- Buyers are in constant need of certain sensory aspects to have a genuine shopping experience.
- Phygital marketing optimizes the experience depending on the audience and products/services.
- Phygital marketing is increasingly offering interactive and stimulating customer experiences by providing them with a more personalized user journey.
What is Phygital Marketing?
Phygital Marketing is a blend of online and offline marketing strategies that creates one cohesive experience for interaction and immersion of its consumers. Phygital is a combination of the terms Physical + Digital. To support the brand, companies have adopted omnichannel strategies which help in balancing the customer’s experience between these channels.
Multichannel Marketing: This type of marketing involves Customers who can buy via “many” or “Multiple” channels (two or more than two. Here each channel will exist as a different purchasing opportunity.
Omnichannel Marketing: This type of marketing involves creating a single customer experience through all channels available. Integrating all these channels will help in having a seamless, smooth, and interconnected customer experience.
The Need for Phygital Marketing:
Phygital Marketing can help in improving the experience of the customer by introducing the digital experience. Customers enjoy the interactive approach wherein they can touch, feel and see the product just like in a physical store. Though there are a lot of advantages to a brick-and-mortar experience, there is no denying that this form is declining. A lot of studies have resulted that customers enjoy a wholesome experience which is a combination of brick and mortar and digital experience. Consumers first go on to reading product reviews online, comparing it with the brick-and-mortar product price, or touching and seeing products in a store first. After making an informed decision, they order it online. Phygital is quite popular amongst the millennials and Generation Z consumers, who are more connected digitally. By going to Phygital, not only enhances customer’s smooth experiences but also proves to be a delight in hyper-connecting demanding customers by matching their expectations through various channels.
The Need for Phygital Marketing:
Phygital is done using 3 “I’s:”
The first two “I’s”, immediacy and immersion, are from the digital world while the last “I,” interaction, is from the physical world. To have a successful Phygital strategy one must combine all three of these I’s.
Brick and mortar have started using Phygital marketing by using VR to display products for their customers to have an immersive experience. In the food and beverage industry, this concept of the Phygital market is being used using the touch screen order and payment option before picking up the food from the brick-and-mortar location. Facial recognition technology, bots, etc. are being implemented to give an interactive and provide amazing in-store experiences while shopping.
Examples of Phygital experiences today:
There are various ways to enhance the customer shopping experience. Let’s have a few examples below:
Websites: A lot of insurance and healthcare companies have started offering self-service offerings like paying bills, request prescription refills on their website portal to make the experience easy and navigable. However, not all websites are up to this standard. Healthcare companies have started with telemedicine offering post-pandemic hits, to serve the patients better. These online interfaces offer a Phygital path for them to converse with their physician while additionally utilizing innovation to more readily accommodate their way of life.
Voice Technology: Companies have started using voice technology to aid consumers with everyday tasks. Alexa keeps track of your daily calorie or medical stats which are connected with wearable devices. Also, one can access that data at any time, when you enter a telemedicine appointment with the doctor and this data can be used to improve overall health. Voice technology is being used in the human resource sector wherein the job details and other information are being recorded by HRs to give a human touch to the calls sent to the customers. To know more, click here.
Digital Payments: During the pandemic, a lot of users switched to online payment options to buy groceries, home goods, and other products. A lot of banking companies started their offerings digitally via mobile phones thus making users switch to routine banking tasks. Incorporating your mobile application with Apple Pay and Google Pay is another approach to diminish client exertion and increase comfort. As more individuals take part face to face, having the advantage of a Phygital advanced installment is often appreciable.
Mobile Apps: As COVID-19 has hit us and now that the vaccinations are in full swing, people would like to head back to physical stores, restaurants, banks, and retail stores, etc. Companies have started to offer ways to provide a safe and easy convenient experience to the customers. QR codes are being introduced and can be used on mobile devices to order food from the menu, instead of touching a printed menu card. These kinds of technologies are emerging and will continue even after.
Kiosks: These have been used pre covid whether, at the airport, a bank, or restaurant, a kiosk makes it easy for users to accomplish routine tasks quickly and efficiently using digital technology. During covid and post-pandemic, these kiosks can be reconsidered to make the Phygital experience better where it would recommend items one bought previously and can suggest or recommend based on past buy and matches with the information in your mobile apps such as payments, etc. This will make it more customer-centric and boost customer loyalty as a result.
Phygital solutions available for SMEs:
SMEs businesses may often have a hard time implementing advanced tech like VR, artificial intelligence because of limited budgets and skills. For them there are alternative solutions that involve less investment:
Social media: The use of Instagram and Facebook are great ways to offer discounts and coupons to the users who perform a certain action (e.g., sharing user-generated content on the platforms), that can eventually be claimed or redeemed at physical stores. A lot of other contests can be held and rewards are given to the customers. Following social profiles helps invite interested in-store customers to follow, subscribe to our social channel, and tag our company on their page. This helps in promoting the brand and maintaining a loyal customer base.
Pop-up stores: A company that operates online can start a pop-up store based on the customer’s geolocation data. This is yet another effective Phygital strategy that’s becoming frequent, especially during the holiday season and other occasions.
Email and SMS Marketing: To enhance a multichannel approach for SMEs a lot of tools can be used to integrate Email and SMS Marketing platforms that help in interconnecting to develop the right sales strategy.
Google My Business: This is another way that offers a way to engage with customers especially for bricks-and-mortar shops. A company can upload its images, product listing, discounts, and deals online for customers to have a look and understand, also making them aware. Such information helps to improve both the physical shop and online listing options.
Benefits of Phygital Marketing:
Most of the purchases start right from online platforms, where the customer does his thorough research and makes the purchase eventually. Though most purchases are done online, few people still prefer to opt for an in-store experience where physical interaction is a key element for them. While the millennials don’t find a border between physical and digital. They prefer to have a more unified and personalized experience. The habits and expectations are increasingly changing these days where one prefers to have a hybrid shopping experience. This need can be satisfied via the Phygital strategy. This will increase the customer’s consideration, loyalty, and trust towards the brand.
2. Hyper Personalizing Journey:
A Phygital experience combines data of both online and physical experience which is a 360-degree overview of the preference and purchasing choice of every customer. Thus, this can help in creating a very specific and targeted, hyper-personalized customer journey which always results in great success for any business.
The Amazon Go supermarket has over 20+ stores in the United States. Amazon emerged as a pioneer when they launched Amazon Go stores. These stores are free from cashiers, and self-service checkout stands. Here the customer has to enter by scanning a code or QR code with their mobile phones. After entering, one can purchase the products without stopping at the cash counters. An e-invoice is sent and the amount charged is done from his or her registered bank account. This makes the whole experience contactless, smooth and automatic.
Image Source: Amazon Go Website
Nike’s new House of Innovation flagship store that started in New York City uses scannable QR codes on all its mannequins. As visitors enter, they can scan the codes to request a specific size or color of a product. There is no more hassle of searching for the right size or colour from the racks anymore. If a shopper needs any special item all they can do is make use of Nike’s customizable options to create a unique shoe. There is another feature that is instant and smooth that is cashier-free checkout for payments.
Timberland’s Touch wall
These advanced digital presentations offer clients the chance to look at the whole online product inventory live and make a collection of the most loved things. The clients’ browsing data is used by the brand to create customized efforts to cater to each customer and increase sales.
Porsche started with Phygital marketing in their showrooms with tech company Magic Book. As soon as the potential customer flips through the catalog, similar related details are played on a nearby screen to bring attention to it and inform the viewer too.
In the Rebecca Minkoff Connected Store and considering the traditional space, the shoppers get access to a world of options as they are connected through touch screen mirror displays powered by eBay. Shoppers have to just select the items and they will be sent to the fitting room, other options like lighting, ask for stylist advice, recommendations, etc. are available to choose from and make the shopping experience a great one.
TataCliq (Tata Mall):
Tata launched its Phygital platform long back. They nicknamed it “Tata Mall”. Tata CLiQ is a blend of physical and digital or also known as a Phygital platform, wherein a shopper can order, collect, return, and exchange products from anywhere either at the store or online. The target audience is conscious about their brands and their expectation is highly about convenience and comfortable service.
AR allows a consumer to see the virtual item in a real-world environment. It allows familiarity with the virtual product which was previously not possible. Another successful example is that Lens kart allows customers to wear virtual glasses using the phone’s camera and experience the product before making an informed decision of purchasing it. At the same time Lens, kart has its offline store that provides support in making the right choices and other in-store available services.
As consumers have started to evolve, it isn’t a huge task to shift between physical and digital space. With more omnichannel platforms coming, online shopping has seen a surge and provides a wholesome shopping experience to its loyal customers. In the current pandemic situation, the Phygital ecosystem is the need of the hour and will be responsible for shaping the future. Therefore, a lot of industries are focusing on new Phygital technologies to redefine the shopping experience for the customers. Innovative Phygital strategies will entice the customers that cannot be found in any physical or digital place alone. Content is the king and it can provide entertainment value, collect and help customers with decision-making ability. The most compelling digitally delivered content is still created in the physical format. Right from social platforms such as Instagram, Linked In, Snapchat, to QR codes on print ads, movie tickets, or onboarding passes, is enabling the physical touch to digital touch. The future is all about creating unforgettable and interactive experiences. And there are 3 crucial points to look for: entertainment, communication and customer service. These are the points of focus that should be considered and that revolve around the customer’s experience. In such a scenario, Phygital is increasingly becoming a main and important point of modern marketing, to an extent that any company will have to implement it within its strategies to achieve a perfect balance between the online and the physical world.