The retail industry has changed a lot in recent years. And it’s clear to say that creating a successful retail strategy is anything but simple. The customer journey encompasses both digital and physical touchpoints. So it is imperative to view them as a holistic entity to provide a seamless experience: a phygital experience.
It is predicted that e-commerce will be responsible for around 24% of global retail sales by 2026. But there is no shift away from brick-and-mortar stores to online-only retail. One example of this is the online success company Gymshark, which recently opened its first physical store. This shows the importance of a well-balanced interaction between physical and digital commerce in order to achieve retail success. To attract and retain customers and employees in this new retail landscape, an effective digital strategy is essential. In this blog, we explain how to develop such a strategy to improve the retail customer experience.
How does the new retail customer experience look like?
A phygital retail customer experience describes the fluid transition between digital and physical touchpoints to provide a rich customer experience. What should be perceived as effortless for the customer is far more complex behind the scenes. The development of a phygital strategy is a massive undertaking. Retailers need to align their investments with the demands of their customers and employees. They have significant staffing issues, and almost 32% of customers switch brands when they have a poor experience. Consequently, it is more important than ever to create seamless and unique experiences for customers to simplify their shopping process.
Ask for feedback
Retailers should not feel pressured to follow the crowd. Instead they need to involve internal stakeholder and customers for shaping their phygital strategy. It’s a question of identifying what will add most value and ensuring that their cultural shift keeps up with technological advancement. Asking questions such as where the pain points are and what the customers want, will help them create a phygital strategy aligned with their needs.
Data is at the heart of a phygital strategy. The effective use and integration of data connects physical with digital retail. Customers are shopping both in-store and online, but the data behind these two experiences is often kept siloed. To create a seamless customer experience in retail they have to consolidate data from different areas (e.g., product information, inventory, and customer data). With a single overview across warehouses, stores and fulfilment centers, retailers can offer customers a personalized journey, whether from the sofa or in the store. The free flow of in-store and online data enables organizations to get creative with their services and retain customers and employees even in uncertain economic times.
Embrace key differentiators
Offering customers the choice of how to interact with the brand and the services they want in-store is a key differentiator. Retailers can offer flexible delivery options, location-based push notifications, and personalized discounts, to create a memorable shopping experience. Moreover, with the right tools and augmented reality (AR), employees can provide instant product information.
In conclusion, a phygital retail strategy is crucial for retailers to stand out in an increasingly competitive market. By focusing on the value that customers and employees want, integrating data from across the business, and offering unique shopping experiences, retailers can thrive in the future of retail.