The borders between the physical and digital media are becoming narrower everyday, this is possible with the phygital experience. Nowadays, digital influences most of our purchasing decisions, resulting in the fact that most businesses have to adapt to new consumption patterns of their customers.
Having this into account, a question arises: is there an alternative for brands and businesses that did not originate in the digital era or that began as physical shops?
The answer is a resounding: yes
Against this, another question arises: if you have an online business, is having phygital functions necessary?
Again, the answer is an affirmative one.
What is the phygital experience?
The term “phygital” comes from the portmanteau of “physical” and “digital”. It is, therefore, an incorporation of strategies and digital resources of the marketing plan of a physical shop.
IAB Spain, in its latest report, informed that the most popular shops are digital. They continue with the study stating that, even though the pandemic helped make this happen, it was not the sole reason. They also note that the convenience the customers feel when they make online purchases is another key factor.
However, they consider that businesses that combine online control and offline are the other ones that receive the biggest amount, aside from making their users into consumers. In this Annual ecommerce study, it is stated that at least 58% of consumers combine their purchases between online and physical shops. It is also estimated that the percentage will increase in the next few years to around 73%. Nevertheless, it needs to be said that customers still desire to visit physical shops.
To achieve success with the implementation of this strategy, it is best to understand the possibilities it offers.
Benefits of phygital strategy
By deleting all borders between online and offline, not only is the customer journey directed in a more assertive and comfortable way for customers. It also allows for businesses to obtain all the advantages because they enjoy the eccomerce. Here we showcase some:
- Personalization: This is one of the most valuable resources that the digital era has offered to businesses nowadays. By knowing their consumers better, it is possible to improve their experience in every way, which, in turn, causes an immediate consequence in the increase of sales and the satisfaction of the customers.
- Response immediacy: Knowing how to attend to the necessities of the users is another of ecommerce’s great merits.
- More interaction: However, interaction not only exists to detect defects and solve problems. Obtaining constant feedback, in which users generate valuable contributions about the improvement of the brand, its products or services, it will increase trust, the receptiveness of the clients and it will generate, as a result, the empowerment of the company in the market.
- Measurement of the results: The administration of data, for future analysis, is another great discovery of digital commerce. Physical stores, when they become phygital, will have the necessary metrics at their disposal to refine the different marketing strategies.
How to incorporate digital to physical?
There are many ways to link physical with virtual. Having an online store that adjusts to the features of the brand, address the users via different channels such as social media and offer the possibilities of online pay is only the tip of the iceberg.
Phygital goes a step further, making use of the newest technology, with the aim of giving the public that experiences it the feel of being in both worlds at the same time. Some of the most used technological resources to offer this insight are:
- VR: Far from being an exclusive resource for the entertainment industry such as video games, this technology has become a great tool to connect both realities in different fields.Dedicated businesses that sell products such as clothing and some markets use it like a tool of theirs.
- QR code: We all know this code that is formed of bars. Every restaurant shows their menus using this code, thus, it is possible for the redirection of the users to the webpage and social media, with the aim to make a new invitation.
- Beacons: Less known than QR code, it is a bluetooth device that broadcasts information that can be received by the consumer’s phone. Through this device, the user is capable of observing additional features about the product they want to buy.
- Light ID: As opposed to beacons, with this function we can broadcast information through our phones to the objects, only when approaching and making a focus. Companies as old as Volkswagen already have it in their applications, as an interface that communicates to the drivers in their cars.
- Kinect: In this case, we are talking about a device that is able to detect our bodies and recognize it. It is an excellent tool for one of the clothing shops that make a simulation of this, like a mirror in which customers can try the clothes without actually wearing them.
The latest phygital news: Success stories
In 2019 Nike pioneered the phygital brand by creating a pop-up store where users, already pre-registered, who were within a 40-kilometer radius of the store would receive an invitation notification to the store.
SNKRS, as they called the app, sent an alert to its subscribers with a QR that when activated, granted them free accessories.
A great example of the use of Beacons is demonstrated by IKEA. As the video shows, by using the camera of the mobile device it is possible to learn more about the product in focus. This, of course, without the need to attend the store or view it on the website. No matter where you are, you can get the data you want about your favorite products.
Amazon is a very different business from those mentioned above. This is a business that emerges digitally. It has become an inspiration for innovators in the online market by focusing on attracting users through a phygital strategy.
As seen in the video, users of Amazon Go supermarkets just need to scan the products on their cell phones and pay for them on the way out without waiting in uncomfortable lines or going through the checkout. It is an example of how versatile phygital can be as a new experience for users, and ultimately consumers in today’s market.
The phygital experience is not the future, it is already part of the essential resources for improving the way companies sell their products and satisfy their customers’ needs.
With the proper use of all these resources and tools, it is possible to lead consumers to the product they want in a way that is not only more creative, but also more fluid and faster.
The optimization of the customer journey, the main goal of this strategy, is based on the creation of scenarios with greater interaction between brands and their users, the convenience of the purchase and the assertive offering of their products, always taking into consideration the customer as the center of attention to give him the best experience.