Up until a couple years ago, there was a good section of society that still hadn’t embraced the wonders of e-commerce. For them, it was brick and mortar or bust. Then the covid-19 pandemic stepped onto the scene and e-commerce shoved its way into everyone’s spotlight. If you were using it before, you were now using 10 times more and if it was never your thing, it was now forced to be your thing.
Think this is an exaggeration? UN trade and development experts reported that e-commerce saw a rise in global retail sales from 16% to 19% in 2020 alone. However, as communities got vaccinated, lockdowns faded and shop doors opened back up, the unthinkable happened.
In the face of what everyone thought would be a revolutionary shift in retail, it suddenly became evident that many people were still favoring that old fashioned in-store experience over the digital one. However, it was too late to walk back into the pre-covid ways. The digital experience wasn’t going to recede to how it was, it was going to adapt. Things were going to get phygital.
What is Phygital?
The word phygital might have you scratching your head or thinking we mispronounced something, but it’s no mispronunciation. Phygital is currently where it’s at for some and where it’s going to continue going in the future.
What is Phygital? It’s the combination of your traditional brick and mortar retail experience and the digital one you’ll find online. It overall makes a customer's shopping experience more unique, interactive and convenient. Still scratching your head? Well, get this, without even knowing it, you might have already had a phygital shopping experience.
For example, Chanel stores have started using AR smart mirrors in their dressing rooms, which allow guests to zoom in on product details. Nike has come out with the NikePlus app. No matter the size or the color, customers can choose the products they're interested in before arriving at the store. The staff will grab those items and by the time the customer arrives they’ll be waiting for them in a dressing room or self-service locker. Heck, anyone who has eaten at McDonald’s and has ordered off of those big digital menus has had a Phygital experience.
Ahead of the game, Sarine introduced diamonds to the phygital shopping experience years ago. Here’s exactly how we made them shine.
Diamonds In the Phygital World
While diamonds have always been the subject of mass appeal, their makings and origin has always been quite obscure. In terms of diamond identity, people would often be left to take the retailer’s word or get misguided by the commercial media. Sarine has used AI technology and the rise of Phygital retail to bring customers closer to their diamonds in ways never thought possible in the past.
The Phygital Trip of a Lifetime
Sarine Diamond Journey Report™ might represent the phygital experience at its best. If a certain diamond has caught a customer’s attention, the sales representative can bring out a digital device and type in that diamond's unique ID number. This will instantly open up that diamond’s entire journey from the mine to the display case.
Right on the sales floor, the customer will find themselves on a whimsical journey with their dream diamond. Revealed to them will be the exact location where it was formed over a billion years ago, what it looked like when it was discovered in its rough state in the mine and how it was planned and polished by the manufacturers.
Ultimately, this detailed traceability answers any questions a customer may have regarding their diamond’s origins. It also provides absolution from any guilt, as it reveals that a diamond going through Sarine is a morally sourced diamond, one they’d never be afraid to fully embrace.
Setting Your Diamond Straight
Adding some extra spice to the in-store experience, Sarine has designed a premium tool for diamond retailers, which is the perfect companion piece for the Diamond Journey Report. It’s called 3D-Origin™ and it allows retailers to take potential buyers deeper into the mine. Here’s how. What the 3D-Origin does is create 3D-printed replicas of polished diamonds in their rough form. Seeing a diamond in that form with their own eyes will no doubt enhance a customer’s in-store experience by ten-fold.
Having shown the phygital experience’s ability to intrigue, it also comes with a lot of promise, and that’s via Sarine’s AI - based Grading Report™. It assures customers that a diamond that came through Sarine has an accurate, objective and verifiable grade of the 4Cs. However, it goes far beyond the limits of 4C Grading. Using the leading AI technology in the industry today, it’s able to expose customers to facets of a diamond’s light that were never before possible to see.
As the new year begins to roll forward, the phygital trend continues to gain momentum and become a normal part of our shopping experience. Amid this changing dynamic, Sarine is proud to be on the forefront of the diamond industry and knows many doors are waiting to be opened by the rise of phygital retail. Doors that will no doubt open in the favor of more dependable and transparent diamonds.