World Consumer Goods & Retail Forum: Interview with Bernardine Wu, Founder & CEO, FitForCommerce

FitForCommerce, the digital strategy group of OSF Digital, is our content partner for Keynotion’s World Consumer Goods and Retail Forum Amsterdam 2022. They have drafted the exciting content on 23rd and 24th June that reflects their insights in the retail industry.

We spoke with Bernardine about the latest operational technology and trends behind the international retail scenes, and her vision for the retail landscape in today’s world.

Bernardine Wu is now the Executive MD of the Strategy group of OSF Digital. FitForCommerce, a specialized digital advisory and consulting firm, was acquired by the global digital transformation company in 2022.

    • What is your view on the trends defining the direction of the consumer goods industry?

As consumer goods brands look to develop a stronger and more personalized relationship with their customers and increase customer lifetime value, the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) model continues to grow due to its benefits such as increase in profitability, control over inventory and brand experience, ability to gather customer data, and receive customer reviews and feedback. There are many ways to go direct…your own website, through marketplaces, social commerce, subscription, etc. but it all starts from knowing your customer and their shopping journey. That being said, not all brands should go DTC but they should be strategizing about supporting their retail and wholesale channel partners to be successful.

    • The focus of the event are namely strategy, e-Commerce and Customer Experience. Do share your outlook in all the above.

There’s tremendous pressure in the retail industry to adapt and offer more everything (convenience, speed, value-add content and services) under a new and quickly evolving landscape. To remain competitive in today’s world, our retailer and brand clients are accelerating their digital commerce strategies and implementing new features/functionality quicker than ever before.

    •  We have noticed a stark change of retail behaviour in providing more services since COVID in their physical store. E.g., Cookbooks if they are in the F&B, tailoring services if they are fashion and apparel. Do you think these added services will last in the long term?

I think leading retailers and brands were already testing value-add services in their retail environment pre-COVID. The pandemic just accelerated these initiatives across the board to draw more foot traffic and gain loyalty. Some services are here to stay (click & collect, curbside pickup, complementary services like tailoring) and others may go back to being a seasonal offering (gift wrapping, pop-ups, gamification). In general, I do see more retailers being more customer-centric in their approach and brands authentically connect with their customers in their marketing and customer service.

    • How can rethinking retail operations help us in boosting the retail industry?

Examining the store footprints, especially for retailers that are experiencing a big spike in click & collect and curbside pickup, will be critical in improving efficiencies. The industry is also dealing with supply chain issues that will continue to persist. Evaluating your tools and leveraging the right technologies can reduce operational cost. Also listen to your employees (across the entire business: in stores, warehouses, customer service, back office, and headquarters) and their observations as they’re critical to the overall success.

    • What do you look forward to discussing at the World Consumer Goods and Retail Forum Amsterdam 2022? What is the desired outcome of the event for you?

I look forward to connecting with global retail and brand leaders in person and hearing how they have overcome their challenges during the pandemic and what they have planned for 2022 and beyond. I’m excited to see the retail industry come together (IRL!) and share their learnings.

Event details: World Consumer Goods & Retail Forum

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