Figital: the new retail journey
Maintaining an online presence has become inevitable – in the first three months of 2022 alone, the e-commerce sector grew by 12.59% compared to the same period in 2021, according to data from the MCC-ENET index.
Physical retail is also showing recovery. The forecast is for a positive second half of the year, with projected sales growth of 9.3% in August compared to the same month last year. It will be the third consecutive month of high growth, according to IDV (Institute for Retail Development).
Technological innovation is not limited to e-commerce, which develops a new electronic portal. There is still a bottleneck in convincing a consumer to buy a product without seeing it in person. That’s not to say that sales are expected to fall in the long term — so much so that e-tailers’ stocks have fallen.
In physical stores, the problem is that sales have been done the same way for more than 100 years. The item is available for knowledge and experience – and that’s it.
Integration of online and offline worlds = figital
Also, the online and offline worlds are increasingly integrated, and it is necessary to offer a fictitious experience (physical + digital) for a demanding consumer who knows what he wants. There is no longer a separate physical and digital strategy, but a plan that brings the two sides together to create an immersive experience no matter where customers shop.
An example of the integration of these two worlds is practically implemented in fast food chains such as Mc Donald’s and Junior Durski. Physical stores practically no longer have cashiers. Orders can be made at totems inside the restaurant or even through an app.
Paying for products and services with QR code, digital wallets or even Pix is also a fictitious strategy. No more carrying bills or cards – money is now in smartphones.
And that’s just the beginning.
International cosmetics brand Lush created the Lush Lens app to provide more information to customers in physical stores. Customers simply scan the product and have access to a video about how it was made, how to use it and its ingredients.
Figital on the Brazilian market
But what does it take for Brazilian companies to be truly figural?
Like all aspects of customer experience, creating a powerful physical experience starts with understanding customers, what matters to them, and how they enjoy shopping and interacting with brands.
A complete fictional experience requires taking the core elements of digital strategy and combining them with the best of physical strategy. And that, in Brazil, is still in its infancy. Mainly in terms of logistics, stock and prices.
The assumption of omnichannel is that all these requirements are the same and common. And how many times are the values practiced in physical stores different from those on the website?
Figital in practice
The Amazon Go beta store in Seattle is an ideal example of the best fictional customer experience. Customers enter the store by scanning the QR code at the entrance. Then they select the products from the shelves, add them to the bag and simply walk out.
While Amazon’s store technology tracks selected items, the Amazon Go app automatically charges a linked bank account or credit card.
Nike opened the first House of Innovation location in New York, providing a 360° visual experience.
Similar to the Amazon Go store, House of Innovation has mannequins with scannable QR codes that allow customers to ask sellers to bring a specific color or size of item to the sales floor.
You can also use the touchscreen to design your dream pair of sneakers, which can be made on the spot in 90 minutes or less. After purchase, Nike’s instant checkout system eliminates the need for customers to stand in line at the checkout.
If you haven’t yet defined your vision for how to make your business fictitious, you could fall behind the competition in no time. It’s time to intertwine the physical and digital worlds, surprise your customers!
Also read: Understand how phygital can impact your e-commerce business