Phygital: Where Physical and Digital Intersect

In a retail marketplace where consumers want to shop wherever and whenever they please, brands must offer a variety of purchasing touchpoints, including self-order kiosks, in addition to online and traditional stores.

The future of retail can best be described as “phygital,” a blending of the traditional physical and the emerging digital channels.

This session will look at why “phygital” is more important in a post-COVID world, emerging trends in the space, and what brands are doing next to innovate their phygital customer experiences.


Rob Bence | Director, Digital Technology | United Airlines

Rob Bence, Director, Digital Technology, United Airlines ATW & Intelligent Airport, responsible for providing vision, direction and leadership for operational technology (IT) applications used by customers and employees in airports served by United. Rob joined United in early 2019 from Southwest Airlines, where he was a technology leader for 8+ years, responsible for the technology used to deliver an integrated customer experience in the commercial domain. Rob is an US Army veteran, passionate people leader and radical customer advocate with progressive technology experience across multiple business and technical verticals throughout his career.

Rebecca Faulconer | Founder & President | Retail Automation Consultants

Rebecca Faulconer is the Founder and President of Retail Automation Consultants and has spent 10+ years working in the Automated Retail space with brands like UNIQLO, Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal and JUUL to name a few. As the world is returning to in person retail shopping, in person work, and travel, Rebecca and her team focus on providing brands and retailers with Best in Class software and hardware solutions to address specific pain points. Retail Automation Consultants identify and vet solutions that are merging digital with physical to create business efficiencies and drive value based customer experiences. Examples of this include backroom inventory solutions, front of store solutions that address loss prevention, improved ROI and customer experience.

Tom Ferguson Jr. | Founder & CEO | Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken

Tom Ferguson is founder and CEO of Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken, a fast growing franchise known for innovative, chef-inspired twists on favorite breakfast and lunch items, tight operating procedures and a corporate culture that promotes love and respect at all levels. The concept has grown from a single restaurant to 16 Rise locations now open in North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee with over 100 units in development. Rise was named a Fast Casual Top 100 Mover & Shaker in 2016. Before starting Rise Biscuits Donuts, Tom was a pioneer in the NC Triangle’s food truck scene with Only Burger.

Alejandro Rodriguez | Founder & CEO | Pharmabox

Alejandro Rodriguez is the Founder and CEO of Pharmabox and its subsidiaries AmeriKiosk and SmartBox Retail. In 2014 Pharmabox was born out of the idea of providing customers with the best over the counter products using the latest technologies in the most convenient way. Seven years later and Pharmabox is more than an idea – it has grown into a huge success. Pharmabox is currently providing services to more than 100 locations around the US and has grown to include subsidiaries like AmeriKiosk – offering Hardware and Software solutions to brands and retailers in a variety of sectors – and SmartBox – an in-store robotic technology solution that addresses shrink while improving the customer experience and increasing ROI.


Natasia Malaihollo | Head of Business Development | PopCom

Natasia Malaihollo is the Head of Business Development for PopCom, where she leads sales, tracks new markets and emerging trends, and develops strategic partnerships to guide long-term business growth and revenue. Prior to PopCom, Natasia was the co-founder of Wyzerr, a tech startup that gamifies surveys. At Wyzerr, Natasia grew its customer base to over 2,100 businesses in 42 countries, which included directly closing deals with 37 Fortune 1000 companies such as Google, Facebook, P&G, Unilever, Kroger, and Walmart. Natasia has won multiple business and innovation awards for her work with Wyzerr. In 2017, Smithsonian Magazine named Natasia to their annual Eight Innovators to Watch List.

session sponsor