In a world where one can buy just about anything with a click of a button, 32-year-old Anita Arora still prefers to buy from a store physically. Despite browsing through the web for product information, as well as customer reviews on online shopping websites, she does not purchase any clothes or cosmetics until she tries it on herself. Like Arora, millions of buyers across the world make purchase decisions based on a combination of online, mobile and in-store interactions between a brand and a consumer.
Hence, the blend of physical and digital, phygital retail is gaining popularity across the industry as it combines the immersiveness and interaction of the physical world with the speed and convenience of the digital world.
For instance, many brands are offering an enticing shopping experience to their customers by showing consumers how to use a product or letting them try it in their stores. If they enjoy the experience, then they can order the product online. Likewise, some brands are enabling you to purchase a product online, but collect it from a physical store so that you can enjoy the experience and avoid the waiting time for the delivery.
Weaving phygital for the world
From self-checkout counters to virtually trying on an outfit before purchasing, phygital retail is offering the best of both the physical and digital world. And with the help of AI and Cloud computing, brands are now armed with data like customer behaviour, buying patterns and market trends that open new doors of opportunities to explore.
Retailers are gearing up for the technology-driven future to offer their customers relevant, personalised and engaging shopping experience to build brand loyalty and drive sales. According to a survey conducted recently, 75% of retailers will be able to know when specific customers are in store to help them customise the store visit for them.
It is a no-brainer that phygital is a boon for both shoppers, as well as, retailers. While it makes the shopping experience delightful and personalised for the customers, it creates valuable untapped customer data for the retailers. So before we go further, let us quickly glance at some of the most popular phygital technologies used today :
Now, let us talk about phygital marketing which is basically, omnichannel marketing, which means all the channels of marketing work together to give a delightful and personalised shopping experience. A perfect example is when you walk into a store to browse, and you get a QR code to provide you with the access to a discount.
Explore an immersive shopping experience
The rate at which we experience technological upgradation and competitiveness,, retailers have to offer an immersive shopping experience that appeals to their consumers’ senses and captures their interest. Let us examine some examples based on our understanding of sight, smell and sound :
The future of phygital retail :
When phygital marketing took over the retail industry in 2018, no one had expected that a global pandemic will strike the world two years later and will change the way how we live, work or shop. Now, meetings are conducted on Zoom; shopping is mostly done online and socialising happens by phone or video chats. Hence, it is valid to question the relevance of phygital retail during and after the COVID-19 era. With no vaccination or cure for COVID yet, people are still uneasy about going to a store and have physical engagement with a brand. So, does that mean that we will have to rely on digital and social media to engage with customers? With the absence of physical and human interaction, will even the best of VR, AR or Machine Learning marketing work? What about people like Miss Arora who still would like to visit the store and experience the product first hand before buying?
Hence, physical engagement has to be quick, safe and comfortable, and digital engagement needs to be immersive and also provide insights into your business. Despite the disruption caused by COVID, phygital is still relevant as it gives useful customer insights, a much-needed relief during these stressful and testing times.
We, at Intellect Commerce, can help you to derive the most out of phygital to give your shoppers a memorable shopping experience. For more information, request for a free demo of iRetail software with our retail specialists.
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