Walking the ‘phygital’ path is a ‘climb the stairs’ process. Before we take a look at the strategies that will help you build a successful phygital strategy for your business, let’s understand what phygital retailing is. With amass tech-based facilities available today, experimenting with them has become important to keep the customers interested. But there are certain activities that are still done best with the competence the real world has while innovators analyze the scope of technology. To blend the benefits of the virtual and the real world, the concept of phygital was inaugurated that found an instant spot in the working of retail businesses of today. Phygital is a technique that creates a new environment for the brand to sell and for the user to shop and interact.
According to McKinsey & Company, 44% of CMOs think that front line employees will depend on information from advanced analytics to provide personalized experiences; 40% think that personal shoppers will utilize AI-powered strategies to improve facilities, and 37% say that facial recognition and biometric sensors will be deployed widely.
1. Research and explore market trends:
Whether you have a physical store and are looking to implement digital or have an online store and looking to implement facilities of the brick and mortar store, intensive research about the tech trends circulating in the industry, resource planning, knowing what the business and customers need is necessary to develop a retail strategy that puts the business in the lap of a successful transformation. A pop-up store is a common experiment today that allows digital showrooms to understand whether they are ready to go the brick and mortar store way or not. Circulating the catalogue amongst people through a portable device for them to see all the options online and then try the product, in reality, is a successful example. Displaying virtual store reviews on a screen in the store can also be beneficial. Experiment with a niche crafted to suit your brand and once a strategy sees substantial growth, keep the idea constant and double the efforts. Consistency will drive the transformation.
In December 2019, Chanel was seen working on the deployment of smart mirrors in its showroom to allow customers to try on different items. This virtual try-on facility required precedence of a booking facility through an application. With a vision to harness the competency of stylists, Chanel was seen leveraging this latest tech-based solution to drive a compelling customer experience. When Chanel’s vision united with the market tech trends of today, new doors of learning and innovation opened for the brand as well as its customers.
2. Deploy a variety of purchasing options for customers:
There are different ways in which phygital allows people to shop. Some common ways being deployed are to place the order online and collect in the shop or go through the products in the shop and ask for home delivery. Different payment options are also being contemplated. There are stores that allow customers to shop in the store and pay through an application digitally. These options prove to be cost-effective for businesses and easy and convenient for customers. What else could you ask for?
3. Adopt tech-based solutions to overcome hurdles:
The common hurdles of an inaccurate purchase for the customers and the risk of product returns for the businesses can be eliminated with the use of AI-powered solutions. The fashion and home lifestyle industry can benefit largely by using applications that prioritize 3D visualization. Kiosk-based virtual try-on will also help eliminate queue hassles and make shopping fun.
4. Focus on building a unified consumer experience:
Building a customer experience that influences all senses, keeps the consumers fixated on the business. The phygital strategy should be able to caress every emotion a customer has while shopping. Personalizing the purchase through digital personal shoppers, smart trial rooms, purchase-based on recognition as well as previous information of the customer, and contactless payments if deployed by a business in unison through multiple channels have the ability to provide ease of use, accuracy, time and location convenience and entertainment to the user to savour all at once.
With a focus on personalization, using AI-based data analytics can help brands understand customer preferences. Information on items purchased, frequency, and product returns can help plan stock without wastage or shortage. Leveraging customer data helps businesses ensure the availability of relevant products in brick and mortar store aisles and virtual store catalogues. Analyzing customer data to understand the combination in which a customer purchases products and presenting them together can make a huge difference to the revenue. For example, if a customer is purchasing running shoes there is a high probability of that customer purchasing socks along with it. Keeping these items together will make customers explore more and purchase even better, putting a full stop to the possibilities of having forgotten they need those items, the inconvenience of not locating the product, or not wanting to wait for human intervention.
5. Make use of social media:
The use of social media platforms has increased enormously today. Various social media platforms now have a feature to set up an e-commerce storefront. Retailers are likely to find the right audience for their products on these sites. It is also essential to deploy various marketing campaigns on these platforms to drive the revenue for the business. Various offers can be deployed to invite people. For example, you can run an advertisement where you offer the first 5 customers who like your post a free product from your brick and mortar store. This will make the audience keep an eye on your upcoming posts and everything your shop has to offer. This will ensure a greater reach for your brand.
Creating a listing on google my business and crafting a guide with the help of customer reviews for people to find products locally can double the customer list and bridge the gap between not just the digital and the real world but also between the brand and its potential consumer.
It has been found that approximately 60% of the customers prefer a phygital experience from the retailers. A phygital retail strategy for your business will generate more opportunities to enhance customer engagement, gain new clients, strengthen existing relationships and boost revenue.
A phygital strategy is important to push the business towards success in the market and evolve with the digitalization swirling around the industry today. This strategy has the strength to completely transform the CX landscape and breed top-line growth.
Some of the benefits of phygital shopping are improved customer experience, convenience to shop through desired methods, and entertainment.
Yes, phygital customer engagement increases sales by personalizing the CX. It also helps observe customer preferences through a magnifying glass to produce relevant business offerings.