The Future is Phygital

By Phase 3
February 22, 2024


"Phygital" is a new mash-up that combines the words "physical" and "digital." It refers to blending physical and digital elements in various aspects of life. For example, shopping for groceries online and picking them up in the store (also known as BOPIS) is a phygital experience. The goal is to create a seamless and interconnected environment that enhances or augments user experience. This concept is particularly relevant in retail, marketing, events, and customer engagement.

The concept of phygital has become increasingly important for any brand interested in building a strong customer base and positive brand awareness. This is because our expectations regarding customer service have evolved with the prevalence of more digital communication, research, and shopping options. Customer experience has become critical to any brand’s survival.


Customer Experience (CX)

In a groundbreaking PWC study, almost 80% of American consumers reported that "speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service" are the most essential elements of a positive customer experience. Furthermore, 65% say that a positive experience with a brand will influence their purchase decision more than memorable advertising. However, 54% of U.S. consumers said that customer experience at most companies needed improvement.

Brands must prioritize technology, tools, staff, and other business elements that provide exceptional customer experience. That's where phygital interactions and marketing come into play. They cater to the preferences and expectations of modern consumers.

It also fosters a deeper and more meaningful connection between a brand and its customers. Phygital marketing ensures a seamless transition between physical and digital channels. For example, customers can start their journey in a physical store, continue online, and then complete a purchase through a mobile app. This omnichannel approach provides convenience and flexibility, two things customers are demanding.


B2B (CX)

Customer experience is not just a B2C issue. It is also imperative in today's B2B markets. The significance of customer experience has grown. B2B businesses recognize its impact on customer lifetime value, loyalty, and overall success.

In a competitive B2B market, products and services are often similar, and customer experience becomes a key differentiator. Businesses that provide exceptional customer service and sales interactions stand out from competitors. They are also more likely to attract qualified leads and keep happy customers.

A positive B2B customer experience builds loyalty and encourages long-term relationships. This is critical in markets with longer purchasing cycles. B2B customers are more likely to remain loyal to suppliers or service providers that consistently deliver excellent customer service, which reduces the likelihood of switching to competitors. When businesses focus on customer needs, provide personalized interactions, and offer seamless processes, customers are more likely to perceive the value of their investments.

Acquiring new B2B customers is expensive. However, businesses focusing on customer experience often benefit from lower customer churn and acquisition costs. Satisfied customers become advocates for a business. Word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals play a significant role in B2B purchase decision-making. As a result, companies may not need to spend as much on marketing efforts.

A positive customer experience contributes to a strong brand reputation and builds trust. When trust is crucial, businesses that consistently deliver on promises and prioritize customer satisfaction enhance their overall brand image.

B2B leaders who prioritize delivering exceptional phygital customer experiences are better positioned to achieve sustainable growth in a competitive market.


B2B Phygital

We live in a virtual world where B2B prospects start their sales journey online. They communicate with potential vendors almost entirely through digital channels. Many opportunities exist to provide exceptional experiences through phygital customer engagement, sales, and marketing strategies. Here are two examples.


Digital Printing and Procurement Portals

Platforms facilitating procurement and sourcing of printed materials are becoming standard for companies with multiple brick-and-mortar locations. These portals integrate digital features, such as online catalogs and digital order processing, into an online site. Employees can personalize, order, and ship marketing, sales, or internal printed materials or goods to their specific location. This digital system is supported by vendors and warehouses that manage the physical act of printing or procuring goods. Real-time tracking, smart logistics solutions, and automated processes bridge the physical movement of goods with data and analytics.

Phase 3’s proprietary and customizable web-to-print procurement system, Media:Link, is an example of an online ordering and fulfillment portal. Media:Link streamlines the distribution of marketing and collateral materials, allowing end users to select, customize, proof, and order print materials in any quantity. The system enables our corporate clients to maintain control of brand standards, compliance, and corporate identity. It also eliminates bottlenecks and delays in the ordering process. Above all, Media:Link provides an elevated experience for all users.


Omnichannel Events

Since the pandemic, many B2B events have become in-person and online hybrids. By combining physical and digital elements, B2B events cater to a larger and more diverse audience. A hybrid event provides a more inclusive experience. It uses technology to enhance participant engagement, networking, and knowledge-sharing.

For example, hybrid B2B events may feature digital exhibition spaces instead of traditional physical booths at a conference. Exhibitors can showcase products, services, and interactive content there. Attendees can explore these spaces virtually and connect with exhibitors online. Physical and digital components can also be combined in swag bags. Digital attendees receive physical items by mail. They also receive digital vouchers, discount codes, or access to exclusive online content. In-person attendees receive printed QR codes and links in their physical swag bags to explore later.

This fusion of physical and digital participation expands the reach and accessibility of such events. At Phase 3, we were at the front end of the phygital B2B event movement with our Printeractive™ Marketing options for events. Custom event kits allow our customers to ensure that their target audience feels valued through interactive phygital events. Branded event kits create awareness, generate conversions, and drive event attendance. They can transform how a brand connects with customers through real, touchable, and branded experiences. Read more about how Phase 3 can help you create branded event kits here.

Starting to Think Phygital

The phygital movement is not a new concept. Chances are you are already providing omnichannel customer experiences in your daily operations. This is critical to any brand's success. Business leaders must take the time to build an intentional and proactive phygital strategy. This strategy should leverage elements of customer service, marketing, and sales. The goal is to deliver an exceptional customer experience every time a client or prospect engages with your brand, online and offline.

The first step is to meet your customers where they are. Ensure that every interaction, physical or digital, has one central goal: engaging your audience. Place the customer at the center of every strategy. Craft an omnichannel strategy that unifies channels and delivers a unique brand experience. By prioritizing a customer-centric approach, you enhance the convenience and efficiency of digital channels. You also foster meaningful connections and lasting impressions.

You do not need to invest a lot of capital to leverage technology as the bridge to customers. Small yet important details are essential to building customer satisfaction. Examples include having a responsive website and offering an online chatbot for customer service. A strong phygital strategy enhances customer engagement. It delivers a seamless experience across all physical and digital channels.


For more information about Media:Link or Printeractive, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Let us know how we can help you engage your customers both online and in person.