Phygital commerce and its concepts

A new zeitgeist approach is making headlines, one whose exact name does not easily cross the lips of newcomers: phygital commerce. This refers to the approach of cleverly networking physical and digital worlds, which brings many advantages for retailers.

Today, it is already normal for hardly anyone to leave home without their smartphone. It is often used to communicate with each other in a matter of seconds, and banking transactions and bookings for restaurants and flights are made as a matter of course. The digital world is taking up more and more space in daily life. It is important to combine the human world and digital possibilities as harmoniously as possible and to find a balance between the two, because one thing is certain: One is hardly conceivable without the other.

Phygital commerce: a conceptualization

There is more and more talk of phygital, especially in the business world. But what exactly does that mean? One thing is certain: it has long been a reality that the virtual world and the reality of life are becoming increasingly intertwined. The faster technology advances and offers more and more opportunities to simply do part of everyday life digitally, the more important it becomes to ensure perfect integration of these opportunities. A demand that is linked to tools, skills and abilities. In addition to the ability to communicate, connect and take advantage of the opportunities that arise. In purely formal terms, the term “phygital” is a word combination of “physical” and “digital.” There is no better way to describe this concept. It is zeitgeisty primarily because it is part of our modern world to use smartphones and laptops not only to work, but also to synchronize many everyday tasks. This makes life easier, faster and more convenient, but it also comes at a price.

Phygital commerce and its advantages

The developers and manufacturers still seem to be paying for this, because if something doesn’t work out with the service or the performance of the digital world, the penalty is immediate: the customer bails out and will no longer use the app. But if everything is “user-friendly” and, in the best case scenario, even free of charge, then trade will also go smoothly. And there are plenty of them. Delivery services that bring food and drinks from different restaurants to your doorstep with a click. Banks that grant loans and interest at the touch of a button. Companies that select new employees via virtual questionnaires, and large industries that manage their imports and exports via apps. Of course, there are hardly any language barriers when national borders are crossed in this way. Thanks to the app!

Phygital is simply genius

Booking systems and the like are of course also a consequence of technical developments, and they show considerable progress. There are no errors here, and there is hardly any need for human intervention and control. This makes workflows easier and clearer, for example in the catering industry. There is no need for an employee on the phone to take orders or book table reservations. Nor does it need an employee to synchronize staff schedules and organize downtime. Everything is handled more or less automatically. Smart technology makes the customer journey not only possible, but efficient. This requires a coherent organization of the existing processes and an overall concept that is easy to grasp and at the same time runs very functionally.

Phygital design must therefore be about making the shopping experience as pleasant as possible for the customer. It must be an experience that moves toward the regular embedding of digital technology in everyday life and not a turning away from it. Here it is important to first consider for which retail sector the new app is to be used. A Michelin-starred restaurant naturally has different basic requirements and demands than a snack bar. The same applies to service industries such as electricians and fitters, large industrial companies, and many more. It’s a huge challenge, but one that pays off: phygital commerce.

Image copyright: Josie Elias


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