Importance of a connected ecosystem for a seamless phygital Experience


By Harshavardhan Chauhan, Central Head of Marketing at DLF Shopping Malls

Phygital is a compelling confluence of the physical and digital world that is being applied to render an experiential, immersive and interactive experience to all. It is a progressive trend that has become a new retail phenomenon for brands and a trending catchphrase to enhance customer experience. And, it is best utilized when applied in favor of building an effortless world that connects all the protracted pieces of a physical and digital ecosystem into a combined unit.

Many of you might wonder, as to why a 360-degree approach is a right solution for creating an ideal phygital experience? Well, Phygital is not a solo strategy that can be put into action by a brand or by a company in order to attract attention and likeability from the consumer. It is, in fact, a wholesome approach by a retailer which involves building successful partnerships, integrating brand value and engaging customers to the fullest in order to create a lasting and memorable experience. How else will you enhance touch, sight, sound, and taste to create the perfect blend of an interactive ‘phygital’ experience? Being ‘Phygital’ is the new way to discover all the experiences as you Shop, Dine, Entertain and Browse around. Malls are the hub of such public places that have become compatible with providing this experience. They amalgamate the synergy from all and dispense it in one place to give the right experience.

Ask yourself, what really draws a customer to a mall? And once there, how do you plan on engaging this evolving, modern customer? This customer is a distinct personality and is always on the look-out for a holistic and seamless experience that is curated specifically for him/her and not mass produced. In order to reach out to that customer, everything has to be in sync. It is true, that the communication landscape is complicated. Fierce competition, state of the art technologies and new approaches are making it difficult to be in- sync single-handedly. Unless the customer is engaged on the right channel, at the right time and in the right way with the right strategy, nothing can be achieved. Therefore the adoption of this connected mode in order to foster something more than a one-dimensional experience becomes a need of the hour.

Phygital gets you thinking beyond the obvious ways of generating traffic and lets you leverage the connected services to make a visit to the mall easier, lasting and profitable.  It begins with malls forming large ecosystem partnerships and collaborations that set a benchmark; minor yet crucial. After all, it is not always about being unmatched and fierce; it is more about being relatable and relevant in ways more than one. Right from making your consumer’s trip to your outlet reliable and affordable to spoiling them with choices, a connected ecosystem ensures a seamless phygital experience to come into existence. WiFi within the mall, digitization of the food courts by introducing wallets for easy payment, teaming up with banks and financial institutions that offer customers easy payback, EMI’s, discounts and cash back on their purchases from a particular brand; are ways of reshaping consumer expectations and connecting the dots between physical and digital for the brand and various partners.  That’s another example of how a connected ecosystem provides the best phygital experience.

Reaching varied audiences and getting them to stay longer in order to push sales can be possible when coupled with value and purpose. Imagine the power to buy things online from the retailer while being physically present in their store. It is indeed an ultimate, uninterrupted valuable customer experience across both worlds. This connection of two worlds not only empowers the consumers with more information as they make their purchases but gives brands the power of quality customer data, artificial intelligence, and Big Data Analytics. Brands draw on to this research and collect insights relating to each individual consumers shopping patterns, preferences and behaviors across brands. All of this influences customers buying decision and helps brands as well as retailers in building saliency, increase sales and their market share. Again, how a connected ecosystem helps to design a holistic and integrated phygital approach.

The Indian retail sector has come a long way in the last few decades. The shift to the organized large-format chains has moved the sector into a fascinating and ubiquitous state. It has re-invented a consumer’s behavior, mindsets, shopping trends, and purchase patterns by getting them out of their traditional guise. It has given them an unequaled experience that makes it extremely feasible for them to interact and get further involved with the mall. They plan a visit only to enjoy unparalleled privileges because it is all connected. One thing leads to another. Browsing leads to window shopping which can further instigate a catch up over a cup of coffee session or a shopping spree or a luncheon outing. In either case it’s a win-win situation giving brands a platform with access to constant connectivity and contextual relevance.  Not just that, a myriad of partners from local to global have an opportunity to improve offerings, serve customers meaningfully and increase their overall revenue.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)