Phygital is a buzzword describing the hybrid between physical and digital retail, a concept that has evolved rapidly over the last few years. With advancing technology comes expectations from customers, for a seamless experience from brands.
A new study from Bain & Company stated that online interactions influence 70% of purchases today. As a result, brands must now look for a phygital strategy on how they can craft experiences throughout the customer journey online and offline.
Luxury Taking the Lead
Luxury retailer Farfetch has blended digital and physical channels to provide a sleek and unique customer experience in their London flagship. Utilising customer data from their app allows sales associates to view purchase history and make tailored recommendations in-store. In addition, smart mirror technology enables customers to request other items and sizes directly to the fitting room. This combination of technology is intended to enhance the personal shopping experience and strengthen the connection between customers and Farfetch.
Burberry is fast establishing itself as a leader in phygital retailing. They have already incorporated digital channels into their Shenzhen’ Social Retail’ store, with a dedicated app designed for customers to explore and unlock special in-store access. The most recent innovation is the immersive experience created at their Rodeo Drive store. Customers are invited to use an AR filter that brings the storefront to life, with vibrant patterns emerging referencing the brand’s Spring/Summer campaign. This is an effective use of technology to aid in brand storytelling.
Engaging Experiences In-Store
It is no longer enough to offer functional, transactional spaces. Post-pandemic customers now need incentives to spend their time in-store. It is here where brands can incorporate their phygital strategy to craft engaging experiences, that build trust and build relationships
Chinese beauty brand B+Tube realised that their target market spent so much time on TikTok and developed a unique store environment offering numerous opportunities to create content for the app. They could also discover their skincare routine using screens and prompts, try the make-up range, and watch tutorials. This interaction has engaged customers who are eager to visit the store.
Using Space Effectively
An issue with physical stores is that they often have low inventory levels due to restricted space, which can add a bump in the customer journey. Embracing tech in-store can help alleviate this pressure. The addition of a digital catalogue offers customers the option to search all ranges and sizes available and have the choice of products delivered to them. They can also help a brand achieve the correct aesthetic in-store, as the products or quantity in-store does not limit them.
The Tommy Hilfiger store in Amsterdam features large monitor screens allowing customers to browse the brand’s online catalogue. The addition increases dwell time in-store, offers a smoother customer journey, and is an excellent example for brands to blend the online and offline channels.
Customers hold power, more than ever before. They want the ability to choose online or in-person shopping. Creating an engaging phygital experience that understands a customer’s needs and provides a seamless customer experience is the future of retail.
Grant has experience in implementing our client’s phygital strategies within their physical stores. Reach out to discuss how we can work with you to provide a brilliant in-store experience.
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