How Video Can Help A Phygital Strategy Deliver eCommerce Results
We all use portmanteaus all the time – even if many people are unfamiliar with the term. It just means two words blended together. Bromance, Romcom, Brunch, and Webinar are all common examples. Sometimes they just become as familiar as regular words.
There is another one that has become commonly used in customer experience (CX) strategy in the past couple of years – phygital. It’s a bit ugly and doesn’t roll off the tongue like some of the others, but it does describe a type of customer situation that we are becoming much more familiar with.
Many retail companies now offer their customers a blend of a physical in-store experience and a digital online store – therefore, the CX needs to be designed around this concept of phygital.
CX analysts have often talked about the idea of omnichannel retail as the target to aim for. This is where the customer always has the same fantastic experience of a brand, no matter how they engage – online or in-store. For many retailers this is still aspirational as there is a clear difference between how the various channels work.
For expensive luxury items this difference can be amplified. Imagine you are thinking about buying some jewellery from Tiffany or a watch from Rolex. You know it will be an expensive purchase and so there is an increased expectation of better service. An expensive purchase like this would usually take place in-store as a personal transaction, where you can see and approve the item before agreeing to pay.
That’s never going to be the same online. Imagine browsing photos in an expensive watch catalogue. You might be thinking about that watch as an investment for the future, but before spending so much you want to at least turn it around, have a look at the back, see how it looks on a wrist.
Even if the watch or jewellery company offers an online catalogue, it will suffer from this problem of expecting the customer to make an expensive purchase based only on seeing an online photo. It might be that you live nowhere near to a retailer that stocks these items. Maybe they are so exclusive they can only be ordered directly from the brand. There are many reasons why a luxury brand may be hard to experience in person – it is more exclusive after all.
This is where I believe that video integration is about to make a huge difference – especially for the online sale of luxury items. You may not live near to a Rolex dealer, but if that’s the type of product you are interested in and you can connect to their website then imagine the power of being able to talk directly to a knowledgeable member of the sales team who can show products one-on-one using video. If you want to see the back of the watch you just ask. If you want to see something similar in a different colour, you just ask. If you want to see how it looks when worn, then you just ask.
Oktium is a great example of a video tool that makes this idea a reality. It’s live, personal, and allows online shoppers to directly interact in real-time with a brand representative. A real-time one-on-one conversation with an expert. Oktium has already seen some stunning results where brands have tested it. Conversions to real sales are up by over 40% and cart abandonment is down by over 80%. Imagine what those numbers could mean for your business.
This also offers the option of a third way for customers – those who have cash to make a luxury purchase but feel intimidated in luxury showrooms. A personal brand advisor that can demonstrate the products via video will feel far more comfortable for many customers and is an area that luxury brands can directly target – not everyone wants to walk into stores that require security guards on the door.
I believe that live video will be a near-future game-changer for CX. Luxury retail is where I predict the initial impact as the high value of each item makes personal and individual service possible, but this can be extended from retail to cars, expensive hotels, or real estate. Anywhere that personal video service can secure a transaction will soon look like a smart use for this CX strategy.
Phygital remains an ugly word, but it’s one that you are going to hear a lot more often in the 2020s. This short video features more information on Oktium and how experience commerce is about to change shopping online forever.