What is an emotional customer experience and Why brick-and-mortar retailers needs it

StoreOver the latest years we hear that brick-and-mortar retailers are going to suffer more and more from the on-line shopping and sooner or later they will be disappearing, completely substituted by the digital buying processes of Apps/ecommerce. But is ‘the retail apocalypse’ really happening? And if yes, how fast? To start we know that in-store shopping occurs for the 91% of the overall Retail spending and according to a 2017 State of Retail report surveying 2,000 consumers about their behaviors around retail shopping, 50% revealed they sometimes browse online then make their way to the store to finish their purchase.

The Time Trade Survey 2017 shows that If the item is not available both online and in a near-by store, 75% of the interviewed customers claimed they prefer to buy it in store. The best part of the buying in store is the touch and feel of products before buying them (72%) and the personal experience of having a store assistant to help (29%). The Store experience will never be substituted by a cold on-line purchase, this is clear. Sure, there are many customers who like the convenience of shopping online, but the immersive, experience-driven customer prefers to do some online shopping and then go into the store to complete his/her purchase.

That’s why the Retailers have to ensure that the Store actually provides that immersive experience that involves all four senses and leads the customers to want to go back there. Physical Stores need to enhance the emotional customer experience making the Customer Journey a Shopper’s Paradise, through the mix of 5 senses and the new technologies available in the market

With the correct mix of sense stimulation and the use of new technologies consumers will now experience the stores, not only buy there.

Smell: it is well known that when we’re hungry we buy more – well what is the best smell in the world that makes us immediately hungry? Bread – here you go the Bakery right on the right in the entry. And what about Apparel Retailers? Many spray vanilla or Lavanda scents parfumes to relax customers while Shopping.

Taste: this is the most difficult one to stimulate, unless in the store there is fresh food and you can offer free samples, otherwise it is difficult to somehow touch it. If possible offer soft drinks or coffee already helps, otherwise with scents reminding good and sweet food can also help.

Hearing: depending of the age of the target, music have to be appropriate but it is always necessary. Disco, Rap, Classic or pop music, any music is better than silence. Sounds help customers not to think about the time passing by in the store and concentrating about the products to buy. It has to be part of the experience overall.

Sight: This is the most obvious one – having products In open display to look at drives the impulse of buying immediately. The more free and open the better. Sometimes security and damage of products could be a problem if the merchandise is high risk or luxury type, but there is nothing worse then no product or fake products instead of real ones. Invest in Technology that let the Merchandise in open Display and make customers confortable in trying them out should be no brainer.

Touch: this is related to the previous sense of the sight, touching is equal important and making things accessible for customers to touch (except for fragile things) is imperative. When goods aren’t accessible, even as a sample, there’s an invisible buying barrier. Test and feel the products in your hands is a complete experience, rather then seeing a close box. Remember that consumers are not buying a thrill-machine, they’re buying the possibility to make holes in the walls and feel themselves proud of it.

Related to the previous two ones – availability of the goods plays a key role in the emotional consumer journey. If a out-of-stock of even a single product occurs there are major chances that a customer will not buy anything or even will never come back to the store. Real – time inventory has to be a priority for the omni-channel Retailers in 2018.

Make the Customer Journey a Shopper’s Paradise has to be the imperative of 2018 for Retailers.


Organizing a Global Trade Fair …and survive


EuroShop is over, finally, and I need to write something now before I get slammed by the numbers of new projects that I am starting already. Organizing and managiging an event has always been my dream, so I was glad I had to opportunity to test myself with it.
I was part of the Team (made of 4 People) who organized the EuroShop2017 trade fair participation of our Company Checkpoint Systems. We had a 100 sm booth in two Levels with Catering, product Demos, a Lounge and a whisper room. I was in Charge of the communication, visuals, booth layout and all Marketing activities related.

Continue reading “Organizing a Global Trade Fair …and survive”

Do we need Europe Job in Marketing?

Of course yes-but why? The most obvious answer is  because we are in Europe!

In reality the answer is more complex than that. Almost every country in Europe speaks a different language (even Switzerland and Germany speak two different Germans), and when it comes to spend money and time to produce content and materials Europe valid, it comes always the question. Is it worth?  What if then every country change them localizing them? Why don’t let each country do their own things?

When it comes to multinational company, there are of course guidelines and strategic inputs from Headquarters (whenever they are) and every local market should try to use them as similar to original as possible. Theory is: just translate and use them. But this is almost always not possible. As Europe is so fragmented and inside-different, every country tend to localize the message more than just translating it. The way communication acts in Germany is not the same in France/Italy for example. Visual is for France / Italy much more significat than it is in Germany. While in Germany and german speaking countries, wording is the absolutely stronger and most important part of a communication piece. Trying to combine visual and text in one message is not always so easy – therefore only a solid message that combines those aspects together is effective and emphatic everywhere (if you’re interested this is a good article presenting the case of a wrong message that doesn’t fit all).

 So, again, the question, why should every large Company have European coordinators if every Country acts and creates their own things?

  1. Europe Headquarters: for sure every company organize their own events and fairs. And even if a little modified, why not using the same materials for more than one local event? Here it comes the need of a European warehouse to stock all materials and stand accessories (roll-ups, furniture, visuals…). Someone would have to coordinate this place and deliver things where they have to. Organizing and rationalizing the resources ensure cost saving.
  2. Lots of customers are nowadays either worldwide or at least European. For example in the Retail world, 90% of the major retailers in Europe have stores in more than one country. This shows how crucial it is the need of sharing information outside their headquarters. Especially when it comes to products portfolio and pricing, company have the necessity to uniform and align.
  3. The Online-World eliminates borders. When we think of buying something online, we almost never know where it comes from and more often than we think, is not in the country where we place the order from. Thanks to the new online technologies, we are not longer “far way” from each other in Europe. So we not using this capability proactively? Creating activities and campaigns at Europe level enlarge our audience and our probability of success.
  4. Europe service are still not so easy to find. Agencies and companies able to follow and support customer across Europe are incredibly difficult to find. Millions of local agencies exist, but quite a few work out of their boards. And if they do, it is for sure not reaching the whole Europe. Serious agencies that are able to provide services such as marketing, communication, graphic, printing, self-training, education… that have resources and experience at Europe level are extremely hard to find. Experts that can overcome this empty space extremely important.
  5. Europe is the future. Moving across Germany, Italy, France and all other countries (and I mean also UK, even if they don’t like to hear it) is nowadays easier and easier. More and more people try new lives abroad, reinventing themselves a job or studying new languages. This is happening, liking or not. Considering this, as European experts, we can contribute exchanging our expertises and molding ourselves around new styles and cultures. I’ve already talked about this here.


 Of course who takes responsibility roles Europe-wide has to be aware that communication and adaptation is the key. The ability to communicate efficiency and openly within different group of people and organizations is a must (like I say here). We, as Europe Managers, have to overpass our “local” attitudes and be able to relate and collaborate with different styles and approaches, based on the culture we are working with. In the same time, we should use our own personal skills to improve and benefit others.

From the amazing Book – that everyone who works at international level should read.
When Cultures Collide: LEADING ACROSS CULTURES” –
– Richard D. Lewis


Why would you like to hire an Italian in your office?


First: I hate stereotypes and prejudices and I find disrespectful to judge someone only based on the county/city/place he/she comes from.

Besides, I experience myself that being European is now more important than being “Italian” or “German” or any other nationality. As already said, we are getting more and more alike, with same habits, problems and experiences.

Nowadays the world, and Europe especially, is going towards uniformity and mix. Even languages tend to mix and level to the same one, which is of course English. So it is very no accurate to speak about nationalities differences.

Anyway, exactly for these reasons, what is still difference a country from the others, should be evaluated and taken care of, because it will soon disappear. It will come much sooner that we think that time when those differences will be really gone and it will be a pity. If we think about our grandmothers and fathers, how different they were from us and how much more deeper in the local culture they were than us. The trend was already visible by our parents, they started to look at the outside world, to meet other foreign habits, to eat new food, to travel, to want for us more internationality. Yet this process is completely established and I would even say we are in the new era of the everywhere is here and the life is in one merging world.


Considering all of this, and the continuous migrations of people all around Europe, I would highlight what still make us “Italians” different and why those local aspects could be beneficial outside Italy. And what best example than in company/business world? International companies hunt more and more in other countries for talents, especially now that English make much more jobs possible everywhere. And what does it mean for us “Italians”? How we should present ourselves when seeking for a job outside Italy? And why a company would want to hire us? Hey, I am not saying those things are all qualities and we’re very far from being perfect (:


Here why a company outside Italy would want to hire an “Italian”:


  • Normally we are in a good mood. Of course there are Italians who are angry or grumpy, but I would say the probability to find one that is not that high, especially if he/she left his country to look for a better like. Italians who decided (of needed) to move are even more in a positive attitude, because they needed to do it. We might not be the greatest English (or other language) speakers but surely we bring sunshine in the office. If you want a little fun in your business, also when stressed and problems occurs, you call us. Italian light the atmosphere.


  • As said, we are not so good in languages. But we do get there we want to be. Somehow, using hands, arms, smiles, face expressions, we make ourselves clear. Sometimes even too much, but as our culture is based on communication, we make sure people understand what we want to express. Nothing being “unsaid” or miss-understood with Italians. We put out everything on the table, with no filters. That is especially good in multicultural environment.


  • We are loyal. Italians care very much about relations and if a company trusted in us, we give it all. We wouldn’t let our company/bosses down, especially if they were the one made the expat possible. We would even renounce higher paid offers to not disappoint our companies. It might seem stupid (and sometimes it is) but surely it is beneficial for whomever hired us.


  • Italians are perfect mediators. Looking at our history, we are very used to have to deal with other cultures that from time to time wanted to invade and control us. Our special geography position made us very expert in dealing with strangers and mediate from what they wanted to establish and change. Also we have great skills to be in between strong forces and maintain a neutral position but always friendly. In position of leadership this quality is very much appreciated.


  • We don’t mind working long hours, but we do love breaks. Yes, Italians sometimes like to chat and waste a little time, especially in conversations drinking Espresso o Caffe Macchiato. That serves to create PR and improve relations within work peeps. But it is true also that Italians do not mind working long hours and finish late. Actually they don’t feel good leaving early the office. Of course it might be a problem to integrate this habit in a more serious and concentrated space.


  • Italy=creativity (+ Confusion!). The equation is correct, normally Italian are very creative people, not only taking about the pure artistic creativity, but also finding new ways of solving problems and thinking out of the Box. This lateral thinking is very useful in specifical branches and it is critical in problem solving, of course it goes along with the confusion. Sometimes schedules are not respected and Agenda are at last moment completely changed. This is surely a downside.


See we’re not only good in cooking Pizza and Pasta?
It wanted to be a fun post on how a little Italian taste can make your office/company happy. Of course completely taken from my own experience ((:

italian mode


What a cell has to do with communication?


What is a Cell? Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. What does a single cell do alone? Not that much. What do cells do when they’re together? A combination of cells together transform a single unit to the most complicated and yet powerfeul organism that is a human being. It is only the unification of different elements that bring things in reality.

We are US only in relation with OTHERS. Us as human beings, exist only if we exchange with the external. Our personality is such, because it is established through experiences that have impacted and molded it. Those experiences come from the exchange (positive or negative) with other individuals. Even the most solitary people, after period of loneliness urge the need to go back in a society and interact again with human being . The movie “Into the Wild” of Sean Penn is a great biographical movie that testimonies exactly that.

“Happiness only real when shared” – Jon Krakauer

What does it has to do with the iSocial being then? It has a lot to do. Nowadays people communicate more and more not only in person but using lots of different virtual ways. And communication must develop and adapt accordingly. Behind the screens and the online profile there are people, with feelings and emotions like us. We are not used to substitute the verbal communication in writing, as we were always taught in school to write to explain things, the majority of us have learnt a descriptive way of writing. But with the new technologies in development, the need is now to write as you were talking, and interested the reader as well as if it was the listener. Not so many people/companies are ready to take their communication to that level. More importantly, not some many companies yet understand the need to do it. Or if they do, they might not have the right people to do it.

Talking about what products you do or which great solutions you offer might interest or not. Talking about the experience of other people with that product/solutions, thinking with the readers in mind, not the product, is how companies should communicate now.

The Empathic Social Network movement says:
“The world is always changing, but our generation was born into a world in which letters were handwritten and has come of age in one in which everyone on the planet is only a click away. I this new environment, we need to communicate with greater precision to overcome language and cultural barriers that separate people of different nationalities”
(http://www.tootoom.com/en/ – from the Empathic Social Network).

And I add we need to learn how to interest the others, how to transfer emotions and create exactly virtual empathy.

The iSocial philosophy (and myself) is trying to exactly that. Urging the importance of being in the net and offering food of thoughts of new way of communicating in Social Medias. Including graphics, animation, videos, image, sounds…and In the future way not, smells, touching, and who knows whats’s more.

Life is a set of relations. Without others, we would not be who we are. Reality is an allusion, relations is wha