Press Release

Retail’s second digital transformation wave fueled by fundamental change in consumer habits

New Talkdesk Research report, The CX Revolution in Retail, reveals how the pandemic raised the bar for retailers going forward

  • New Talkdesk Research™ insights show that the pandemic and subsequent response has blurred the line between digital and in-store purchasing for consumers, creating a challenge for retailers who have traditionally separated these channels
  • Customers increasingly expect fast, easy and omnichannel interactions and are actively making purchasing decisions based on how well retailers meet those expectations
  • Retailers are quickly recognizing that contact centers have a vital role in meeting this unique customer experience (CX) challenge

SAN FRANCISCO — March 30, 2021 — Talkdesk®, Inc., the cloud contact center for innovative enterprises, today released the results of its Customer Experience (CX) Revolution in Retail research report, highlighting the accelerated change in customer shopping behavior and expectations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the pivotal role of contact centers to help retailers meet this challenge. 

The CX Revolution in Retail report shows the line has officially blurred between digital and in-store experiences for consumers, with 58% of retail customers stating that their expectations for interactions with their preferred brands and retailers are higher than they were a year ago. Ease, speed and ability to transition across channels of choice during interactions rate among their top priorities. 

This elevation in customer expectations carries significant risk for retailers. Today’s report shows that only 14% of customers strongly agree that retailers are committed to delivering the best possible customer experience. Critically, 68% of customers state that a single negative customer service experience will reduce their loyalty to that brand. 

To answer this challenge, retailers are recognizing the role contact centers can play in elevating and unifying the customer experience. A majority of CX professionals (74%) report that customer interactions with the contact center have a significant influence on CX—a share anticipated to rise to 90% within two years. 

“Just as shopping has become an omnichannel, on-demand experience, so must customer service,” said Paulo Silva, senior vice president, Client Solutions, Alorica. “As Talkdesk Research data confirms, fostering consumer affinity and loyalty toward a brand in today’s anytime, anywhere environment starts with the contact center. The speed, agility and customer-centricity it offers are essential to ensuring CX remains seamless across any commerce touchpoint, be it buy online pick-up in store, curbside, online or in-store.”

“This sea change in consumer behavior has been on retailers’ collective radar for years, but the pandemic accelerated it. In-store and digital experiences are, for many retailers, still treated as two distinct, separate channels. The mere fact that consumers now want one simple, holistic interaction creates a major challenge for retailers who thought they had a few more years of runway to implement,” said Tiago Paiva, chief executive officer, Talkdesk. “Cloud-based contact centers will play an outsized role for retailers to meet this challenge, as they are more flexible, more secure, and by using AI can facilitate the personalization and experience that customers now expect.”

The Talkdesk CX Revolution in Retail report analyzed responses of more than 180 full-time professionals, including leadership and management for customer service, customer experience, IT, as well as over 1,200 retail customers. 

The report additionally highlights key CX concerns and priorities among customers and CX professionals, including:


  • 58% percent of customers felt their last retail experience was not personalized for them
  • 72% of customers say that their preferred channel for communicating with a company varies depending on the context

CX professionals

  • 62% of CX professionals report that legacy contact center technology is limiting their ability to improve customer experience 
  • 72% of CX professionals are experiencing an increased demand for customer data analytics

“Customer experiences in retail are quintessential for achieving the maximum potential from any relationship,” said Mark Smith, chief executive officer and chief research officer, Ventana Research. “Talkdesk is delivering on the necessity of providing seamless digital interactions for maximum value from engagement across any channel and should be a top priority for every retailer.”

For the full report, download the Talkdesk CX Revolution in Retail

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About Talkdesk

Talkdesk® is the cloud contact center for innovative enterprises. Combining enterprise performance with consumer simplicity, Talkdesk easily adapts to the evolving needs of support and sales teams and their end-customers, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, productivity and cost savings. Over 1,800 innovative companies around the world, including IBM, Acxiom, 2U, Trivago and YMCA rely on Talkdesk to make customer experience their competitive advantage. Learn more and request a demo at

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