We live in a fast-paced world where customer behavior changes quicker than ever, and if that's not enough, there are enormous gaps between customer expectations from different generations. In recent years, the term Phygital is used to describe a hybrid shopping experience combining both physical and digital attributes. 

There are various hybrid shopping opportunities available to meet the preferences of buyers with each generation having different relationships with technology and therefore different shopping habits. While most Baby Boomers still prefer to shop in-store, or online only for items that cannot be found in stores nearby, other generations find online shopping very convenient.

For example, Gen Z was born into the Internet, so they’re immersed online in almost every aspect of their lives, including shopping.

But don’t get me wrong, it doesn't mean physical stores have no place for Gen Z, while 84% of them see shopping as an opportunity to hang out. They usually compare prices or check availability online before going to the store.

Then add Gen X and millennials to the mix, and we have a full spectrum of shopping behaviors and preferences. 

The 5 most common phygital shopping practices:

ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline)

Individuals search for products on a mobile/tablet/computer before going to the store to make the final purchase. For example, comparing prices or checking availability before making the trip to the store is a ROPO practice. Many customers who prefer shopping in-store will use this method to make sure they don’t waste their time going to a store to find that they don’t sell their desired item in stock.

BIMBO (Browse In Store, on Mobile, Buy Online)

You can look at BIMBO like the opposite of ROPO. BIMBO means the customer actually went to the brick-and-mortar store but made the final purchase online. One reason people do so can be that many stores have different prices online than in the store for the same exact items. Hence, clients go to the store to try the item and later purchase it online at a more attractive price. In some cases, clients try on an item in a certain store to purchase them online from another seller such as Amazon, etc. BIMBO practice also known as Showrooming; when a customer examine the products in store and purchasing online.

BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store)

This practice happens when you buy online and pick it up at the store. It’s usually done for three main reasons: First, it saves time of going through the process of looking for, trying, and buying the product; in this case you just pick it up. Secondly, in-store pick up is free while door-to-door delivery usually requires a shipping fee. And thirdly, many choose in-store pick up to get their order quicker then waiting for delivery.

ROPIS (Reserve Online, Pick In Store)

ROPIS is similar to BOPIS but in this case the client also makes the actual purchase and payment in-store. ROPIS is common when customers are not sure the item will be in stock when they arrive at the store. Whether it’s due to the popularity of an item, or a special size requirement, this practice is very convenient for many who don’t want to waste their time, so they reserve it, arrive at the store, and only then decide if to buy it.

BORIS (Buy Online, Return in Store) 

In BORIS the customer is shopping online only, but in the case of a return they will go to the physical store. Many clients are crazy about shopping online but feel intimidated by the process of returning online orders. Whether it’s because of shipments or fees, many still prefer the nearest store for item returns. 

Today's world belongs to the consumer, and retailers need to adapt to the ever-changing needs of their customers. To allow them to shop according to their own unique preferences, retailers today are expected to implement efficient Retail Omnichannel operations.

However, good Retail Omnichannel cannot exist without visibility into the supply chain. Because of this, retailers implement asset-tracking technologies and use real-time inventory-tracking platforms. This allows them to provide customers with a seamless Retail Omnichannel shopping experience.

Are you looking to offer your customers a seamless hybrid shopping experience? Check out how Chainlane helps retailers see more, so they can succeed more.