3 x Brands Embracing Phygital Retail

Phygital - a buzzword so contrived it might make you itch, but one that we had all better get used to. Phygital refers to a user experience that blends the physical and digital worlds – close in meaning to augmented reality, except perhaps, that phygital implies more of a sense of interaction.  

We look at three brands who are innovating in phygital retail, creating interactive, social and friction-free shopping experiences.  

1. Reformation

Online eco-fashion brand Reformation’s physical stores are inspired by technology-driven brands such as Apple and Tesla. Focusing on showcasing minimal amounts of stock, but with support from phygital touchpoints and an emphasis on service.

The top selling 20% of Reformation’s collection is on display in the showroom. But rather than sifting through endless clothes racks, visitors use touchscreen monitors located around the space to browse garments, which are delivered directly to the fitting room.

With no physical cash register, orders are placed on the screen and shoppers receive their purchases a few days later.

By incorporating phygital touchpoints throughout the store, Reformation not only bridges its online and physical presence, but also allows staff to focus entirely on the consumer throughout the experience.

2. Riley Rose

Riley Rose, the new beauty concept store from Linda and Esther Chang (daughters of Forever 21’s founders) combines a physical shop with the power of digital to offer products chosen by the consumer.

The store’s inventory is curated according to online preferences. Products are rotated according to their popularity, lending the store an element of discovery, and peer-to-peer recommendations offered by Instagram.

Described as a ‘high-sensory fantasyland’, the store has interactive touchscreens showcasing the latest beauty trends and selfie stations encouraging shoppers to share the experience with their networks.

Online behaviour is driving Riley Rose’s physical retail model, as well as suggesting and encouraging social-media engagement.

3. Moby Mart

After launching Wheelys 247, Chinas first fully automated store, Wheelys has developed an entirely moveable, solar-powered retail space called Moby Mart.

Catering to the prolific convenience culture, in which retail services are expected to be fluid, flexible and fast, Shanghai customers can use a smartphone app to summon Moby Mart to their neighbourhood via geolocation technology. 

Access to the automated store and payment for goods is completed through the app. An important advantage to Moby Mart’s geo-located retail is the potential to serve central areas with high footfall in the day, then transfer to rural areas in the evening or at weekends to meet customer demand.

SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge then get in touch kattowers@lovecreative.com