. I've been fortunate to win a lot of awards with Booktopia over the years but my highlight was definitely this year being personally recognised by the Online Retail Industry Awards with the Industry Recognition Award for 2019.


Find out more about Wayne here.


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