We hear a lot about phygital marketing these days. What is it and what does it have to do with the customer experience?

What is phygital marketing?

Phygital marketing is the combination of the physical and digital marketing strategies to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience. The term itself is a combination of physical and digital, and phygital marketing is when digital technologies are used during an in-store shopping trip to produce a more immersive experience for the customer. This can be achieved in various ways such as in-store interactive kiosks or touch screens, virtual or augmented reality, or geolocation so that businesses can send push notifications to customers’ smartphones.

What is the purpose of phygital marketing?

The aim of phygital marketing is to improve the in-store shopping experience by combining it with elements of online shopping. 

For example, a customer shopping in a physical clothing store can both try on clothes and read online customer reviews while they are there. It’s easy to imagine a customer trying on a pair of trousers then leaving a comment online about them for other shoppers.

Why is phygital marketing gaining popularity?

Competition and rising consumer expectations are driving retail networks to rethink the in-store experience. Recent lockdowns in particular forced consumers to go digital when it came to their buying behaviour. As a result, French consumers expect an even more comprehensive and personalised service during their shopping journey.

Phygital marketing techniques require a detailed knowledge of the audience and their buying behaviour. To enrich the experience, companies need to collect and analyse a lot of data.

Maxime, Marketing Manager at Hyperspread

Is phygital marketing the future of commerce?

Nobody knows exactly what the future holds, but retail is shifting toward a more hybrid experience, and phygital marketing is the perfect example of this.

Retailers need to capitalise on the advantages of both online and in-store sales channels. Strategies like geolocation are opportunities to step up personalisation. An optimised customer journey saves them time. For the business side, it is an opportunity to increase turnover. In short, the best of both worlds.

Digital marketing does not yet apply to all types of products and services. The high-end sector, for example, still offers a more traditional in-store customer experience.

Phygital marketing does not need to replace existing sales channels, despite its importance; it can be implemented in addition to them. The ultimate aim of phygital marketing is to optimise the customer experience, so ask yourself: What would serve your customers best? What do your shoppers really want?

Interactive kiosks are a great step toward phygital marketing

Customers can use interactive kiosks to look up product information, compare prices, read customer reviews or even personalise the product they are buying.

Let’s take the example of a clothing store. The advantage of the interactive terminal is that it provides more information or even advice about a product. What colour works well with this garment? Are there any style tips for this item? The screen can also let the customer know if an item is available to buy online and collected in store, if the customer is feeling indecisive.

An immersive shopping experience tailored to the consumer can fill in some of the blanks the customer may have encountered in the past. The interactive kiosk is therefore an example of using digital technology to meet expectations that the physical experience can’t quite reach.

Is phygital marketing possible for a network with few resources or little digital maturity?

Digital marketing may seem like an expensive strategy, but it’s pretty accessible to retail networks. Here are some examples of how a retailer can easily adopt the strategy.

Social networks

Social media is a good way to keep in touch with customers inside and outside the shop, and by increasing the online activity of each store, the company is gradually becoming digital.

For example, an outlet can use Facebook or Instagram to advertise discount codes for use in store.

Maxime, Marketing Manager at Hyperspread

Mobile payment

It’s commonplace nowadays for points of sale to offer mobile payment options to improve and streamline the customer experience. Many customers prefer paying with their phone or card.

A phygital space

Even without a lot of resources, retail outlets can create an immersive space by using display stands and other visual aids. This can be useful for collecting customer reviews on a tablet and improving the local SEO for the business.

4 tips for understanding phygital marketing

Understand consumer behaviour

Because phygital marketing is built around the customer experience, you need to understand customer expectations. Data, trends and feedback about people’s experience are very useful to retailers when devising their phygital marketing strategy.

Think about how to link up the physical with the digital

In other words, how customers can benefit from both. Look at how competitors are developing their in-store customer experience and think about an end-to-end customer experience. You can also ask your customers for more information.

Make the customer experience as personal as possible

In the same way that a salesperson offers a personalised service to each customer, retail outlets need to work on making personalised recommendations. Companies can also work on personalising their marketing so it’s more relevant to each catchment area. This is the principle behind the new service Brief.

Keeping abreast of new technologies

A company’s ability to stay in tune with technological trends and innovations is crucial. Keeping an eye out will help you source information, think ahead and keep up with your competitors.

Phygital marketing through a local marketing platform

Understanding phygital marketing means understanding your consumer; once you analyse and understand them, you can begin customising your service and putting in place the tools you need.

A local marketing platform is therefore ideal if you want to think more digital. This solution allows brands to make much more progress with running social media, presence management and tailored, localised marketing.