The word phygital experiences comes, as explained to us Albert Minguell Colomé founder of Broox, physical (physical in English) and digital. Therefore, it refers to how physical spaces are transformed through digital experiences.
Retail is changing and its points of sale are being digitized, which means that we can live a new shopping experience in physical stores that are now connected to the online channel.
Ecommerce News (EcN): How important is the Phygital experiences in the last year? What will be the role of this tool in the post-covid era?
Albert Minguell (AM): The connected store is a space where the online channel is no longer differentiated. Apart from this, what is being sought in some way is the personalization of the customer experience and a digitization of the customer journey, from when they enter the store until they leave.
By digitizing the point of sale, we are able to impact the consumer throughout the chain. We start by attracting them to the store so they can live a new, disruptive and innovative shopping experience that impacts the memory and emotions of that person. Until the discovery phase, once the customer is in the store we cause them to interact with customers and improve their knowledge of the products. Some examples of phygital experiences in these phases are:
- Use a display in the shop window to display personalized advertising, as it can differentiate between men and women.
- When you are inside the store and you approach a product on the screen in front, when you pick it up, it shows you its characteristics, but also, if you take the one next to the screen, it makes a comparison of the two products. On that same screen you can make an online purchase of the product so that it arrives at your home or an employee attends you and delivers your purchase.
The digital brand from the get-go they’ve been collecting data, while the more traditional brands haven’t done these tasks and make marketing departments “go blind.” For example, in an online store you know the number of visits to a page, but in a store they do not know how many people have been interested in a section or how many times they have raised a product (which in the online world would be to click).
However, with the phygital experiences strategy, a two-way interaction and communication between the brand and the consumer is allowed. The user also interacts with the brand and this allows data to be collected in the offline system.
COVID has accelerated purchases in the online channel and some brands are reflecting on what the role of stores will be. If there is something that is clear among the great voices of the sector, it is that physical commerce is not going to disappear, but it is going to become a showroom tool connected to eCommerce. Stores will disappear and larger and more experiential stores will be created that will make people go to try the store and end up buying online. The stores will be connected in such a way that you can even make a mixed cart, where you pay for the items, take some from there and the rest will arrive at your home.
EcN: Would you say that Phygital experiencies strategies are the evolution of omnichannel strategies?
A.M: Omnichannel is already being forgotten and we have started talking about onechannel. The digital experience is a means to reach the desired connected store. Now we seek to treat the buying channel as a single one.
One of the interesting things about implementing digital aspects in a physical establishment is to measure the attribution that the offline channel has in a purchase that has been completed online. For example, I start running on a treadmill with some sneakers and they tell me how well they are for me, then they show me a QR through which I pay and they bring me home, how has all this affected the purchase?
EcN: What integration does phygital already have in Spain?
A.M: It is growing more and more. All this that has happened with COVID has accelerated not only eCommerce sales, but we are noticing that a few years ago this could be something that is cool and cool, to be a necessity. The new generations, who were born with a mobile phone in hand, demand this type of thing and if they are not offered they will be left behind.
People who have created a store from the digital domain understand more the need to have a digitized physical store.
EcN: You have noticed a growth in your company …
A.M: We are seeing that in the prepandemic the amount of least (¿?) Qualified that we are having has multiplied by two. Before it was common to pass information to brands and for our contact to stay there, but now brands tell us that they already have a budget for these actions.
The main problems that companies had with these strategies were:
- Very high costs.
- Inability to scale these types of solutions due to the complexity of the technology.
Broox began by creating this type of experience in a fleeting way, they had a limited time and then they retired. With the development of our brand and technology we have started to introduce these experiences permanently and helping brands to integrate the data they collect in the offline channel with those they collect online.
EcN: What brand should you keep an eye on because you are doing a great job in this field?
A.M: The benchmark brand is Nike. She has been opening experiential stores for many years and combining technologies in a way that makes perfect sense.
It has become a kind of emblematic place that you have to visit, yes or yes.
EcN: Stores in Spain.
A.M: They opened a Nike store in Barcelona and another would be Fashionalia where there are no prices and you can see them through QR codes; This makes it easy to change prices and apply discounts.
EcN: What is the best technology or the one that you like to use the most?
A.M: At a technological level, we find everything that is Artificial Intelligence applied to cameras. With these we can detect people, ages, generous, the color they are dressed, etc. This allows us to make interactive content with a camera and collect data from the biometric profile of our consumer.
Another technology that is widely used is RFID. This technology is already used by brands such as Decathlon or Inditex, which uses them in products and can be measured when a garment has been taken from the shelf, this allows us to know the interaction with the products.
NFC and QR have had a spectacular maturity curve due to COVID. The QR bridges the gap between the physical and online world, and the NFC is the same, but being a more transparent process. For example, you scan the code and I show you a video of a campaign.
All this integrated and cloud platforms that help to manage the data that is collected, help to manage phygital experiences.
EcN: Last project you have done?
A.M: We transform a MUPI into a digital wheel of luck to offer automated discounts when presenting the purchase receipt in a cosmetic store.
EcN: Tips for implementing this strategy?
A.M: One of the problems that companies encounter when integrating these experiences is the lack of communication between departments. There are offline and online departments that are not connected and in many cases they do not get along. The company has to work primarily on this.
Once this is achieved, the two departments have to find out what are the KPI’s that they are going to work on through the Phygital experience.
It is also important to make strategies with a long-term vision, but that help to gradually make the digital transformation of the business. It cannot be done overnight.