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Phygitalization: the retail trend for 2022

The recent COVID-19 pandemic period we have experienced has contributed to accelerating the phenomenon of digital transformation in the retail industry, an emerging trend known as “phygitalization.” 

But what does that word mean? How are Pricer’s electronic shelf labels (ESLs) at the heart of this transformation? And why is it time for you to get on board with this trend?

Unlike omnichannel retail, which attempts to integrate the customer experience in both online and offline worlds, so-called “phygital retail” seeks to erase any gap between the two. “Phygitalization” as its name suggests, is a fusion of the physical world with the digital environment. This concept, which has become popular in recent years, refers to the process by which a store combines the benefits of a physical presence with digital applications or features. 

This phygitalization in retail is simply the result of the constant digital evolution of our environment. This art of merging e-commerce and brick and mortar brings many benefits to retailers. According to a study by the National Retail Federation (NRF), when purchasing products, 85% of customers believe that e-commerce cannot replace the tactile experience of products during the shopping process. 

By adapting to buyers’ consumption habits, this digital transformation facilitates and greatly improves the customer experience. Shoppers have access to a personalized shopping experience that meets their requirements while arousing their interest. Moreover, this interaction strengthens the customer-seller relationship.

Yet, 80% of retailers are hesitant to merge the offline and online worlds. So how do you convince retailers to go “Phygital”?

In the world of phygitalization, there are several ways to improve your customers’ experience, including:

  • Customers would be allowed to select products in-store and purchase them via a digital wallet instead of a traditional payment, making the customer journey much smoother and faster.
  • Customers can scan products on a machine and the retail database will be automatically updated. The database would be updated in real time, items purchased and added, and thus inventory and finances would be controlled.
  • If the budget allows, allocate some technology tools in the store for customers to interact with tablets or staff.

That’s where Pricer’s electronic shelf labels come in. With ESLs, synchronizing products and prices with your sales floor has never been easier. Here are some of the features that can help make your store more phygital:

Price Automation
One of the primary advantages of Pricer’s digital price labels is that they not only have no limit to price changes, but also have a display capability that allows them to expose a multitude of essential information in real time (QR codes, promotion dates, out-of-stock items, open orders). The combination of this detailed information and the automation of prices allows for a dynamic, precise and attractive display. ESLs then meet the essential need of consumers to have a unified experience, with up-to-date information, whatever the channel. 

Click & Collect
The digital age is driving consumers to buy their products online, further promoting Click & Collect. Therefore, improving product picking performance becomes important for stores involved in e-commerce activities. To better optimize employee time during pickup, Pricer’s Instant SmartFLASH combined with the geopositioning system allows employees to quickly locate products and save up to 50% of the time in order picking.

Product Location & Mobile Applications
Another essential functionality for the phygitalization  in store is the geopositioning applications. The geolocation system associated with Pricer’s electronic shelf labels allows for an automated route that guides the consumer to the desired aisle and shelf. This allows customers and retailers to quickly find the desired products in a store via a touch screen kiosk or mobile site.

Inventory Management on the Tablet
The interconnection of our ESL Pricer system with the retailer’s back-office applications can show reference prices on labels in real time, but also collect store management information (such as last order date and quantity, scheduled or past delivery dates, average quantities and sales per product, etc.). 

In addition, the functionality of our ShelfVision camera label allows gap detection: it identifies missing products on the shelf facing the camera, providing real-time alerts to store managers and staff when a product is out of stock.

Pricer’s ShelfVision is the next evolution of ESLs and the phygital era enabling retailers to comply with their planogram strategy and inventory.

Conclusion
Technology has its charisma, but it requires retailers to invest their efforts in improving their face-to-face interaction with their shoppers.

A champion retail experience strategy would include a seamless merging of the in-store and digital world, which could provide companies in the industry with predictable profits and loyal customers. 

This is why innovations like Pricer digital labels continue to revolutionize retail operations and functions, improving both price and inventory management, product information, and most importantly, the consumer’s shopping journey. What are you waiting for to get on board with the 2022 retail industry trend?

To learn more about the features of our ESLs, check out our article below:

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