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Industry Research : PFS Research Finds Omnichannel Fulfilment is Key to Brand Loyalty in a “Digital-First” Era


A new survey of UK consumers, conducted by PFS, the operations business unit of PFSweb, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFSW), reveals that as consumers head into an increasingly "digital-first" era, customer loyalty will hinge on a brand’s ability to bridge the disconnect between the physical and eCommerce channels.

With 80% of all respondents in the survey confirming they missed at least one aspect of the traditional shopping experience while perusing online, brands have been hard-pressed to replicate tangible in-store elements digitally during the pandemic.

The research has uncovered that to form new brand connections online, fulfilment will serve as a key differentiator, with omnichannel fulfilment offerings such as buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) or buy online, ship-from-store models acting as the linchpin, bridging the gap between the two channels.

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Key findings from the research include:

- 43% of consumers have missed being able to touch products while shopping online

- 41% missed testing products for size, colour, etc., as they would in-store

-  21% reported that online customer service is not as good as in-store assistance

- 46% of millennial consumers, and 35% of respondents overall, admitted that they have had such an unsatisfactory shopping experience with a previously trusted brand this past year that they have gone on to look elsewhere

- Slow delivery (18%), lack of available stock (17%) and difficult returns processes (14%) were all listed as potential factors behind reduced interest in using a previously preferred brand

- Strong fulfilment parameters of interest include packaging choices (37%), delivery timeframe choice (64%), carbon footprint reduction (52%), and packaging minimisation (70%)

Though the last few months have been turbulent, the reopening of the high street will be the true test for online brands when it comes to loyalty. Additional findings in the research revealed that:

- Whilst as many as 40% of consumers still claim that their loyalty will revert to retail brands that have a high street presence, more than one-third (34%) expect to return to online shopping after the initial buzz has died down

- More than one-third (37%) of Gen Z consumers expect retailers to offer more of an in-store ‘experience’ than they did before lockdown

- More than half (51%) of Gen Z consumers expect shops to become more of a space for browsing in the future

Christophe Pecoraro, Managing Director of PFS Europe, commented, "Whilst the flagship store has moved online, this does not spell the end for the high street. What our data tells us is that we are heading towards an omnichannel future based on in-store experientialism, in support of online points of sale. This will see a demand for offerings such as buy online, pick-up in-store models (BOPIS) or buy online, ship from store, to bridge the gap between the two channels. Omnichannel optimisation is how retailers should be looking to establish loyalty. Underpinning and critical to the success of this transition will be an effective fulfilment strategy and intuitive distribution network that can flexibly support this future of retail."

About the Research
PFS commissioned research agency, Arlington Research, to survey 2,000 UK consumers about brand loyalty in an increasingly digital era and how this may have evolved throughout the pandemic. They were asked about shopping experiences, what’s missing, and their thoughts on the future relationship between physical and online retail.

Nationally representative interviews were carried out with adults aged 18+, with nationally representative quotas set on gender and age at a country-wide level. Fieldwork took place between 4-8 March 2021.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About PFSweb:
Company LogoPFSweb is an eCommerce solutions provider with omni-channel eCommerce solutions.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Be Prepared!

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, June 28, 2021

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2021 Buyers Guide Business Continuity


CallGuard Remote
A flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments from home or remote locations. It’s quick to deploy needs no changes to processes or systems.

CallGuard Remote prevents agents from seeing, hearing or recording card details so, the agent, their screen, and any call recordings are removed from the scope of PCI DSS.

This simple approach means the customer effectively types their own payment information into the agent’s payment screen, but with the card details being shielded from the agent’s view. It’s simple, and highly effective.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Perfor...
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VADS Business Continuity Plan
VADS provides a business continuity plan by providing full outsource services and manage services. we've provided this to several clients. You can contact us for a detailed study case.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
Adapting to the new normal contact center industry has to be ready for work from anywhere agents to maintain business continuity. Even when working from remote locations, the work from home agents or remote agents need to be monitored for smooth customer service operations or effective tele sales.

InterDialog UCCS with its work from home agent ready call center software helps you to have complete control over your contact center operations. Agents can log in from any where , home, office or any other place where they are through their mobile phone or desktop , or even through our ID mobile app . With centralized recording & reporting , you gain visibility of all contact center metrics , and you can manage your center the same way as you were doing when working from office.

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