Phygital experience, discover what it is.

Nowadays, digital commerce is part of our daily life. In the past years, it has become a common habit. However, the physical store continues to be the main form of purchase. But, what would happen if we merged the two realities? It’s the phygital experience where the interactions of physical reality and digital are mixed. The goal is to integrate as much as possible of each environment as both are part of our reality. For example, the concepts of immediacy, immersion, and interaction that are so important today. With immediacy, we refer to get things to happen at that time. The immersion must be for the user since it must be part of the experience. And finally, with the interaction, we mean generating communication between the brand and the user to awaken the most physical and emotional part.

 

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But how has the trend evolved?

Years ago, physical companies used to open virtual stores once they became leaders in their fields. Then, the trend was the omnicanality offering cohesion between all the communication channels of a brand in order to bring to the customer, a 360 shopping experience. Then, the stores from click to bricks arrived. There were digital stores that as soon as they became successful digitally they jumped into the physical stores. An example of this is the sunglasses company Hawkers. Currently, the trend is the phygital experience and it seems it is here to stay.

 

But why opening physical stores?

Experiencing.
Space is created where users can touch, smell, taste, the products they are planning on acquiring.

Commitment.
Offering a physical experience creates a stronger bond between client and brand thanks to the interaction experienced.

Awareness.
The digital world is usually a red ocean with a voracious competition just a few clicks away. The physical space is intended to draw attention, win new customers and be more visible to their customers and those who are not yet.

 

Physical and digital spaces

Physical spaces are managed by people where they interact with each other and with the brand. It is where the products are physically tested.

Digital environments are available 24/7. In addition, most of the digital processes are automated, increasing the immediacy of what we were talking about earlier.

In many cases, both worlds are not well integrated with each other leaving a gap that may confuse the user. For millennials, the separation between both environments should not exist. They wish that both, digital and physical environment were merged, a challenge for the phygital.

Advantages of the digital world

Immediacy, time-saving.

One of the main advantages is saving time when buying online. This way we avoid wasting time on displacements, lines to pay and the bustle of people that in many occasions is overwhelming. Another feature is the possibility of obtaining a lot of information about an article. In addition to the possibility of being able to know the opinion and feedback of other users about the product.

Advantages of the physical world.

Physical stores appeal to emotions and human contact. Therefore, all the senses are used as a strategy to attract more people. The idea is to create a memorable experience that fuses the digital advantages in the physical environment.

In addition, the customer can interact with the employees to solve doubts, can test the product, touch the materials of the products, etc.

Therefore, all elements such as music, decoration, the smell of the store, etc. influence the user experience and must be planned within the brand strategy to follow.

Tecnologías y últimos dispositivos

Beacons

A beacon is a short-range Bluetooth device (around 50 meters) that broadcasts readable information with our smartphones.

Augmented reality

It is an extension of the physical reality that is altered through our smartphone. On the screen of our smartphone will appear additional information about the product, or we will see the product itself in the space in which we are and endless possibilities!


RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification)

This system is made up of labels and an RFID reader that, at a distance and using radio waves, is able to read the information contained in the labels. The labels contain a small chip inside with a unique identifier with a small memory that allows information storage. The reader can read and/or write information on these labels.

ID Light

The light sent out by the special ID Light screens transmits information through this light. It can be captured with smartphones and tablets just by standing in front of them, focusing on it with our device.


KINECT

It is a device that is capable of capturing the human body, recognizing and integrating it into the plane. In this way, applications have been developed to allow interaction with virtual elements.

How are these technologies applied in physical stores?

Amazon Go

A clear example of phygital is the Amazon Go stores, where the digital and the physical complement each other. All this using the most cutting-edge technology. The physical part is represented by the speed and elimination of intermediate processes so characteristic of these stores.

At first, Amazon Go stores were going to suppress all forms of physical payment – both card and cash – to make way for digital payment through the customer’s Amazon account.

Augmented reality in Zara

Zara has implemented augmented reality in 130 stores around the world. At certain points in the store, such as shop windows and podiums, through our mobile phone, we can see holograms and additional information about the products.


Smart fitting rooms at Rebecca Minkoff stores

Upon entering the fitting room, the mirror recognizes, thanks to the incorporated RFID tags, the chosen garments. The mirror can act as a screen that offers additional information about the garments or function as a mirror. You can also call the shop assistant, ask for more clothes, etc.

No doubt that the fusion between bits and atoms is here to stay and little by little big brands will incorporate them into their shopping experience. If you want to know more about retail trends, feel free to read this article.

 

customer experience ebook

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