3 Inspiring Examples of Phygital Retail
Embracing the Phygital Revolution
The retail landscape has evolved, pushing past traditional boundaries to bring physical and digital spaces into one seamless shopping experience. This omnichannel approach has become an integral part of most businesses as it becomes increasingly clear the benefits of incorporating both traditional and more contemporary strategies when selling a product or promoting a business.
It’s more common than you might think
‘Phygital’ might sound like a completely alien concept, reserved for the tech elite, but it's much more prevalent than you might imagine. If you take a moment to look around, you'll find examples of phygital innovation everywhere, in every industry.
Let’s take a look at some of the standout examples in the retail industry.
Lush’s high-tech experimental store in Japan
Lush, renowned for its ethical cosmetics and captivating in-store displays, have reimagined their traditional store layout with their high-tech experiential store in Shinjuku, Japan.
Described as a “three stage retail journey where the space sets the tone”, the store is a perfect example of the physical and digital coming together to create an even stronger and more memorable shopping experience for customers.
The key to much of what this store has to offer is achieved through the #LushLabs app, which features the innovative Lush Lens. Visitors can use the scan function to easily browse product information whilst in store, at home and even via the storefront window, where a digital ‘shoppable window’ is an active 24 hours a day for customers and passers by to scan and shop curated collections and product drops day or night.
Shoppers can also use their smartphones to explore immersive video demonstrations of how to use Lush products. The app compiles a comprehensive list of ingredients and product benefits. A notable byproduct of this digital strategy is the significant reduction in the need for product packaging, making Lush an eco-conscious leader in the cosmetics industry.
The second floor offers an enchanting sensory journey, immersing shoppers in a world of colour therapy and generative art inspired by the aesthetics of bath art. Through interactive digital atmospheres, technology is harnessed to heighten emotions and evoke moods. Leveraging sensor data that tracks customer location and movement, ambient sounds will come to life within the displays, unveiling personalised, surreal encounters as part of the shop's ability to tailor unique experiences for each customer.
Toyota’s immersive AR experience
In catering to customers seeking a more individualised approach to car purchases, Toyota has harnessed the capabilities of augmented reality, introducing an innovative tool that allows customers to virtually preview and explore a number of Toyota car models right from their mobile devices.
This endeavour goes far beyond the VR marketing tactics we’ve seen before, with the brand promising a digital experience that closely mimics the sensation of physically inspecting a genuine car, surpassing the capabilities of conventional videos or images.
Customers have the liberty to place the AR vehicle within any setting, in which they can then navigate the vehicle to explore it from every angle, manipulate its dimensions, and scrutinise each feature with precision, granting them a realistic preview of the ownership experience like we’ve never seen before.
Importantly, this technology doesn't eliminate the need for an in-person step in the shopping experience. Instead, it enhances and enriches the process, making it more engaging and informative for customers - exactly as a true phygital experience should.
Zara's Store Mode: The ‘Ultimate Omnichannel Experience’
Zara, the fashion-forward retail giant, has redefined in-store shopping with the impressively clever ‘Store Mode’ feature within their mobile app.
Acting almost like a personal shopping assistant in your pocket, Store Mode empowers customers by providing real-time inventory tracking capabilities. Shoppers can effortlessly scan item tags while in-store, gaining instant insights into product availability in their size and preferred colour across the store, as well as nearby outlets. The Click & Find feature offers a comprehensive in-store guide, allowing customers to pinpoint an item's precise location.
Even more impressive, Zara has managed to use phygital tactics to address the long persisting issue of fitting room wait times. Within the app, customers can now book fitting rooms and receive alerts when their assigned room is ready, eliminating the need to endure lengthy queues.
These 3 inspiring examples of phygital retail illustrate the transformative power of seamlessly merging the physical and digital realms. As retail continues to evolve, these innovative strategies serve as beacons of inspiration, offering a glimpse into the future of shopping experiences that are both more immersive and efficient.