The Grapevine

Phigital, the Future of Retail, and Consumers at the Core

May 31st, 2016

Apparently, “phigital” is a word. And it’s one worth learning more about as your shop faces further competition from options near and far. [level-members]

Phigital is an idea coined by Westfield Corporation’s EVP of data analytics, Raghav Lal. (Westfield is an operator of shopping centers and malls.) It is the idea that you need to pay attention to both physical and digital marketing and retailing.

For national chain stores, there can be quite a lot to the concept in terms of reaching target consumers via many different channels. For smaller operators, like the GSM crowd, that’s typically going to be a smaller and more manageable set of outlets, though it certainly must include more than just your shop and your website.

And it’s got to be more than the shop, website, Facebook page, Pinterest presence, and Twitter. Not more as in, “add another 20 social media channels to the mix.” More as in, whatever you do, do it well. More as in, make sure that whatever you do is integrated with everything else you do. More as in, make sure that the customer is at the center of everything you do – which requires you to think of how it is you can help your ideal customer, not how you can sell them more. (Better sales are a byproduct of a better buying experience and a better retailer relationship.)

Technology is a big part of making marketing work in the modern retail world. But don’t be lulled into thinking that technology is the beginning and end. Technology is only what enables you to meet your customers’ expectations for a really great retail experience whether in your shop or on their devices.