Bridging the phygital gap

In-Store Dovetailing Digital

At the intersection of tangible and digital experiences, the world of phygital engagement was addressed by a group of Hive members. Phygital sits at the nexus of both physical and digital dimensions, so the discussions focused on the strategic potential of experiential initiatives to marry these two channels. While there are plenty of avenues for innovation and customer connection, members discussed the nuanced challenges they have faced in getting their phygital strategy up and running

In a nutshell…

  • Experiential initiatives transcend short-term gains, emphasising long-term value and brand loyalty
  • The human touch remains indispensable, anchoring the phygital bridge with authentic and personalised experiences
  • A cautious approach to gamification is crucial, with potential brand-damaging effects in luxury sectors
  • The metaverse holds promise, but necessitates a delicate equilibrium between interaction and reward
  • Elevating online product pages with compelling storytelling is pivotal, especially for luxury brands
  • Continuous innovation is paramount for seamlessly translating in-store luxury experiences to digital platforms

A closer look…

Phygital in action

High profile-themed, pop-up stores can not only serve as a canvas for expressing a brand’s unique personality. Cleverly integrated technology has proven to engage customers both on- and off-line: elements such as false perspective billboards or Snapchat-linked magic mirrors can showcase the fusion of creativity and innovation. Hive members have seen as much as a staggering 92% data capture during events, underscoring the success of humanising the online experience. 

However, retailers must be aware of the perils of excessive gamification, particularly within luxury sectors where the risk of tarnishing brand perception looms large. While the metaverse can offer new opportunities, Hive members tend to recommend prioritising complementary in-store experiences for cultivating loyalty. A pivotal consideration alongside this is the need to elevate online product pages, ensuring they mirror the richness of in-store encounters.  

Still to do…

A notable hurdle raised by members is the task of proving the ROI of high-profile, phygital initiatives to (often skeptical) C-suite executives. The potential pitfalls of gamification, particularly its capacity to erode brand value in luxury sectors, continues to be a subject of concern. The metaverse, while piquing the interest of Hive members, remains largely uncharted territory, and will need more time and resources to figure out how best to make the most of it.

Balancing the digital and physical aspects of brand experiences is a very delicate equilibrium which needs skills and time to get right. This is particularly important in translating in-store luxury experiences into seamless digital encounters: an imperative for meeting the expectations of high-net-worth individuals.

Source: The Retail Hive: Luxury Exchange roundtable on “In-Store Dovetailing Digital”, February 2024

Discover more…