During the pre-digital transformation, customers had to visit the brick-and-mortar showrooms for shopping physically. However, when internet services graduated from 1G to 5G, there has been an explosion in its complexity and advancement in its application. It has brought about a paradigm shift across a broad spectrum of the world’s economy and transformed our lives drastically.

It has made it possible for customers to buy online from anywhere at any time. So now, the customers are in a position to purchase any product from the comforts of their home through their devices.

However, the present pandemic and the need for physical distancing caught the imagination of brands to develop a hybrid platform. As a result, the customers experience physical and digital shopping benefits and transform their buying experience to the next level. It is where “phygital” services came about.

Phygital customer experience — a portmanteau of “physical” and “digital” — gives a feel of the product to the customer on a virtual platform. It provides complete service to customers and an experience of physical stores at their convenience. As a result, phygital shopping has ushered in a different buying experience for the customers, which was unthinkable a couple of years ago.

7 Tips for brands to enhance their phygital services

Brands are deploying their phygital services while some are already in the middle of it. Let us discuss how they can enhance their phygital services and provide a more advanced customer experience to their customers:

1. Augmented reality (AR)

Nowadays, many businesses are adopting AR technology to increase their customer experience. With the help of a product’s 3D visuals and sound effects (if any) presented through AR, the customers can view the products on a 360-degree basis using their smartphones.

Many online businesses have started embracing AR-enabled solutions where the customers can look at the product or try them in a 3D manner before making the actual purchase. Customers can easily receive product information, comparisons, demos, and purchasing assistance in a single moment through their smart devices.

2. HD video cameras

To provide effective phygital services to the customers, businesses use HD video cameras. For example, while making a purchase digitally, a human promoter uses high-definition cameras to showcase products and their visual contents.

HD cameras allow the customers to look at the product and its features clearly. These cameras also showcase the products under proper lighting for the customers, making them fully aware of the features.

3. Perfect lighting

Lightening plays a vital role in enhancing the customer experience in phygital setup. If the light is too dim, it will be difficult for the customer to see things. If they can’t see it correctly, how will they choose the product they wish to buy or take the product’s trial.

On the other hand, if the light is too bright, it will not showcase the right color to the buyer.

Therefore, light intensity should be such that it neither fades nor blurs the products by doing a phygital communication with the customers. Therefore, the light & camera should be in sync to show products as it is to customers.

4. High-speed & low latency internet connectivity

High-speed & low latency internet connectivity is indispensable to create the next-gen phygital atmosphere. If the connectivity lags from the seller’s end, customers won’t have an ampler phygital experience. They won’t be able to look at the product, make their purchasing, or even ask their queries with the assistant through their smart devices.

To prevent this from happening, businesses should ensure that if they provide phygital services to their customers, they should have a fast internet connection to display their products. As well as be able to communicate with their customers properly.

5. Smart fitting rooms (with RFID technology)

Smart fitting rooms are touch screen enabled mirrors where customers can have a trial of the product virtually before buying. It is just like when we visit a store physically; we first try on the products for a perfect fit and then buy. Here, the brand need not keep a large inventory but only a minimum of products for trial purposes only.

Customers pick up the product they want to buy and then scan the barcode at the RFID (Radio-frequency distribution) scanner, displaying all the product details stored in the barcode. Next, a customer tries the product virtually in the mirror and, once satisfied, places the order by paying through their card. While paying for the order, the customer’s address is also required, which later delivers the product at the customer’s house.

6. Virtual reality (VR) mirror

Using virtual reality to showcase a business’s services and products without physically collecting them is the most effective way for the particular brand to transform into phygital. As a result, a company that is adopting it is benefitting in many ways.

For instance, customers can try many products through a virtual mirror in the retail sector before making their final purchase without going to the trial rooms. In addition, it allows the customer to try out multiple products simultaneously without going to the trial room for every single change, saving the time of both the customer and the employee.

7. The ambiance

Customers don’t just want to buy from the brand digitally but also want to have a store-like experience. This is why the atmosphere of a phygital store is essential, not simply for brands to showcase their products but also for the customers for an enhanced buying experience.

Today, around 41 percent of buyers give importance to the store ambiance. During a video call between the shopper and customer care executive for a demo of the product, the atmosphere of the phygital store plays a vital role in motivating the customer to buy a product. Brands must take care of the store layout, acoustics, or sound system with minimum voice disturbance during the call and the appropriate lux level for comfortable viewing of the product. Moreover, the customer care executive’s engaging skills are a significant deciding factor for turning the customer towards the brand.

Needless to say, the strategic deployment of a phygital platform for the brand will give it an edge over its competitors. Customers are willing to pay more where they have a good buying experience.

Pratik Salia is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working in startups & conglomerates. He is skilled in Operations, E-commerce, Customer Experience, ABM Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Brand Positioning, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Market Research, and Management.

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