The Intersection of Two Worlds: Exploring Phygital Commerce
The extent to which shoppers have embraced e-commerce is perhaps one of the most enduring aftereffects of the pandemic for retailers. Even with brick-and-mortar outlets now largely open for business, many customers continue to shop online.
Savvy retailers have picked up on this, blending online and in-store to create an entirely unique experience, which some have coined phygital retail.
Yes, we're aware the word doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s in your best interest to follow this trend. Let's talk about why phygital retail is something you should apply within your own company — and more importantly, how you can do so.
What is Phygital Retail?
The idea behind phygital retail is quite simple. It takes the best aspects of the in-store experience and the best elements of virtual stores and combines them. That means bringing the interactivity of the physical world into the digital realm, and bringing online shopping's convenience and efficiency into reality.
You've probably guessed that, as is the case with many trends in the e-commerce space, phygital retail is neither new nor revolutionary. Multiple brands were already exploring it well before the pandemic. Adoption has merely experienced a figurative shot in the arm due to the shift in shopping habits brought about by COVID-19.
Why Phygital Retail is the Right Call
61% of people prefer stores that integrate augmented reality technology into the shopping experience. Although there's a great deal more to phygital than AR, the two do often go hand-in-hand. That statistic therefore speaks quite well to consumer sentiment.
On closer inspection, it's not difficult to see why shoppers are so keen to embrace phygital as well as why your business should find it equally compelling.
Simplifying the Buyer's Journey
Choice and flexibility are two of the hallmarks of a positive customer experience. By putting equal focus on both your e-commerce and your brick-and-mortar segments, you're doing more than giving people the best of both worlds. You're demonstrating to them that they are in full control of how and where they shop.
They can choose whichever channel is most comfortable and convenient for them, from initial engagement to order fulfillment. Never underestimate the value of such flexibility, nor the effect it can have on brand loyalty.
Understanding Your Audience
Modern retailers face a challenging dilemma. On the one hand, customers demand greater personalization and a higher level of engagement than ever. On the other hand, they also want to retain full control of their personal information.
How exactly does one parse these two seemingly incompatible angles? First, you need to give people a reason to want to share their information. Second, you need to make sure that each and every touchpoint in the customer journey is connected to your customer relationship management platform.
Phygital is actually perfect for accomplishing this. With traditional retail, there's a wall between physical outlets and online sales channels. A customer might shop equally across both, yet neither side is necessarily aware of it.
Embracing phygital as part of an omnichannel approach allows you to establish a single source of truth for every single customer, repeat or otherwise. This allows you to offer better personalization, from product recommendations to special offers. And that, in turn, increases both loyalty and trust, ultimately resulting in higher revenue.
Generate Greater Awareness
Combining physical and digital retail greatly increases the number of touchpoints in the buyer journey. We already mentioned the impact that can have on customer insights. But there's also another benefit.
A connected, cohesive shopping experience will naturally allow you to attract and appeal to a far broader audience than if you remained anchored exclusively in one world. More importantly, if your in-store experience is unique and creative enough, it can effectively supercharge word-of-mouth. People who might otherwise never consider your store might shop there simply to see what kind of experience you provide.
Bringing Phygital to Life With Tangiblee
Imagine, if you will, a new homeowner who's looking to furnish their living room. They decide to visit your furniture outlet, armed with several photos of their space. While your salespeople are certainly knowledgeable enough to recommend a few products based on the pictures, this requires that the customer:
- Wait until a salesperson is available
- Flag down the salesperson
- Spend several minutes talking to the salesperson and awkwardly showing them photos on their phone.
What if instead, the customer could view firsthand how your furniture would look in their home? Tangiblee's Room View allows them to do exactly that, leveraging augmented reality to visualize everything from furniture to wall art. Once they find a product they like, all that's left is to go to the store and see how it looks in person.
That's just one of several ways Tangiblee can assist your brand in implementing a phygital experience. You might, for instance, incorporate our virtual try-on technology into specialized mirrors on your show floor, allowing customers to see how they look in your jewelry without having to try it on. Or you might use Tangiblee Compare to give customers a better idea of the size of a particular item.
Regardless of how you choose to approach phygital, we can help. Schedule a demo to learn how Tangiblee can empower your company to thrive in the phygital world.