As Indian cities went into quarantine to help fight coronavirus, the increasingly complex world facing real challenges brought the global economy to rapid digital transformations.
The crisis itself probably created some interesting scenario because when consumers change their behaviour, businesses have to raise their game, too. The customer today is in search of a new level of safety, and the need of the hour is for businesses to strike a balance between human support and convenience.
With cities starting to unlock, the customers want their fun experience of physical shopping or dining back. However, they want to avoid the frustrating part of standing in the queue for long hours maintaining social distancing. Phygitalization comes as an ideal solution for this.
It is the experience of taking advantage of both the worlds, i.e., physical and digital.
The emerging need for phygitalization being fulfilled by startups
Conventional retail outlets and restaurants at large are looking for opportunities that are bigger than online commerce as consumers are shifting from online platforms to physical stores for completing purchases. Thus, the brick-and-mortar businesses have to assume an online presence with the help of tech and offer on-demand services without compromising on the physical comforts.
Between the realms of physical business and online commerce, there exists something new, the digitised environment.
A new era of consumer engagement has arrived and startups are creating new systems using technology to engage and influence customers by giving the highest priority to their safety against any kind of virus outbreak or pandemic.
The use of QR-code scanning and single-channel ecosystem for commerce and payments are enabling retailers from losing their customers and enticing them to come back for more by enhancing the customers’ physical experience.
So, instead of lining up in front of stores, consumers can simply scan the QR code with their smartphones, get redirected to their browsers for product catalogues or menus and get connected to brands or restaurants on popular communication apps such as WhatsApp for any further order-related communication and payments.
It is the responsibility of the new-age platforms to make it possible in the most cost-effective way and develop systems that are easy to use even by non-tech-savvy consumers, sparing them from downloading multiple applications for different needs and purposes. Such digital innovation will also enable the brick-and-mortar businesses to take their brand to a whole new level of growth.
We are entering the fourth industrial revolution with digital operations ushering in new era quite unlike anything that we have been used to. Startups are exploring new paths to market and new ways to optimise innovations to help offline businesses reinvent their end-to-end process.
O2O Commerce is one such cross-platform support that connects offline stores to the online world with the utmost convenience. Offline retail entrepreneurs and restaurant owners can make the best of the situation by leveraging technology offered by O2O platforms designed to boost their success.
Additionally, this will also bring their businesses in sync with the new normal and establish a strong foothold in the increasingly competitive digital setup.
Re-establishment of long term bonding with the customers
When a business makes a human connection along with digital connection it creates a completely different platform, which builds meaningful long-term relationships with the customers. Solutions developed by startups are proving helpful in joining the two different worlds and in saving and enhancing time.
They are creating a transparent ecosystem for seamless communication process between the brands and consumers, which will enable businesses to streamline their customers’ journey in the best possible manner.
2020 has been a year to look forward to measure the potential for progress. In order for businesses to stay relevant today and in the future, companies will have to leverage innovative technologies and differentiate their business practices to ensure uninterrupted convenience to the evolved consumers.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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