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The Meaning of Phygital: The Blending of the Physical and Digital Worlds

Updated: Feb 7

A significant social change for the retail industry is the use of technology, consumers use online as a place of search and discovery, but also interaction meaning brands need to explore ways to offer digital experiences and follow digital trends. Digital adoption has accelerated with many brands embracing digital innovations, shoppers demand sophisticated digital interactions therefore brands will need to adapt to this and must optimise the online experience and channel mix while finding persuasive ways to integrate the human touch.

You may not be familiar with the term “Phygital” but it refers to the integration of the physical world with the digital world, enhancing offline experiences with the help of online engagement to provide users with a personalised and interactive journey. With new digital trends such as metaverse experiences and digital clothing alongside the shift from millennials to Gen Z, mixing the digital and the physical world could become the most transformative element of brands' marketing strategy.

Phygital shopping

One of the most prominent examples of phygital is the rise of augmented and virtual reality technologies. These technologies allow users to experience digital content in a physical setting, creating an immersive and interactive experience. Audi has also delved into the phygital world, rejecting normal car showrooms, Audi’s dealerships have included VR showrooms as early as 2016 with the company now having some 1,000 VR deployments in dealerships across the globe. Using VR glasses, customers can configure their individual dream cars and explore every detail from all possible model and equipment variations from a highly realistic perspective. This type of experience is phygital because it combines physical and digital elements to create a unique and engaging experience.

Phygital is also increasingly relevant in the retail industry, where brick-and-mortar stores are incorporating digital technologies to enhance the shopping experience. The phygital experience combines the benefits of the physical world, such as touch, smell, and spatial awareness, with the advantages of the digital world, such as information access, personalisation, and connectivity. Virtual Reality company, BrandLab360 not only create metaverse environments for retail, property, events, education and more but also can create omni-marketing experiences that can be accessed in-store and online, bringing together the two channels to create unique and exciting in-store experiences for customers.

Customer Analytics by BrandLab360

Another important aspect of phygital is the integration of physical and digital data. With the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), physical objects are becoming connected and able to communicate with each other and with digital systems. This opens up new possibilities for collecting and analysing data, enabling businesses to make informed decisions. BrandLab360 also create virtual environments for brands and businesses wanting to enter the metaverse space. Their platform allows brands to access valuable analytics, derived from bespoke dashboards, further contributing to the more progressive evolving balanced relationship between brands and consumers.

Have you been exposed to any phygital experiences recently? Let us know below!

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