According to research, 51% of consumers research online and then go to the store to make their purchases. 17% go the other way around – they visit a store first and then make a purchase online. These statistics speak to the necessity for a seamless integration between online and physical retail spaces. The emergence of “phygital”—a blend of physical and digital experiences—is becoming critically important for businesses in retail, banking, insurance, and telecommunications who want to stay competitive and relevant in the eyes of Gen Z and convenience-driven shoppers.
The Rise of the Phygital Trend
The evolution from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce was a seismic shift in how consumers interact with retail. Now, the move towards phygital experiences is the next evolutionary step, influenced by consumer demand for a seamless, interactive, and personalized shopping experience.
While e-commerce does offer the ease of shopping from the comfort of home, it lacks the sensory experience that brick-and-mortar stores provide. Consumers increasingly seek a more immersive, interactive shopping experience that goes beyond the transactional nature of traditional e-commerce platforms. They want to ‘feel’ the fabric, ‘try on’ the accessories, and visualize how furniture might fit into their living spaces before making a purchase. Virtual try-ons, augmented reality, and real-time video consultations are phygital innovations that make these desires a reality and complement the strengths of online shopping.
Key Components of a Phygital Store
Seamless Integration Across Channels
The changing omnichannel approach in the retail sector reflects an industry striving to offer customers a unified and convenient shopping experience that transcends traditional boundaries between online and offline channels.
Modern consumers are not content with one-size-fits-all solutions. Utilizing data analytics, phygital stores can now offer targeted marketing campaigns, personalized product recommendations, and tailored promotions. These initiatives aim to offer a unique shopping experience to each customer, thereby increasing engagement and loyalty.
Convenience Through Click-and-Collect
The “Click-and-Collect” service model is increasingly gaining traction. It reflects a consumer desire for flexibility, allowing them to make purchases online while still benefiting from the physical infrastructure of retail spaces. The model demonstrates how phygital experiences can bring about operational efficiencies for retailers, as they can better utilize their existing store networks.
Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR)
Phygital experiences are not merely limited to user interface improvements. Technologies like AR and VR offer compelling, immersive experiences that bridge the gap between online convenience and in-store tangibility. Virtual try-ons, interactive product demonstrations, and even virtual store tours contribute to a more dynamic and engaging customer experience.
Social Media as a Phygital Touchpoint
Social media platforms are evolving from mere brand-building tools into integral parts of the retail ecosystem. They offer unique functionalities, enabling users to discover, explore, and directly purchase products. This significantly shortens the consumer’s path from product discovery to purchase, reinforcing the importance of integrating these platforms into the phygital model.
Recent trends also show the increasing popularity of live streaming sales, a novel and more effective take on teleshopping. These streaming events allow consumers to interact in real-time, ask questions, view product ratings from other users, and make purchases on the spot. This significantly shortens the consumer’s path from product discovery to purchase, offering an interactive and engaging shopping experience that blends the best of both online and offline worlds.
Benefits of the Phygital Approach
Enhanced Customer Engagement: A seamless, data-driven, and personalized experience significantly increases customer engagement and loyalty.
Operational Efficiency: Combining online and offline aspects ensures a more effective use of resources, which in turn, can lead to increased sales and reduced returns.
Bringing Back the Human Element: Through the use of empathy and personal connection salespeople can create more meaningful interactions and stimulate better sales results.
DigiNovo’s Role in Phygital Transformation
DigiNovo is at the forefront of this phygital transformation. DigiNovo serves as a platform specifically designed to bridge the gap between physical and online stores. It allows customers to receive the same experience online as they would in a physical store, thereby enabling store consultants to serve customers both offline and online. DigiNovo captures the essence of evolving omnichannel strategies, delivering seamless integration, advanced personalization, and leveraging latest technologies to create a truly phygital retail experience.
Would you like to learn more about the implementation of phygital experiences for sustainable business growth? Then, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.