The future of retail is a “phygital” ecosystem, transforming the new “dot” portfolio of retailing with tiered models, multiple formats and unique solutions. Design, innovation and technology are key to transforming the new real estate portfolio of retailing. From virtualized to in-store hybrid retail, it’s fundamental to know what format best supports each cluster.
Environmental, social and governance factors will be advanced by innovation and are future proof that your brand will remain relevant in a marketplace focused on sustainability.
Customers are coming to expect the option of a digital experience to meet their variety of needs. With that in mind, here are four typology “dots” that need to be considered and merged to create this new interconnected retail portfolio network. They are:
While 63% of shopping begins online (Source), 49% still prefer to shop in physical stores (Source). These reports only go to show that the FMCD sector has a lot to offer by leveraging the phygital phenomenon.
Consumers have experienced personalization and convenience by shopping online. However, when they venture out into a physical store, these expectations fall flat.
Here, phygital is filling the appetite of customers and supplementing value to brands at a lower cost. So, what has changed for brands, and how they will deliver the best phygital experiences?
Re-imaging stores Some consumers shop online and some like to visit the stores, feel the product and then, proceed to buy. To a certain extent, the second option still remains.
Brands faced challenges to create an environment for customers where both the world can meet. The aim was to offer customers a store-like experience without having them to visit the stores. A digital experience that is, personalized and touches the physical convenience is going to be the next big thing. That’s how brands are redefining their stores and creating a space for customers where they can enjoy comfort and conviction.
Promoting the phygital point-of-view With the advancement of technology, transparency has been established between brands and consumers. Gone are the days, when brands used to consider that ‘consumer is always right’ by any means. Sounds bold, but is true, isn’t it?
When customers buy online, they complain about products that do not match their expectations in terms of color, size, functionality, etc. And, in stores, they fully feel the product, experience it and then, buy it. Sadly, today, people have less time and are loaded with tasks.
Hence, phygital is the only alternative. The consumer can have a look, touch and feel the product virtually. Brands will be able to eliminate the previous complaints from customers as they will be able to experience the product virtually prior to purchasing. Instead of being mendacious on eCommerce platforms, brands are allowing customers to decide for themselves.
Targeting consumer emotions The future of retail would be to drive consumer emotions to purchase. The upsurge in ‘mood retail’ has caught fire after the introduction of phygital. Having introduced to the experience of the product without visiting the store is going to be the biggest USP in the FMCD economy going forward. When they feel the product, it encourages them to buy. Companies are using these emotions to simulate product choices with an intuitive and immersive customer experience.
Technologies and best practices of phygital CXAs we are still envisioning phygital opportunities, businesses have introduced phygital in customer service. Here are a few best practices in an effort to deliver phygital experiences.
AR glasses / Mixed Reality ecosystems are the new eyes for customers The innovation has introduced more usefulness of AR in customer experience. Augmented Reality ensures whether the product is perfectly convincing for customers by overlapping live video with products. It allows customers to see precisely how the items fit their preferences by providing close-to-real product visualization, be it the refrigerators, cloths or interior design products.
Suppose, while buying furniture people tend to become picky aesthetes and for them, purchasing it in-store can consume a lot of time. However, representatives using AR glasses during the live product demo through video call can help the customer choose the perfect fit sitting at home or anywhere. This is an excellent way to encourage confident purchase decisions.
Introduction of pro-phygital TFT or LED screens As brands are bending their strategies to build a phygital market space, the use of TFT screens is evolving. Businesses are implementing it in live product demos as an integration of digital into physical.
For example, it is the display screen when you buy TV, smartphones and even clothes, phygitally. You can see different features of the item or even try different clothes at the same time virtually, with just one click. The forward-thinking future-ready brands are adapting to the customer’s needs and staying ahead of time.
Channel-free customer experience Brands need to up their customer experience game to attract consumers and convert them into sales. With phygital innovations brands looking to offer face-to-face customer experiences, that build the brand’s credibility and fosters customer relationships. This makes the interaction so seamless without involving any other customer service channels. Phygital is the futuristic form of today’s omnichannel with greater possibilities; where consumers can come, shop effortlessly sitting at home, virtually experience the product, and become customers. This will truly be relevant if the customer requires remote after-sales service.
Concluding: Phygital ecosystem of untold possibilities. Today, people live phygital experiences in day-to-day life with no awareness of it. Gen Z and millennial consumers are at the forefront, thus, pushing businesses to transform their customer experience strategy to phygital. There are several methods to offer desirable phygital experiences to your customers such as setting up virtual stores, utilizing AR & VR tools in customer service and product demos.