Interest in the application of phygital marketing to retail commerce has increased in recent years. Implicit in this excitement is the notion that physical experiences provide unique value above and beyond what can be offered via digital means, and therefore that combining the two can galvanize sales. However, the specific sources of this marketing potential remain undertheorized and the factors determining the appropriateness of such implementations remain unclear. Based on an extensive review of relevant literatures, we begin by considering a particularly important potential source of phygital marketing’s power. Specifically, we bring together findings from consumer psychology and neuroscience to provide a mechanistic account explaining how the combination of reduced “pain of payment”, facilitated by digital purchasing technologies, and the product attachment generated by real or simulated product experiences prior to purchase holds the potential to increase sales. We then propose a more general theoretical framework grounded on a review of primary and secondary research findings from consumer psychology and consumer neuroscience to explain the potential power of phygital marketing experiences, account for their unique value, and provide a platform for future research. The paper equips both academics and practitioners with a better and more scientific understanding of the practical dimensions of phygital commerce and lays a foundation for future enquiry.
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