You may be selling online and furiously trying to engage your customers in the digital world, but you would be playing it super risky if you discarded the fact that consumers still love to shop in store. It is a fact. They do still love to browse in malls and on the High Street and needless to say their experience of your brand is much more enjoyable when there is that degree of consistency in terms of layout and experience over website and bricks and mortar store. This desire for dual shopping experience, has caused some marketers to nickname this generation of consumers, the phygital generation. This generation like their shopping experiences to include immediacy, immersion and interaction. So as a retailer how do you appeal to this type of shopper?
Applying your A game to your targeting strategy, means thinking outside the box. Yes, you want to create a physical store experience that is in-keeping with your brand in the visual sense, but you also want to create a space that really speaks to your consumers on a personal level. What the phygital generation crave is shared experience. Experiences lived with their peer groups which compound their sense of belong and identity, are hugely valued by this consumer set. Certain brands have tapped into this mindset by creating stores that project the values of those who shop there. For example, brands that offer in-store things like coffee provided by brands with a similar synergy to their own, further demonstrate their commitment to selling a certain lifestyle to consumers by existing in the same domain as other brands that feed into the idea of what that lifestyle is. If your brand has a strong commitment to social responsibility and your consumers share these values, then creating a store space with a charitable element, such as one where the employees are ex-addicts or homeless, will appeal to your consumers charitable sensibilities. These are just some of the ways that you can create a store space that is more than just a physical shop, but a community space.
Back to the online world now, it can serve you well to avoid following trends and gimmicks. Adhering to the usual online marketing calendar and observing holidays such as Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day, on the basis that everyone else is doing it so you’re customers will expect it, can prove detrimental. Avoid giving the customer what you presume they expect and instead dictate what they want. This can be done if you state your authority. If you are unapologetic in your approach and confidently choose to swerve gimmicks like Black Friday or trending hot-topics, such as Brexit, you are showing that you are setting the agenda and others can choose to be a part of it or not. Your unique positioning will strengthen your brand and its image.
Another great way to inform your phygital marketing strategy, is by targeting emotions. There is a phenomenon known as mood retail, whereby a customer’s mood is the primary drive behind their purchasing behaviour. Recognising that a customer’s mood drives their decision making, means that you can set about creating strategies that will appeal directly to the feelings of your consumer. One great way to do this is through having a voice that is personal and intimate, this voice is what you’ll use in your content and social media communications. Convey the idea that you are not speaking to the masses but communicating one on one with your audience. Give your audience something they can’t find anywhere else and they’ll automatically gravitate towards you and spread the word.
Create an emotional bond with your consumers and attribute a human side to your products, make sure they exude personality all on their own. For example, make your products project the characteristics of the consumers they are intended to appeal to. In addition, if you can make your consumer smile or shed a tear, through your product descriptions and online content you are guaranteed to create a bond, which is much more likely to induce purchases.
By using emotions to drive product choices, you’re giving your audience a more immersive and intuitive shopping experience, which is what the phygital generation want.
The phygital consumer wants the best of both worlds, a physical retail space that speaks to who they are as a person and a digital platform that is just as engaging and emotionally heightened as a real world experience.