F&D goes “phygital”

As consumers, we have been living in a “phygital” world for several years now. Especially after 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic appeared, the “phygital” experience acquired a new dynamic that seems unlikely to stop. As a result, the way we, as consumers, buy and consume goods has changed radically.

During the pandemic, people learned, to make their purchases electronically via the internet. But it was not only the consumer who turned to resort to online shopping, but also the merchants themselves. The latter were “obliged” to proceed with the digital upgrade of their businesses to be able to cope with the unprecedented market conditions.  After all, it is characteristic that during this period a significant number of subsidies were given to retail stores to create their own e-shops. This was deemed necessary since, due to political lockdowns and social distancing, they could no longer offer their products in physical presence.

Despite the frenzy of digitization that has prevailed in all industries in recent years, the purchase of goods is still done today in a natural way. For this reason, we are still talking about a “phygital” experience, which combines the physical and digital worlds, and not an entirely digital one.

For instance, 3D product visualization creates a unique “phygital” shopping experience for customers. At the same time, stores that adopt this technology can have a competitive advantage over their competition. How 3D imaging works is relatively simple, and there are several different ways it can be exploited commercially.

3D imaging is useful in stores that have high-volume products and a wide range of products that require a lot of space. With the use of augmented reality (AR), the customer can, through special devices, see the hologram of a product with its real dimensions. So, in this way businesses do not have to worry about the lack of space within their stores.  In addition, the “phygital” experience has also passed through the fitting rooms of major fashion houses through smart mirrors. These smart mirrors have touch screens through which customers can select clothes, shoes and accessories and see how they look on them. Smart mirrors may seem like unnecessary technology, but it saves significant time during shopping, especially for those with limited free time.

The creation and development of these technologies and applications were not created in a vacuum. On the contrary, they follow the technological evolution and the ever-changing needs of consumers, but also the need of businesses for differentiation and the acquisition of a competitive advantage in an internationalized and highly competitive world. What is certain, however, is that the core feature of “phygital” is focusing on the user experience, which is based on a design-driven methodology.

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