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What can a BPO offer private equity firms?

Despite all of the disruption in the last two years, Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) firms continue to invest in companies and startups. For those focused on retail acquisitions, establishing a digital-first approach in line with the latest industry trends and consumer expectations is a key component to ensuring a successful outcome for any investment. But do these firms have the right eCommerce partnerships in place to protect their investment, establish efficient processes, and set their brands up for growth? This is where enlisting the help of a BPO can make all the difference.

Better experiences with BPOs

As the line between digital and physical commerce is increasingly blurred, every online retailer, from niche startups to established enterprises, has felt the push to create more seamless experiences for consumers. But for VCs and PEs, the way to accomplish this might be slightly different for each brand in their portfolio. A BPO offers the eCommerce know how, vertical experience, scalability and established infrastructure required to support a diverse portfolio.

eCommerce expertise

An established BPO understands the ins and outs of how efficient eCommerce fulfillment operations create personalized shopping experiences that build a brand’s reputation and establish loyalty. At PFS, not only do we support highly efficient pick, pack and ship operations that stand up to customer expectations for speed of delivery, but we also offer other capabilities such as value added services (i.e. product engraving and embroidery), high-end packaging, subscription fulfillment, at-home trial programs and more. All of these offerings work towards the end goal of encouraging brand loyalty and increasing the lifetime value of a customer by presenting an exemplary customer experiences upon delivery.

Vertical experience

Whether your portfolio focuses on health and beauty brands only, or you support businesses across industry verticals (for instance, maybe you have one brand selling specialty soaps, one selling comic books, and another offering high-end jewelry, and everything in between) – each brand will have unique product requirements and brand messaging that must be addressed throughout the fulfillment process.

A BPO can offer a customized experience supporting brands across a broad spectrum of verticals. At PFS, our vertical expertise spans six different industries. We understand there are various nuances across these verticals and, critically, we have established processes, proven technology and knowledgeable people that can support individual brand requirements.

Scalability

During seasonal and promotional spikes, leaning on a BPO’s knowledge and capabilities when it comes to effectively ramping operations for these events means you can expect the quality of the customer experience to remain consistent regardless of demand. Likewise, when your unicorn finally explodes or the latest TikTok star gives you that game-changing shout out, the ability to scale your operations in support of a sudden increase in demand can make or break a brand’s reputation. When this happens for brands supported by PFS, we quickly go to work scaling the operation, expanding a brand’s footprint at our distribution centers as long as needed, ramping up staff to support order processing, and making permanent adjustments as needed to support long-term growth.

Established infrastructure

It is no surprise that, following the surge in eCommerce during the pandemic, demand for warehouse space is at an all-time high. Leveraging the existing infrastructure of a BPO relieves PEs and VCs of the requirement to take on expensive and long-term leases, while providing the benefit of a network of distribution centers.

PFS operates our own distribution centers across the US and Canada as well as the UK and Europe. This distribution center network, combined with order routing using our proprietary Distributed Order Management (DOM) technology, enables us to support multi-node fulfillment operations that equip brands to offer two-day shipping to customers in Sacramento as well as Atlanta. Additionally, for brands operating retail space, our RetailConnect store fulfillment product advances omnichannel capabilities through enablement of BOPIS, ship-from-store, curbside and other non-traditional fulfillment methods.

Invest in the digital future

With the industry expected to continue growing more than 50% over the next five years, prioritizing investments in eCommerce is critical to ensuring your brands can keep up with evolving consumer expectations. If you are a PE or VC with a focus on retail, consider looking to the expertise and capabilities of a leading eCommerce BPO to ensure you are equipping your brands with the best chance to succeed in a digital-first market.

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As Vice President of Marketing and Solutions at PFS, Michael oversees all project management activities, strategic alliances and global marketing efforts. Applying more than two decades of experience in eCommerce, he leads PFS’ efforts to develop customized, brand-centric solutions that enable our clients to thrive in today’s digital-first retail landscape.

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