What is Phygital Technology and how do we use it?

A necessary evolution for retail stores

Digital technology is everywhere today, but until recently we could still notice a clear difference between physical points of sale and the commercial websites. With the proliferation of web platforms, consumers have discovered a new way of buying products, getting information, being heard, and choosing, comparing, and sharing their purchases. The downsides of stores have become less and less acceptable to customers: stock shortages, checkout waiting times, unavailable information etc… The comfort and freedom that digital tech has brought to our way of life has completely transformed a long-established customer experience. In order to win back their customers and attract new ones, brands have adopted a cross-channel strategy and 360° experiences to provide their customers with direct links to meet their needs.  Physical points of sale are becoming dynamic spaces and experiences. Digital devices (e.g. tablets…) are often used to assist sales staff in their work and end up giving staff a new role in the retail environment, that of advisor. Other devices (self-service kiosks, touchscreen displays, interactive booths, etc…) are made available to customers, offering them the possibility of combining online purchases with in-store experiences.

The digital transformation retail stores have undergone continues to evolve and provide an ever smoother and complete experience for consumers via phygital devices and systems.

Phygital = Personalized Experience

Phygital tech allows us to link physical and digital elements in stores, but that’s not all: brands and their audience develop a new, closer and more personalized relationship. The constant availability of communication that social media provides within communities and between brands and their audience is a real game changer. Brands are faced with increasingly demanding customers who share their opinions, desires and dissatisfaction with the products and services they purchase. Stores today are expected to be connected, faster and more efficient, offering a truly personalized experience. For instance, when you walk past a store, that brand could encourage you to enter and buy your favorite sweater and offer you a discount to thank you for your loyalty. They could also provide you with a unique experience, like interacting with products via an augmented reality app. Brands can offer the public these experiences whenever they want (at events, product launches, at points of sale, etc…) providing potential customers with content that will make them feel listened to, surprised and excited.

The rise of immersive technologies

Thanks to these 360° experiences and brands’ omnichannel communication, phygital technology is gaining ground and allows for continuous innovation. Immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality provide another dimension to the real world as we used to call it just a few years ago…

The merging of these two worlds, whose borders are steadily being erased, brings to mind the science-fiction films we used to find so futuristic and unreal. And yet here we are: entire international communities live, play, and earn their living in these digital worlds. Entire industries are transforming and giving rise to new practices such as distance learning, MOOCs, virtual reality training and “phygital learning”.

Phygital technology is very likely to become as ubiquitous and natural as the use of your smartphone.

Towards a world of Entertainment

Today many people have become conscious consumers and expect on-going and meaningful interaction with their favorite brands, sharing their experiences with their community.  We’re starting to see experiential communication extend beyond leisure time entertainment, offering everyone fun experiences even when dealing with serious issues at work, in class, in training… There’s always a good reason for enriching people’s daily lives.

At SoWhen? we approach every topic from a fun, entertaining and rewarding angle. Over the last ten years, we’ve helped contribute to the evolution of phygital communication, moving away from the production of content solely intended to be displayed on screens, towards transforming our clients’ communication through immersive, sensorial and innovative phygital experiences. Our proprietary concepts and technologies allow us to increase the channels of communication with the public by combining physical elements (existing and created environments) with “sensorial digital” tools. The smart combination of these two dimensions shows how satisfyingly complementary they are: the digital elements provide the visuals and sound, while the physical elements provide the senses of touch and smell. Feelings are experienced more intensely, which not only makes the message far more impactful, but also makes it easier for the user to make a decision and take action.

Would you like to know how to communicate in an innovative

 and immersive way with your audience? We would be happy to discuss this with you over a coffee!

Discover other articles

Follow our news and discover the latest articles about our business, the market, the tips we offer you…


Would you like a quote?
Tell us about your projects? Receive more information?
Grab a coffee?


Love the startup mindset? Do you thrive around creativity, thoroughness and sharing? For information on internships, permanent positions or assignments…


69-71 rue de la Fraternité
Terms of Use

About Us

The Team
Our R&D lab

What we offer

The SoWhen? Experience
Virtual Studio


Our news