The gap between digital and physical channels is diminishing. Omnichannel has become the norm, as people expect a unified experience across channels and touchpoints. Brands need to strategically integrate digital and physical media to provide a phygital experience to their consumers.
Omnichannel is the new normal in today’s marketing landscape.
Though several phygital strategies exist, QR codes are the most effective option for brands that want to make a fast switch while ensuring a favorable user experience.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to phygital and how you can implement a phygital strategy using QR codes.
What is phygital?
Phygital is the integration of physical and digital (physical + digital = phygital). However, it’s more than just a combination of two words. It’s the conglomeration of physical and digital channels, strategies, and experiences to offer a unified user experience.
Phygital is the integration of physical and digital worlds to offer a consistent user experience regardless of the channel or touchpoint.
The idea behind phygital is to offer integrated user experiences across channels. An example of phygital is digital payments in physical stores. People shop in stores because they can experience the products in person before buying them. But they want a seamless payment process, so they prefer swiping a card or scanning a payment QR code to make a payment.
Another example is the use of digital menus in restaurants. When the pandemic was at its peak, people essentially wanted a touchless experience. Restaurants replaced physical menus with menu QR codes, allowing guests to scan the code to view the menu.
The increasing adoption of phygital has encouraged brands to look at their marketing plans from a phygital lens. Phygital marketing focuses on promoting products and services on online and offline channels and integrating them to bridge the gap between online and offline marketing. It’s also known as online to offline (O2O) marketing and omnichannel marketing.
The importance of phygital in modern-day customer experience
Phygital is not a new concept. The use of digital kiosks in banks and airports, digital payments in physical stores, and virtual property tours are all phygital use cases. However, the pandemic has created a contactless world, taking phygital to another level.
Phygital provides more than just a touchless and hygienic experience. It offers comfort and convenience. It’s convenient for people to pay digitally from their smartphones instead of taking their wallets out and paying in cash. Similarly, digital menus are consumer-centric, as restaurant managers can update the menu in real-time to avoid customer dissatisfaction.
The increasing use cases of phygital indicate that it’s here to stay even after the pandemic.
Here’s why you need to implement a phygital strategy:
Offer instant gratification
The human attention span is depleting, and people need instant experiences. Phygital enables brands to connect digital and physical worlds to offer instant gratification to people irrespective of their touchpoint.
Provide a connected experience
The fundamental idea of phygital is to build a meaningful connection with customers across touchpoints.
Many brands have a multichannel customer journey, where the initial touchpoint is digital (app, website, etc.) and the final destination is physical (store). However, there’s often a disconnect between the digital and physical worlds. As a result, brands offer a great experience on an app or website but can’t fulfill the expectations in a store.
Phygital bridges this gap and enables you to provide a connected experience.
Engage users across channels
With both online and traditional media growing rapidly, brands can’t afford to be physical-only or digital-only. By adopting a phygital strategy, you can offer your consumers the best of both worlds and engage them across channels.
Improve in-store experience
Going phygital also enables brands to elevate their in-store experiences. Introducing digital elements in the store can boost customer engagement and increase footfall and sales.
Boost customer satisfaction and loyalty
Since omnichannel brands enjoy a 250% higher purchase frequency than their single-channel counterparts, a phygital strategy can help you increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
QR codes: The cornerstone of phygital experiences
Having discussed the importance of phygital, let’s delve into how you can implement a phygital strategy. There are multiple ways to go phygital. Setting up a kiosk in your store, running large-scale experiential marketing campaigns, and offering augmented reality experiences are effective phygital strategies.
But not all brands, especially startups and small businesses, have the resources and expertise to implement these advanced strategies. Here’s where QR codes come to the rescue.
QR codes are a versatile and cost-effective phygital tool. They help you bridge the offline-online gap and offer your users an array of phygital experiences. Whether you want to guide offline customers to online channels or deliver digital experiences in a physical store, QR codes have you covered.
Here’s how you can use QR codes to provide phygital experiences to your users:
Inspire instant action
A survey of CMOs showed that the average digital marketing spending has grown by 15% over the past 12 months, while the average traditional marketing spending has grown by 1% only.
A big reason for this shift is the instant action that digital marketing drives. When users come across an ad or email, they can instantly click on it and engage with the brand. Offline advertising fails to drive instant action.
QR codes fill this loophole by adding digital capabilities to traditional advertising. Marketers can put QR codes on billboards, brochures, and print ads and link them to a website, landing page, product page, etc. Users can scan the code to engage with the brand. This way, you can sync the online and offline channels and offer a phygital experience to users.
Run measurable campaigns
Another challenge with offline marketing is the lack of trackability. In digital marketing, you have tools like Google Analytics that give you in-depth information on how your marketing campaigns are performing. Offline campaigns aren’t measurable. You can’t determine how many people bought your product after watching your ad in the newspaper.
QR codes add tracking capabilities to your traditional advertisements and make them measurable. Every time a user scans your QR code, the scan gets registered. You can check the number of scans and also view time-wise and location-wise analytics. This data helps you understand your customers better, offer personalized experiences, and make informed decisions.
Offer discounts and coupons
Discounts and coupons are effective tools for generating sales and loyalty.
Buyers spend 24% more when using a coupon code.
However, the deliverability of these coupons can be challenging, especially with offline customers. Marketers must figure out a way to share coupons and encourage customers to use them.
QR codes simplify the process of sharing and claiming coupons. You can share coupon QR codes with users, and they can scan the code to obtain the coupon and claim a discount.
Share helpful and engaging information
Traditional media like newspapers, magazines, billboards, brochures, and business cards can convey limited information. With QR codes, you can share comprehensive information with your audience.
For instance, you can put up a URL QR code on your billboard and link it to your website. People can scan the code to visit your website and connect with your brand.
Similarly, you can put a QR code on the product packaging and link it to a PDF or external URL. If customers want to know more about a product, they can scan the code to get information. This way, you can phygital abilities to your products.
Promote social media profiles
A social media presence is essential for physical brands, but guiding offline customers to social media can be challenging. Marketers print their social media handles on advertisements and product packaging, and people need to manually open social media and search for the brand’s profile. This method is slow and error-prone, resulting in lower engagement.
QR codes bridge this gap. You can print a social media QR code on advertisements and product packaging. Users can scan the code to reach your social media profiles and follow you. Hence, the process becomes hassle-free, and engagement increases dramatically.
Go phygital today
Several brands have already hopped on the phygital bandwagon, and it’s your turn to make the switch. If you plan to go phygital, now is the time. QR codes make it easy for brands with all levels of resources and tech abilities to bridge the online-offline gap and implement a user-centric phygital strategy.
So, take the first step to go phygital by signing up for QRCodeChimp.