Last week, we brought you the translation of two articles on technology trends for 2024. In one of them, the word “Phygital” appeared. The concept is not so new, but every year, with advances in technology, it is gaining more strength and space. So let’s find out more about what it means!
The term comes from the combination of “physical” and “digital”. And, as the name implies, it’s the union between the physical and digital worlds. It was Kevin McKenzie, then vice-president of Westfield Lab, an Australian shopping center chain, who coined the word during the NRF Retail Big Show in 2015.
The idea can be applied in many sectors, but it is in commerce that it is bringing the greatest revolution. Consumers have been looking for new ways to consume for a long time. The desire is to have a differentiated and personalized experience, and adopting the phygital perspective is a smart way to achieve this.
The aim is to unify the strategy. The physical store and the virtual store need to be integrated: the user has to be able to move between the real and digital environments with ease. A single organism with the consumer at its center.
Alternatives to provide an immersive experience are always welcome, bringing a new way of relating not only to brands, but to the way we consume. A good example is the possibility of digitally trying out products with augmented reality, or tracking user preferences and using them to create options designed specifically for them.
Physical stores are no longer static spaces; they are dynamic environments that incorporate technology to enhance the customer experience. Interactive screens, augmented reality and smart sensors are used to create an atmosphere in which the purchasing journey becomes interactive and engaging. Consumers can try out products virtually, receive personalized recommendations and even carry out transactions without physical contact.
The imperceptible transition between the physical and digital worlds is fundamental. Consumers can start exploring products online, compare prices, read reviews and then migrate to the physical store for a tactile experience. Similarly, those who start out in physical stores can use apps to continue and improve the experience, accessing additional information and exclusive offers.
With data analysis and artificial intelligence, retailers can better understand consumer behavior, anticipate their needs and offer personalized offers. This not only creates a more efficient shopping experience, but also helps to create emotional connections between consumers and brands.
Adopting phygital changes the way we work. It is much easier to connect with other employees, regardless of their location, through digital platforms, while technologies such as augmented reality glasses are becoming part of the reality of offices.
In education, the phygital approach is revolutionizing the way students learn. Physical classrooms connect to virtual and interactive learning environments, offering a more personalized, accessible and engaging education.
Phygital is an evolution in the way we shop and interact. With its popularity reaching more brands and more sectors, we are faced with a range of possibilities for experiences that transcend the conventional and allow us to enter a new era of technological revolution.