Our world runs on technology. According to the Pew Research Center, 97% of Americans own a cellphone while 85% of those own smartphones. Between COVID and the rise of smart technology, shopping has become a commodity of the digital age. Convenience has always been appealing to shoppers, but they also shop based on their senses. They want to feel items, pick them up and look at them, before considering buying the product.
Thanks to Phygital Shopping, by combining the digital aspect of eCommerce with the physicality of in-store shopping, consumers can enjoy the experience while reaping the rewards of convenience. P2P defines “phygital” as being a cross between the physical and digital realms, and in some ways, we all exist as phygital beings due to our reliance on technology for everyday tasks.
VR, or virtual reality, is a great way to appeal to consumers in this way by allowing the human interaction of shopping in-store while also immersing them in the experience of using the product. The most important experience with a product is the consumer experience, and by utilizing VR technology, producers can gauge response to the product without needing a physical product.
Meta, commonly known as Facebook, has already started bridging the gap by opening a Meta shop in California to allow people to try out their products. Customers are able to test out their video calling device, Meta Portal, by making video calls with associates. Customers can also experience Virtual Reality for themselves by testing out Meta Quest 2. Ray-Ban has even joined the phygital age and is allowing customers to test out their Ray-Ban X Meta glasses that have camera and audio that enable users to have all of the necessities of a smartphone, including social media, on their faces.
Fast Food Industry
Many fast-food restaurants have embraced the phygital age by rebranding stores to allow customers to place orders on self-service kiosks and only interact with employees if needed. Some of these kiosks also allow for facial recognition technology for payment.
Many consumers are already familiar with the trend of contactless payments, and this new technology capitalizes on it. Credit card companies have been incorporating tap and go technology and even Apple Watches can now function as payment methods in many places. Hospitality Insights expects contactless payments to be one of the top fast-food trends in 2022.
Many retail stores are employing robots in place of human employees. These employees are put in place to greet customers and assist them in finding items around the store. These robots also eliminate the need for manual inventory checks as they are created for this job as well. Consumers want one thing when it comes to goods and services- fast and efficient. Companies feel this push as robot employees are implemented in retail. CNBC weighs in on the robot workforce, saying “It’s already here.”
Many companies, such as Sam’s Club, have been using robots to maintain cleanliness in their stores while also testing them out in flagging areas that need to be restocked. Sam’s Club is already utilizing Scan and Go as a way to cut down on checkout lines. Walgreens has also made the switch to automated services as robots are being used to fill prescriptions. Both of these companies have stated that by implementing robots for mundane tasks, employees are able to better serve customers.
Embrace the New New
While some people prefer the “old-fashioned way” of shopping by searching through endless rows of products and checking out, many companies have embraced this “phygital age” and changed the shopping experience for their customers. Some companies embraced smart shopping carts that allow customers to shop and check out all from their cart. However, phygital does not mean that some sort of technological advancement does all the work for you. It could be as simple as integrating QR codes into advertisements.
Are your displays ready to meet these new phygital challenges? Call us at 740-206-8298 or reach out online to talk with one of our experts about adding digital to your custom displays.