Not too long ago, omnichannel marketing was the preferred model for retailers across the globe. It helped increase turnover, improved the collection of consumer data, and provided better customer retention rates. 

However, today, the tides have changed. Retailers have moved beyond the omnichannel approach and embraced phygital retail — a strategy that bridges the gap between physical and digital channels

Phygital: A new retail journey 

Consumers are phygital — they exist in the physical and the digital world. While they enjoy the interactiveness of seeing and touching products in a physical store, they also want the hassle-free experience that e-commerce stores provide. And so, it only makes sense for retailers to make both the worlds meet through phygital retail. 

Phygital retail is a model that takes the best elements of e-commerce and combines them with the experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. In doing so, retailers can provide consumers a phygital customer experience — one where digital technologies interact with the physical world.

Phygital retail is advantageous to both, the consumer and the retailer. While consumers enjoy an enhanced and efficient in-store shopping experience, retailers are presented with the opportunity to harvest a substantial amount of untapped customer data. 

Designing a phygital customer experience 

A successful phygital customer experience is one that combines the three I’s — Immersion, Immediacy, and Interaction. While immersion and immediacy come from the digital world, interaction is a characteristic of the physical realm. And so, any phygital design that cannot provide a quick, hassle-free, immersive, and interactive shopping experience will be unsuccessful in the long run.

Here are examples of some brands that implemented the perfect strategy to provide a powerful and unique phygital customer experience: 

1. Amazon Go

The beta Amazon Go store in Seattle is the ideal example of the ultimate phygital customer experience. 

Customers enter the store by scanning a QR code at the entrance. They then select products from the shelves, add them to their shopping bag, and simply walk out the door. While Amazon’s in-store technology tracks the items in their bags, the Amazon Go app automatically charges the customers’ linked bank account or credit card. 

This phygital customer experience is streamlined and convenient, allowing buyers to skip the hassle of waiting in-line at the checkout counter or interacting with sales staff. 

2. KFC

Phygital customer experiences can also be delivered in the food and beverage industry. Consider KFC, for instance, a brand that is piloting fully phygital stores in China. Consumers can enter any one of their stores and place their orders on touch-screens. The payment is then completed using facial recognition technology

The brand has also gone one step further, using AI to predict what their customers might want to eat and offering them customised menus when they arrive at the ordering kiosk. And what’s really cool is that some of the food is also prepared by robots! 

3. Nike 

Nike opened their first House of Innovation flagship store in New York City to provide their consumer base a 360° phygital customer experience

To know more about Phygital Customer Experience read here.