Phygital Experience: What It Is And Advantages For Your Marketing
Physical And Digital Experience
The division between marketing online and offline is lagging. According to the latest ecommerce study by IAB Spain, there are fewer and fewer users who buy only online or only in physical stores. 58% of consumers already combine both channels, and the future trend is for this figure to reach 73%.
To meet the expectations of these consumers, brands will need to be able to blend digital and physical experiences. The era of “phygital” is already here.
What Is The Phygital Experience?
The phygital is a marketing trend based on combining ecommerce and physical stores, taking advantage of both to offer a complete user experience. This trend has been enhanced after the changes experienced in 2020, which have led to an acceleration of electronic commerce but have also valued in-person experiences.
A phygital event is a truly multi-channel experience that combines the benefits of the digital environment (such as immediacy, immersion and speed) with the possibility of physically interacting with people and the product.
The phygital experience is rooted in a customer journey that moves seamlessly from the physical to the digital world. Two examples of this are ROPO and showrooming:
- The clothes (Research Offline, Purchase Online) consist of going to a physical place to see and interact with the product and then buying it online, taking advantage of possible discounts and home delivery facilities.
- The showrooming instead consists of researching a product online and then going to a physical store to purchase.
For brands, phygital represents an opportunity to improve the customer experience by adapting to their consumption habits and preferences, which leads us to increase brand satisfaction and customer loyalty.
Channels To Create Phygital Events
There are multiple solutions to create a phygital experience so that this trend can be adapted to companies of all sizes and budgets. On the more technical side, we have solutions such as:
- Touch screens inside the stores provide additional information about the products on display and facilitate interaction with customers.
- The light ID: A technology that uses light as a communication channel to send alerts directly to mobile devices.
- Beacons: These devices use Bluetooth to locate consumers who have a tracker on their phone and send them information about where it is, for example, a physical store of the brand.
- Digital Signage is an offline advertising solution that integrates digital elements. For example, billboards and interactive billboards.
- RFID and smart fitting rooms: RFID is a label that replaces traditional bar codes and stores all kinds of information about products. In addition to sharing all data types, the mirrors in the changing rooms can use RFID to recognize the object. Thus, the user can interact with the mirror to see more information about the product or suggestions of other articles that combine with it.
At the moment, these types of solutions require a reasonably high budget, but that does not mean that the SMEs cannot create a phygital experience for their customers. There are other alternatives to combine the physical and the digital without the need to make significant investments:
- The social networks can offer discounts and coupons that can be redeemed in the store in exchange for performing an online action (for example, sharing content). We may also encourage customers in a physical store to follow or tag us on social media in exchange for a promotion.
- Pop-up and temporary stores are an excellent solution for creating phygital events for online stores, for example, opening a pop-up store in a strategic point during periods such as Black Friday or Christmas. To find the perfect location, we can use the geolocation data of the online store’s customers.
- To offer a multi-channel experience, there are low-cost tools like Shopify and WooCommerce that allow you to integrate online stores with email and SMS marketing platforms.
3 Examples Of Brands That Created Phygital Events
- The Amazon Go supermarket is the best king of e-commerce by phygital experiences. Users can make purchases by scanning products directly with their smartphones without paying at the checkout. Once the purchase is complete, an electronic invoice is sent to you, and the amount is debited from your account. Thus, the brand has managed to recreate its digital “pay in one click” experience in the physical environment, making the purchase process easy and creating the most efficient customer experience possible.
- Rebecca Minkoff
This fashion brand has used phygital technology to transform the experience of its customers. Its stores have touch screens where customers can select the clothes they want to try on. When they are ready, the customer receives a message to go to the fitting room on his mobile phone.
Once inside the fitting room, the customer will not only find everything they have ordered, but they will also be able to request a different size through the screen without having to ask a clerk or go out to look for it.
In 2019, Nike created a pop-up store in Atlanta aimed at registered users of its Nike SNKRS app.
Users within a radius of 40 kilometres from the store received a notification encouraging them to visit it. Once there, customers could use their mobile phones to activate a QR code and receive free accessories.
In addition, Nike also used exclusivity as a “hook” to promote its pop-up store since it launched a limited edition of products that could only be purchased there.