Virtualization Technology News and Information
The Emergence of Phygital Customer Experiences

By Rebecca Jones of Mosaicx

The rise of e-commerce, social media, and mobile devices has fundamentally driven companies to focus on creating a fluid digital customer experience (CX). But despite the rise of online shopping, the physical shopping experience has remained indispensable. Recently, a new approach to CX combines the physical and digital worlds: phygital experiences.

One of the foundational elements of phygital CX is AI. And with AI comes the ability to leverage technologies like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), which help provide integrated CX across physical and digital channels. By providing engaging and integrated environments, brands can create memorable experiences that pave the way for long-term customer loyalty.

For example, intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) enable brands to respond quickly to customer needs and deliver customized recommendations-all while reducing the load on customer service staff. In-store, AI-powered kiosks and virtual assistants provide personalized shopping experiences to customers. And when customers need help or guidance, IVAs provide it via omnichannel support. AI has also enabled the use of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, which can provide customers with immersive and interactive experiences that bridge the physical and digital worlds.

Here are seven phygital features brands are using to set their CX apart.

Integrated CX Via Omnichannel Support

The core of phygital CX lies in omnichannel integration, ensuring customers can access support and guidance across all channels and devices. For instance, a customer can start a purchase on a mobile app, continue it on a website, and then pick up the product in-store, all while receiving consistent and personalized service throughout their journey.

In-store Phygital Journeys

Even brands that start online come to realize the value of physical stores. By integrating digital technologies into their brick-and-mortar stores, brands can enhance the customer experience. For instance, they can use virtual reality to showcase products or create displays that allow customers to interact with items before purchasing them. Customers can also access the brand's app via their phone to explore the store, interact with products, and ultimately connect with the brand's vision for its products. When customers feel connected to a brand's vision, they are more likely to repeat business and recommend others engage with the brand.

Invisible Checkout

One key feature of an integrated phygital CX is that it lets customers make in-store or online purchases via hyper-convenient payment methods. For instance, let's say a retail customer using invisible checkout walks into a clothing store, tries on a few items, and decides to buy a few of them. Instead of waiting in line or interacting with a cashier, the customer walks out of the fitting room and leaves the store. Payment is automatically charged through a digital wallet linked to the store's system.

Personalized Customer Journeys

AI-powered IVAs enable brands to consolidate customer data from various channels into a single customer view. For instance, let's say a brand sells running shoes and associated gear. IVAs may present a customer who has previously bought running shoes with an offer for a newly released line of running gear that appeals to their established style. The IVA can share that recommendation via the customer's preferred channel.

Augmented Reality

Brands are using augmented reality (AR) to enhance the in-store experience. Fashion and beauty retailers, for instance, can utilize AR to enable virtual try-on experiences that engage customers. Organizations can use AR to create interactive 3D models of products that customers can explore from different angles. An interactive 3D model can be particularly beneficial for complex or difficult-to-visualize products in 2D.

Enhanced Customer Data Insights

Phygital CX provides brands with enhanced customer insights by combining data from various channels, such as in-store purchases, online browsing behavior, and social media engagement. This data helps retailers better understand customer behavior and preferences, allowing them to make more informed decisions about their marketing strategies and product offerings. By leveraging data-driven insights, brands can create a more personalized customer experience, leading to increased loyalty and advocacy.

Increased Brand Awareness and Engagement

Phygital CX can help increase brand awareness and engagement by providing customers with unique and memorable experiences. For instance, brands can leverage customer data gleaned by AI to predict customer behavior. Then, armed with that data, they can use these predictions to optimize inventory management, offer personalized promotions, and enhance the in-store experience. Brands can also encourage customers to share their experiences on social media, increasing brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing. Ultimately, increased brand awareness and engagement can lead to higher conversion rates and help brands differentiate themselves from competitors and leave a lasting impression on customers.

Brands looking to develop a successful phygital CX strategy must consider all customer journey aspects. Decision makers should remember to:

  • Prioritize customer needs and preferences.
  • Focus on creating a personalized and seamless experience.
  • Leverage AI to analyze customer data and provide customized recommendations.
  • Utilize IVAs to provide instant assistance and support across all touchpoints.

By following these best practices, brands can create a unique and compelling CX that turns one-time customers into long-term fans.




Rebecca Jones is the general manager of Mosaicx. In her career of more than 25 years, she has held a broad range of operations executive roles focused on growing businesses, people, and profit margins. She also serves as a member of the board for the Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Louisville, Ky.

Published Friday, May 05, 2023 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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