In this digital era, with more consumers using online shopping, digital customer experience has become of supreme importance. According to EMarketer, 76% of US adults shop online. However, the key to turning your customers into brand advocates lies in bringing both online and offline sales together. The BigCommerce and PayPal 2021 consumer spending report found that only 54.5% of Americans preferred shopping in person, and 12.2% didn’t care either way.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic accelerated various changes in average consumers’ consumption habits and augmented digital adoption and online shopping. In spite of that, many of these consumers miss interacting with in-store sales associates and the tailored service we can get going into a store, and they’re not yet ready to give it up. Amid this duality, a new concept has emerged. The concept brings the best of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail CX together: phygital experience.
What Is the Phygital Experience?
Phygital is a concept that marries the online and offline environments by taking the key features from each environment to create an end-to-end and satisfying customer experience. Phygital experience differentiates itself from all previous marketing tactics with its multichannel and omnichannel focus making the consumer’s purchasing process fluid and conversant.
Understanding the Phygital Concept
The consumer is not only a person who browses and purchases, but they also feel. That is why even when they can get anything online, 42% of consumers would rather pay for experiences from brick-and-mortar stores where they can interact in a personal way by touching, feeling and experiencing. However, the opposite thing also happens when a customer sees a product at store and later order them online. So, it is evident that customers still want interpersonal interactions, physical and emotional elements of making purchases while also preferring the convenience of online shopping.
Phygital combines the best aspects from a digital retail experience, such as- immediacy, immersion, and speed, with the human interaction, product, and much more that you gain from a typical brick-and-mortar retail experience. Such an approach is deemed more effective in terms of satisfying your hyper-connected, demanding consumers and meet their requirements via multiple platforms.
How can we ensure a phygital user experience?
Phygital focuses on the “three I’s”: immediacy, immersion, and interaction. Here’s a brief account of what they entail:
- Immediacy: ensures things take place at an exact moment in time
- Immersion: Ensuring that the user is an integral part of the experience.
- Interaction: Communication is the key to activate the physical as well as emotional part of the purchasing process.
To achieve a phygital experience, a company must leverage technology to introduce immediacy or immersion. At the same time, the interaction gets going. These three conditions applied to phygital make the consumer feel more connected to the brand, build trust, reinforce empathy, and boost the overall user experience.
Example Of Phygital Experience
A good example of this phygital phenomenon is the Amazon Go grocery stores in the US. Here a customer can scan a code using their smartphone, picks up their choice products, and then leave the store without checking out. Instead, they’ll get an e-receipt detailing the amount that will be charged to their account.
How Can A Call Center Contribute To Phygital Experience?
Immediacy, immersion and interaction being the three pillars of phygital experience. When a business plans to ensure a superior CX involving phygital concept across the customer lifecycle, a multichannel call center can play a pivotal role in shaping the experience. It can be at the helm of your customer engagement strategy and ensure a superior customer experience during a phygital customer experience journey.
The prompt engagement and support from a call center across channels can help you improve customer satisfaction. On the other hand, they can also help you keep the customers engaged using a multichannel communication strategy which will help your customer have an immersive experience. And finally, a call center can add that much needed touch of empathy that a digital experience lacks. Talking to a human agent will make the customers feel more connected to your brand, generate trust and improve the user experience throughout the customer journey.
Here’s an example, when a customer purchases a product online and want to receive the same at a store at their convenient time, they can contact your call center to schedule their visit to the store so that they do not have to wait for the store to look for their package. It can create an immersive and immediate experience with timely and highly personalized interactions that leaves the customers satisfied.
To sum it all, customers today look for connected experiences in which the physical and digital coexist in the same customer journey. Using a phygital strategy you can connect your consumers’ online and offline experiences and make sure that they can move between them with ease. Creating a more human interaction involving your digital, in-store and call center experience will boost you customer’s sentiment towards the brand, and in turn, sales.