Let’s get Phygital: what is it and what effect will it have on eCommerce?

Oct 18, 2022 2:28:18 PM

Have you ever heard of a 'Phygital' retail experience? The term was introduced to the world in 2007 by Chris Weil, currently Chairman-CEO at Momentum Worldwide, an international practice in the fields of consulting, strategy, analytics, and experience design.


However, the term has been widely reintroduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic as businesses began to think outside the box and re-strategize.


Phygital combines any aspect of the physical and digital world - something that Deliveroo has recently got involved in after introducing their very first Phygital store called ‘Deliveroo Hop’ on Oxford Street in London.


Created to support their partnership with ‘Too Good To Go’ and Morrisons, their research has found that 29% of shoppers are buying meal ingredients on the day, rather than buying in advance. This means that customers will have the chance to buy £15 worth of food that is nearing its sell-by date for £5.


This will be revolutionary at a time of struggle for families in the UK.


Many other companies have been doing the same, with big names such as Amazon, Lush, Burberry and IKEA utilising AR apps, scannable QR codes, and pop-up stores to feature and sell their products.


Why has the ‘Phygital’ fusion been created?


After the pandemic, it seems that more and more people are choosing to toggle between both in-store and online shopping – despite the cost-of-living crisis coming into effect.


Wanting the best of both a physical and real-life experience, with the speed and convenience of digital makes the entire shopping process effortless.


Although this type of retail experience really suits a millennial or Gen Z consumer, the Phygital world has made efforts to be accessible for everyone.


The Phygital experience is also advantageous for brands too. Businesses are able to deliver more value to the customer at a lower cost.


Phygital examples of today


  • Digital Kiosks – McDonald’s is a great example! Although the customer is purchasing goods in a physical store, they can still benefit from the instant service of a kiosk.
  • QR codes – through a digital platform, you can physically scan to gain more information. QR codes have become widely used since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Live video shopping – interact with a live host, ask questions, and see your perspective products in action. Fashion retailer Aldo have been using this type of Phygital experience and have seen a 308% engagement rate.


How will Phygital Marketing affect eCommerce?


The introduction of Phygital stores could impact online and eCommerce sales in both positive and negative ways.


The positives include boosted brand loyalty due to offering a more engaging, personalised, and convenient service, alongside traditional in-store, and online shopping experiences.


However, Phygital and digital worlds may collide as Phygital experiences take over.


eCommerce companies must remember that every customer is different and may require a different shopping experience. It is likely that there will always be shoppers who prefer an in-person experience over online, but by marrying the two, companies can streamline processes, resulting in the best of both worlds.


We are always looking at new trends in the eCommerce industry, and our recruiters are experts in the field.

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