“We want to empower fashion and lifestyle brands in the realm of e-commerce.”

Meet Jannik Heide of Centra, who is at the forefront of supporting and guiding fashion and lifestyle brands in Denmark for their expansion within Denmark and beyond.


Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background?

I have spent many years working in commercial roles within the fashion and tech industries.

My background is primarily on the brand side. After completing my education and gaining practical experience as a marketing trainee at Kvik, a kitchen supplier, I worked at the Scandinavian Trend Institute, also known as pej gruppen

In 2008, I delved deeply into the heart of the fashion industry when my friend Mads invited me to co-found KnowledgeCotton Apparel startup. I also ventured into launching a brand from the ground up. Since then, I have been involved in the shoe business at Bianco and spent several years at Bestseller. Just before joining Centra in Sweden, I held the position of country manager for Colect in the Netherlands, with a specific focus on the Nordics, particularly Denmark.

Q: How long have you been working with e-commerce businesses?

Well, the duration of my involvement in e-commerce can vary depending on how you define it. I've always had a natural curiosity for discovering more efficient ways of working. My exposure to startups and my observations of larger corporations have highlighted the tremendous possibilities that digital transformation can offer. It's not about replacing people; it's about enhancing efficiency. I've been dedicated to working in e-commerce for the past five years.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

Outside of work, I find contentment in the simplicity of life. I take pleasure in immersing myself in nature, riding my humble mountain bike amidst the scenic single tracks near Silkeborg. Gravel biking has piqued my interest as a potential avenue for further exploration. I maintain a reading list that I diligently endeavor to make headway in. While I do indulge in podcasts and audiobooks, my heart truly lies in the act of reading.

My life is enriched by the presence of three grown-up children, and whenever they are around, I treasure those cherished moments of family togetherness.

During the tranquil early morning hours, I like to unwind with the soothing notes of easy jazz music, finding solace in its modest melody.

What is Centra?

Centra was founded with a clear mission to bolster fashion and lifestyle brands on a global scale. Originating in Stockholm, Sweden in 2016, Centra has since extended its presence to Wroclaw, Poland, and New York, USA.

With a clientele exceeding 400 customers worldwide spanning the realms of DTC and B2B industries, Centra maintains a resolute commitment to aiding brands in achieving rapid scalability through its e-commerce platform.

Read more about Centra


Q: From your perspective, what are the most significant trends in e-commerce at the moment?

In the current e-commerce landscape, there is a noticeable trend among brands: They are actively seeking tools that offer agility and flexibility, enabling them to respond swiftly to evolving market dynamics. Moreover, there is a growing demand for composable tools that grant brands the freedom to implement a headless approach while integrating their preferred content management system.

This shift is driven by the desire of brands to distinguish themselves and seamlessly incorporate intelligent solutions. This strategic approach harmoniously melds brand expression with advanced features, serving as a magnet for web traffic and elevating conversion rates. By adopting this approach, brands gain the liberty to construct tailored storefronts, liberating them from the constraints of standardized template designs.

Q: How are these trends changing the way brands market their products and services online, as you see it?

What we've observed over time is that brands have been allocating significant resources to Google Ads and various social media platforms in order to channel traffic to their online stores.

However, the costs associated with these initiatives have been steadily on the rise, and the resulting conversion rates have not been commensurate with the investment. This ties back neatly to the earlier discussion about the advantages of a composable and headless approach to user experience, in tandem with the latest technology stack, which consistently yields higher conversion rates compared to alternative solutions.

For instance, having the capability to enhance an e-commerce platform by implementing advanced search functionality and personalized product recommendations can be achieved through the development of sophisticated e-commerce solutions.

This shift is driven by the desire of brands to distinguish themselves and seamlessly incorporate intelligent solutions. This strategic approach harmoniously melds brand expression with advanced features, serving as a magnet for web traffic and elevating conversion rates. By adopting this approach, brands gain the liberty to construct tailored storefronts, liberating them from the constraints of standardized template designs.

Successful brands on Centra

Q: What are the primary challenges currently confronting e-commerce marketers?

Many brands carry a historical legacy deeply rooted in a wholesale-only business model before transitioning towards a direct-to-consumer approach. In my view, there is a valuable exchange of insights between these two types of companies. Brands originating in one channel can derive advantages from expanding their presence across other sales channels. Furthermore, when executed effectively and in alignment with the brand's values, combining wholesale and direct-to-consumer strategies, along with their own stores, can generate synergies.

What makes Centra particularly noteworthy is its capacity to serve as a platform, facilitating the seamless integration of diverse components within a composable framework.

Q: What strategies can businesses employ to address these challenges and maintain a competitive edge?

I hold a strong belief in the significance of sharing knowledge and expertise. Several options are available for consideration.

As a brand owner, if you find yourself lacking the requisite expertise in navigating the digital transformation of your e-commerce, you have the option to enlist individuals who possess the necessary know-how to steer the course successfully.

Alternatively, you may choose to engage external partners to collaboratively develop a strategy, one that can be implemented over a shorter or more extended duration.

Furthermore, there exists a third option: involving digital agencies that can provide comprehensive support in the capacity of a full-service agency.

Q: What are your predictions for the future of e-commerce marketing?

I recognize a significant demand for agencies equipped with the requisite expertise to enhance e-commerce channels.

This demand extends not only to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) sector but also within the wholesale domain. It arises, in part, from the escalating costs associated with social media and online marketplaces.

As brands optimize their website conversion rates, they experience a boost in earnings. Moreover, brand owners gain ownership of valuable customer data, enabling the crafting of a more engaging brand journey. I would strongly recommend that brands seek guidance from experts if they are uncertain about the most effective course of action. In essence, I foresee a shift towards allocating resources for internal improvements rather than solely relying on the purchase of webshop traffic.

Q: What are the challenges of working with e-commerce businesses?

Centra occupies a remarkably promising position, presenting a substantial opportunity to aid brands in addressing their challenges. The reality is that not everyone is well-acquainted with Centra and our operational methods. Our brand awareness continues to grow through the delivery of exceptional solutions and the enduring practice of word-of-mouth recommendations. Additionally, we host events and are actively broadening our partnerships with integration, solution, and ecosystem partners.

This approach revolves around crafting exceptional solutions customized for specific business sectors.

The challenge lies in elucidating how e-commerce can be approached differently, all the while fostering the sharing of knowledge.

Q: What are your perspectives on the role of artificial intelligence in e-commerce marketing?

Firstly, we should establish our understanding of AI's place in e-commerce. There are numerous developments in this field currently. Without a doubt, customer data is becoming progressively more vital for delivering the appropriate and pertinent product at precisely the right moment.

Q: Can you suggest three books or podcasts that our readers should explore?

I would highly recommend checking out podcasts like "Your Basket Is Empty," "Re:Platform - Ecommerce CX and Technology Podcast," and "TechTopia."

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