Augmented RealityExtended RealityVirtual Reality

How AR and VR Technologies Help Create Phygital Experiences

Elevate “phygital” experiences through the use of augmented and virtual reality.


The widespread adoption of the so-called “phygital experiences” in consumer markets shows that they have now become the standard. By delivering highly personalized and seamless experiences, they ensure consumers’ unique needs are met and their expectations are exceeded. For brands, phygital is no longer just a trend. It’s also now integral to business sustainability and future growth.

The Increasing Demand for Phygital Experiences

One report shows that a majority of shoppers today feel more comfortable using digital technology. Currently, consumers are going back to in-store shopping post-pandemic. And they continue to look for digital options that make their buying journey more enjoyable. They have come to expect the same personalized experiences that brands offer online when they visit physical stores.

Contactless payments, curbside pickup options, and in-store ordering kiosks are some of the ways brands are delivering these phygital experiences. They offer seamless transitions between digital and physical touchpoints.

These solutions are now commonplace in airports, banks, restaurants, and many other establishments. To enhance in-store experiences, some brands leverage immersive technologies that elevate the digital experiences of consumers.

The Role of AR and VR in Creating Phygital Experiences

To create immersive experiences while ensuring smooth omnichannel journeys, AR and VR play a crucial role. Innovative AR and VR applications effectively meet the consumer demand for phygital experiences in the various channels they use.

Many of us already use these technologies at home. Farfetch, L’Oreal, Wacoal, Warby Parker, and other brands transformed online shopping with virtual try-ons.

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Apps like IKEA Place use AR to enable shoppers to virtually place realistically rendered and true-to-scale furnishings into their real physical space.

Marriott International uses VR to help customers plan their events. Used with a headset, their VR app renders three-dimensional views of hotel venues with setups customized for specific social and corporate events.

Brands are bringing these at-home phygital experiences consumers have come to love into their brick-and-mortar shops. For instance, BMW makes car shopping more fun with an AR app that allows shoppers to customize the colors and styles of cars. They also offer VR headsets that let customers experience what it feels like to drive the cars.

Many Nike outlets today are equipped with AR solutions that allow shoppers to scan items to view more detailed information about them. A few years ago, Adidas also launched a unique AR experience in its Paris flagship store. Today, shoppers enjoy immersive experiences at home and in-store through the Adidas app.

Toms offers a similar VR experience that transports shoppers to Peru to see how their contributions to Toms initiatives are helping communities there. This type of immersive experience deepens the connection of consumers to a brand as they get fully immersed in the actual impact of the brand’s advocacy on society.

Other AR and VR applications also elevate shopping experiences. These include in-store navigation, immersive product catalogs, and customization tools. They make phygital experiences more captivating. They also connect consumers to brands on an immersive and more emotional level.

Immersive Technologies Are the Core of Phygital

Phygital experiences will be an inherent part of our future. People will come to expect seamless transitions between digital and physical modes in virtually every aspect of life.

Immersive technologies are fundamental to delivering these experiences. Thus, brands that haven’t done so yet must incorporate immersive solutions into their growth strategy. Aside from allowing brands to meet new consumer demands, immersive tech also enables them to deliver more value that gives them a competitive advantage.

Gergana Mileva
the authorGergana Mileva
Based in Prague, CZ, Geri is a freelance journalist and writer, focusing on technology, finance, and marketing. If you have a story suggestion for Geri, you may contact her here.