Jan 12, 2022 - Technology

Life in the "phygital" era

A tweet that describes the word "phygital"
Twitter screenshot courtesy of Axios visuals

The term "phygital" — a portmanteau of "physical" and "digital" — refers to a marketing strategy in which brands use bricks and clicks to entice customers.

Why it matters: While the term is far from new — an Australian ad agency called Momentum copyrighted it in 2013 — the word is cropping up more and more as digital marketers expand and enhance the concept.

  • While "phygital" used to be a cool way to describe selling stuff through a blend of brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce sites, the word gains new relevance in an era of NFTs and the metaverse.

The big picture: Marketers say we're fully immersed in the phygital era, given that consumers expect the same levels of personalization and customer service wherever they shop.

  • Cashierless stores like Amazon Go and the growing popularity of BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) are symbolic of this trend.

"The line — however slim — that existed between in-store and online retail experiences was eliminated during the COVID-19 pandemic," writes Inge De Bleecker in CMSWire.

  • "We have entered the age of 'phygital' shopping, in which digital enhances the in-store shopping experience."

What's next: Expect to see more blending of the virtual and physical space in the shopping realm, like phygital displays in retail stores that point you to virtual fitting rooms, online product reviews, etc.

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