implementazione di Digital keys

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by Simona Fiore and Paolo Zanardi – XT Retail

As is common knowledge,  most critical times always lead to creative and innovative ideas and solutions, as human being was conceived for problem solving!

This period we constantly work on projects and best solutions useful for our sector to push for new channels to improve and implement customer services.

According to  a research carried out by GfK (  in early June, Italians still want to buy in a physical store, but 68% of them are willing to go to stores that can guarantee the maximum conditions of hygiene and safety, despite the impositions of this period hardly affect the shopping experience.

So how can we improve the shopping experience while still guaranteeing safety for our customers?

Many are responding with the implementation of Digital keys to integrate or, sometimes, to replace the physical purchase with the online one.

But this historical moment of transition between the physical store and the digital store, who  truly believes on the potential online sales and who believes that offline sales will never leave us?

We asked for our partners, customers and experts of the sector, to understand what actions their steps to guarantee a memorable shopping experience.

First of all, we had an interesting talk with Mr Fabio Antonini, owner of the 3A Group, a company with a dual spirit, retail and wholesale: Nike, Jordan, Converse and Haddad distributors and founders of the Just Play retail chain.

Fabio Antonini 3A Group
Mr. Fabio Antonini

What are your latest news on digital system  for the retail sector?

We boosted on hybrid sales where the store is the showroom for online sales meanwhile we are investing on Just Play online store, with the aim of reaching a turnover of 10% compared to the final footing within the end of the year. In addition, in the new store in Orio al Serio we will introduce the proximity payment. Then, multi market channels and socials will be our must.

As for the instore interactivity, we use “digital trees” advising for different contents managed by the sales point and which allow changing scenarios at different times of the day, according on  frequencies and target customers.

What has changed the covid 19 emergency in your work?

Times have changed above all both retail and wholesale: there has been a strong acceleration especially for the 2.0 version of the retail project. The goal is to create a relevant shopping experience in the store, to be concluded in terms of direct or online experience. E.g. the stores will be equipped with multimedia totems with shopping carts, to be suspended until the finalization of  the purchase at home.

In the wholesale channel, acceleration was intended to dematerialize relationships, with a new B2B portal based on CRM. In fact, we are strengthening our website for customers “ONLIFE” which is based on the partnership between real life and online. It is a virtual tour with many contents which can be used to enrich the website of our customers. Furthermore, each of them is recognized and accompanied in virtual experiences with a real assistant who will be able to welcome and guide them in their purchases. We also have a dropshipping service, with a full channel of references for customers who want to give their final customer more choice.

What are the retail activities for next 2020 Autumn?

We are planning on digital communication and as already anticipated we will strengthen the online shop and the brand communication.

We asked for Mrs Mariolina Brovelli, Marketing Director of Faber Castell, historical Italian Company with different distribution channels, very interesting to understand the trends.

Mariolina Brovelli Faber Castell
Mrs Mariolina Brovelli

What are your latest news on digital system  for the retail sector?

Our communication strategy turns 360 degrees. By now we can no longer focus only on activities or investments on media, but it is necessary to monitor the reference target through all contact points, physical or virtual. Since a couple of ys we have been developing a “convergent marketing” strategy, an approach that allows to have an interactive communication with the customers by using methods, means and contents connected to the digital world. The goal is to improve the relationship between the brand and its consumers, strengthening the engagement/loyalty linkage, thus increasing the conversion. This way for trade to become the connecting link where measure the business results and develop the correlated in-store activities.

What has changed the covid 19 emergency in your work?

Many argue that creativity will be a mega trend in the near future, and this latest lockdown  period has been a demonstration. These lockdown months we never stopped: we had smart working and we developed marketing supports focused on digital media that allowed to demonstrate our closeness both to our retail customers, indoor closed, and to our consumers at home.

For the latter, we have developed Art Therapy activities, both for children and adults, with tutorials and drawings to download from our social media and paint to spend time more serenely stimulating creative activities; for our trade, we first shared our editorial plans to create synergy of contents in their digital company profiles and then prepared promotional proposals for the recovery and reopening phases. The combination of e-commerce and traditional sales has proven to be the best way to offer to consumers a suitable service for the period whose requests are increasingly sophisticated and clear. For Faber-Castell, digitalization has never been a threat, but an opportunity.

What are the retail activities for next 2020 Autumn?

We care each distribution channel by marketing and communication activities to increase the value of our brand. The traditional channel looks to develop more geo-localization operations which directly involve the consumer at the sales point with promotions and loyalty programs. The stationery shops directed to digitalization will be increasingly involved in mutual rewarding activities.

The modern channel will supply with dedicated shelves in order to widen our visibility even off: the GDO represents an important channel for Faber-Castell and the focus for our growth program. Obviously, the online channel stands for highest growth. The remarkable assortment have given a considerable boost to the sector. We are waiting for a strong positive trend in the near future, also by the power of the high quality of our digital contents.

Another fundamental proof of an Italian Company through by Mrs Beatrice Donnet Events & Corporate Communication Specialist at Rinascente:

What are your latest news on digital system  for the retail sector?

On June 11, Rinascente opened its tenth store, the first ON LINE. This is a new and important path of the Group’s omnichannel strategy, aimed at providing a high-level experience, where each channel is interconnected, to meet the needs of a constantly evolving customer.

Rinascente is present in Milan, Rome, Turin, Florence, Monza, Palermo, Catania, Cagliari, symbolizes  the “place to be”, and now ONLINE, too. It is the result of a project started three years ago, which comes from a constant and continuous work on physical stores that have led the Rinascente brand to celebrity and internationality. After the total and partial renewal of its stores, increasingly tailor-made services and, after being recognized on the world scene as one of the best department stores, Rinascente is now ready to continue its  Online Store path.

What has changed the covid 19 emergency in your work?

Since the first lockdown days, Rinascente has worked with a view to reopen. In addition to the Government guidelines, Rinascente created  its own protocol to reopen on May 18 in safe ways. Certainly, has changed the approach in the front office, as in the back office processes, not clearly visible, but huge as regards the internal organization of resources.

During the lockdown we tried to keep the relationship with our customers by messaging with optimism and sharing communication campaigns to join and to be close with them.

What are the retail activities for next 2020 Autumn?

The scenarios for next Autumn are not easily predictable, also considering the second round of the infection that everyone is talking about. We are continuing to work to guarantee, immediately, safe and peaceful environments for customers and employees trying to reprogram a series of initiatives, events and in store activities.

During the lockdown period, the construction sites also had to stop but, as soon as possible, we resumed the renovation works planned on our stores. In fact, in June, we inaugurated the new first floor of the Store in Florence and part of the new fifth floor of Rinascente in Milan no. l, in Piazza Duomo; not least, June also saw our first Online Shop service go which in the coming months will be implemented, extended and updated. We do not stop: we want to return to give our visitors experiences, as well as high-level shopping.

In recent months, the XT management work on digital, thanks also to Mr Marco Serpilli, CEO of Warda, and we asked him for our questions:

Marco Serpilli Warda
Mr Marco Serpilli

What are your latest news on digital system  for the retail sector?

Our products are born as a tool to help digital revolution for fashion, luxury and retail. In this period we are designing a new product: Shic Digital Showroom. This app initially born to meet the needs of brands that, due to the covid emergency, suspended the physical sales, moving towards digital tools, but which in the post-crisis period will be able to contribute to the optimization of travel and consequently to the reduction of time-to-market. The goal of SHIC is mainly to make the remote presentation ceremony as immersive and emotional as possible, thanks to the personalization of the digital showroom, the presence of the integrated video conference, the management of product information and contents, such as Virtual tour in the Showroom, videos, images at 2D, 3D or 360° that support the Brand in the storytelling, according to its communicative line.

What has changed the covid 19 emergency in your work?

This historical time period has profoundly changed everyone’s habits, and the companies are adopting a new way of working and collaborating. Smart working in Warda was already a consolidated routine and this emergency  makes it simply indispensable.

What are the retail activities for next 2020 Autumn?

Next Autumn, most of activities will take place remotely and with the help of digital tools to support remote collaboration. If the covid 19 growth has acted as an accelerator for brands who invested long ago, now, many traditional companies are also looking to the future, digitizing most of their processes. The result is the investment on platforms for remote collaboration and on increasingly performing and realistic digital contents, such as Virtual Tour inside the showrooms, 3D or 360° images. The brands looking for this change require partners to support the activities for their digitization and to provide the most suitable tools for the purpose.

In fact, as anticipated by Marco, this period gave an impulse to a multi-channel process, probably already begun in the Retail sector.

Coming from direct contact with the customer, and always addressed to train sales staff as sales consultants and not a mere supplier of goods, the XT professionals, embarks on this path to extend the possibilities of the physical store by taking it into a different level.

formazione XT Retail

One of the activities carried out by XT, for instance is the Retail School, an Academy for Retail professionals, which will be both online and visually, based on demand of the users and the companies. In addition, we are implementing a variety of apps for consumer and retailers too, to stay tuned on!

by AN shopfitting magazine no.158 ©