With the first "phygital" store in the region launching, you can expect to experience the best of both physical and virtual shopping. Opened by 6thstreet.com at the Dubai Hills Mall and entirely dedicated to fashion, the store is seemingly empty except for tablets. Customers may sit on the store's couches and peruse hundreds of goods, including clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, and fragrances, on at least 30 of the brand's trademark orange touchscreens. They then make selections from over 10,000 items, and within three minutes of placing goods in their shopping cart, users can use the automated fitting room to check out their chosen items.
“We have taken a physical space and added a digital element to it,” said Dharmin Ved, CEO of 6thStreet, adding “We were thinking of creating a ‘wow’ experience for our customers when we realized that there are certain elements, like the touch and feel and the instant gratification of shopping, that are only available offline should surely be incorporated.” The creative concept was developed by the award-winning technology firm Nanovo, which specializes in digital retail and has built other such stores in various parts of the world.
A phygital store has a 2.5 times larger product selection than a physical store. These storefronts are less expensive to run because digital businesses don't require a lot of space to display their inventory. With every step of the shopping experience being digitized, the shop requires fewer assistants. The whole host of advantages associated with these futuristic shops means that phygital stores are here to stay and will likely crop up more and more in the coming years. More brands will inevitably make a switch to phygital, opting for sustainability as well as cost-effectiveness. According to Ved, they are establishing the groundwork and in doing so they are taking the most difficult step. However, they are certain that many other brands will follow their lead.