The future is phygital.

For many, the word “phygital” is already well known. For some this is still “Latin”.

In any case, MS-Word still indicates that you made a spelling mistake by showing a red ripple under the word. The word retail in the Dutch spellcheck also gets the same red wavy line and is therefore still not really admitted to the Dutch language as far as Word’s spell check is concerned.

But…leaving that out there, the word phygital is gaining ground and will no longer be a secret to you from now on.

To begin with, phygital is a “neologism”, namely the combination of physical and digital, the mix of physical and online. The word is often used for stores that have a physical offer and also sell that same offer online.


 (R)evolution within retail

The retail landscape has evolved very quickly in recent years. We can almost speak of a revolution.

Several elements form the basis here.

COVID-19 was first the big accelerator. An acceleration that could count and was helped by technological evolutions, all online applications, the increased use of media and digitization in general


Why phygital?

Why do we speak of phygital?

We think that ’the human being’ is the reason. Human? Yes indeed, man is the cause and is the basis.

People as consumers, shoppers, buyers, etc. claim their rightful place in the entire retail process.

For years, retailers have said that they put the customer first. But we saw and heard a lot of brand monologues. When the customer is put in the driver seat, the brand takes a step back and all connection efforts are devised from the customer’s point of view.

We put the customer first. He determines and decides whether he wants to get in touch with a brand. As a brand, we can then only do our best to ensure that the customer, at the moment he wants to get in touch, will choose us, digitally or physically.


Today’s customer journey

Customers take customer journeys. A cyclical process with touchpoints or touchpoints. It is on these points of contact that we must be there as a brand. That we should be able to tell our customer something relevant. It is these touchpoints that are present both physically and digitally.


Everything is media

The line between the online and the offline world is becoming thinner. In principle, this line no longer exists for certain customer groups. Soon this line will disappear.

If we consider every point of contact with the customer as “media”, everything, indeed everything, can be regarded as media and communicating with customers becomes relatively easy.

Knowing the different customer groups well is an important condition. The description of the customer target groups as a strong foundation and as the first step to success.


The phygital circle

In response to this evolved way of communicating, our strategy and innovation cell (Retail Office 2021) has developed a simple and pragmatic system, a kind of checklist, to be able to approach and manage the communication-connection efforts of the brand with the target group in a clear manner.

As described above, knowing the target group and its retail and media use is the most important condition.


Want to know more about our phygital approach?
Contact us at, and ask for Sanne, Anne-Katrien or Luc.