Moving Towards A Phygital Economy: Why Companies Need To Embrace Technology
Since the COVID-19 crisis, there has been an enormous disruption in several business processes. This brought businesses to a complete standstill, requiring re-aligning and re-strategizing their business approach to stay competitive and sustain the interruption. As the world now enters the new normal, the emphasis on digital transformation is critical, especially in a world of work that is still very physical.
While there are changes to the way we do business, banks have started embracing digital transformation, too, by migrating customers to digital platforms, resizing their branches, and investing in innovation. This has enabled them to partner with startups and financial services companies to embrace innovation and technology advancements in the fast-moving world.
Let us look at how the physical and digital conglomeration is transforming businesses and financial institutions globally:
What Is A Phygital Economy?
Phygital, as the name suggests, is the combination of offline (physical environment) and online (digital experiences) to better serve your customers. The mixture is different from a multi-channel experience where a user can interact with your business from various channels, but each is a separate process. In the phygital world, the process requires interaction with both physical and digital worlds to enhance the customer experience.
A phygital or omnichannel economy is one where processes can be enhanced as per the requirement and allow customers to perform interactions without complicating the process. For the retail business, the phygital brings a combination of digital selection and in-store buying experience. Meanwhile, banks are using physical experiences to connect with the customer and simplify processes by lowering dependency on people.
How To Create A Phygital Experience?
To create a genuinely enriching phygital experience, you must leverage technology and human efficiency as a combination to provide customer interactions that are faster and easier. For better guidance on this process, phygital focuses on three Is, which are:
- Immediacy: Focuses on streamlining operations to be quicker by identifying steps that need to be executed timely and quickly.
- Immersion: Focus on the aspect where the user may require additional information or a more immersive experience to make better decisions.
- Interaction: Focuses on processes where the user may need interaction or those physical processes that require human interaction. These could include a few procedures that may require the generation of communication to be traditional by keeping the physical and emotional part in it active.
By using this guidance, businesses can identify and create phygital experiences for users that are efficient and specific to client requirements. For example, in the retail industry, customers can be allowed to browse through the available products and make their selection. Later, the customer can come down at the store to try them out and buy, leveraging the combination of the digital to get the immersive experience while the store visit enables interaction.
Businesses can additionally leverage digital for combining physical buying experience with digital payment, or other combinations that allow the customer to get the best experience. Companies can use existing physical locations and add digital elements (website, social media) to aid customers in the current social distancing situation.
Benefits Of Embracing Phygital Strategy
Phygital strategy is perfect for enterprises that have just started to embrace digital platforms but cannot wholly transition their operations. For example, a fully digital lead generation will require immersive website content and optimized search engines with a detailed strategy that includes understanding how to get backlinks (SEO process) for long term efficiency. Phygital strategies allow the enterprise to select a combination of both, leading to several business benefits.
Phygital environments are more agile and flexible as they offer customers a combination of experiences, including mobile/digital apps and physical interaction. This allows the organization to provide customers a better experience and uses technology as an enabler rather than a disruptor.
For enterprises, the current situation has led to several disruptions. Few organizations are allowing remote working while others find a fully-remote operation difficult given the various challenges. This is where phygital experiences help, as it will enable organizations to work with bare minimum resources without compromising on customer experience.
A phygital economy is one where enterprises can abide by the social distancing norms and comply with local regulations to keep their workforce safe. It also leads to higher efficiency since small actions can be performed digitally and automatically as per user convenience.
In a phygital economy, businesses can make the best of both worlds, which helps them gain savings in terms of resources and overall costs. Financial institutions that are leveraging the power of phygital and bring down the need for physical branches enable digital banking as and where possible.
Similarly, other industries that wish to expand their footprint can leverage the phygital to grow while keeping overheads to a bare minimum efficiently. The phygital economy makes business sense mostly in the current situation because it provides a way out from the disruption while gaining the best of both worlds.
Kickstart Your Journey To Phygital
Ready to embrace a phygital economy? Remember that whether it is a phygital strategy or a completely online or offline experience, make sure your customers can move between them with ease. While it is essential to embrace digital, creating more human interactions is also necessary in the times of the new normal. So if you are a business with physical requirements, move to a phygital journey by embracing the digital elements to stay relevant.
And if you are looking to gain customers through digital experiences, it is best to invest in an online strategy that will help you digital coexist and empower your physical. Put efforts to create content that is compelling both in the digital and physical world, and start focusing on enhancing your digital aspects using SEO, SMM, and other means.
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