The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) and e-commerce services leader PFSweb, Inc. (Nasdaq: PFSW) will begin piloting an online store this month. Named the eStore, the online shopping site will be owned and operated by PFSweb and exclusively feature P&G products to consumers in the U.S. The eStore is planned to launch this spring, following a pilot of the site with 5,000 consumers that will begin in the coming weeks.
"We are very excited about the eStore's potential to reach more consumers and create new online experiences and innovations that build our brands online," said Kirk Perry, vice president, P&G North America. "Ultimately, our goal in working with an experienced e-commerce business like PFSweb is to test concepts and programs that can be reapplied with all of our online retail partners in ways that exponentially grow consumer affinity for our brands and mutually increase sales for P&G and our retailer partners."
"As the growth in consumer web commerce continues to evolve, we are seeing a strong trend towards the broadening of consumer purchase interests into more product categories," said Mark Layton, PFSweb's CEO. "With each new product category comes the opportunity to develop and test marketing, selling and retention concepts. In working with P&G on our eStore, we're looking forward to uncovering new insights and innovations that deliver on the potential of e-commerce as a powerful sales channel for a wide range of consumer products."
P&G initiated the eStore concept and has been working its ideas for test concepts and programs with PFSweb. Product pricing, promotion, shelving and distribution will be at the sole discretion of PFSweb. P&G will work closely with PFSweb to identify new concepts, programs and marketing efforts to test via the eStore.
The eStore is another example of P&G's commitment to driving innovation, in order to impact and improve the lives of more consumers in more parts of the world more completely. The eStore will test a number of concepts seeking to strengthen relationships with consumers and deliver e-commerce insights for categories such as beauty and grooming, health and well-being, and household care. These test-and-learn initiatives include subscription models and cross-selling capabilities, targeted iMedia and search ads, and the integration of social media with the online store.
According to PFSweb research, consumers expect the brand Web sites they frequent to be the best sources of information about the full range of products offered, including access to packaging, size and product variations that meet their needs.
"Consumers today also want to be 'in-the-know' about upcoming new products and advancements and be able to readily gain access to promotional offers and other new and exciting product information," said Layton. "We will power the eStore through the Demandware e-commerce platform with best-of-breed features and functionality. The flexibility of the Demandware platform in combination with the PFSweb retail services and world-class infrastructure will enable the eStore to be an ideal environment to test and develop new concepts to address the ever expanding consumer dynamics."