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"The future is in integration of online and offline technologies in the salespoints" - interview with Giovanni Flore, Benetton Digital Signage progect manager

The 6th international conference “Digital Signage – no alternative” will be held this Friday, the 27th of May. Ahead of the event we present you the interview with Giovanni Flore, Benetton Digital Signage project manager.

Giovanni, how long are you in Digital Signage business?
I’ve started in 2010 with Benetton live windows. We started this project when I was working with Fabrika Benetton communication research center. It was the first time Benetton was developing Digital Signage project. Since 2010 I’ve been working continuously on Digital Signage and I can say I also crossed different ages of Digital Signage

How did come up the idea of the project? Who was its initiator?
It came up fr om Mr. Lucciano Benetten the founder of the company. He said: “I‘m traveling the world constantly I always visit Benetton stores cross the world. But sometimes I cannot find them I cannot see them”. So the main issue of the project was making the store more visible both from closer and distance. So the idea, the vision started from mr. Benetton.

On what step is the project for Benetton right now? How does it develop?
It was a 3 year long project since the beginning and it was experimental. I would like to highlight the importance of the word experimental because it happens very rarely in a corporate environment to be allowed to test and fail and again test and sometimes also failing again. It was very-very modern because it was born as a beta project. It’s life cycle was since the beginning set up to 3 years and it was fully focused on the exterior of the store. We developed very large size media wall on to the windows just behind the glass of the windows. So it was communicated to the streets after that experience the company decided after the experimented the strategy decided to turn into the store. And the current project is very different and it’s fully focused in to interior of the store. And it fully integrated to interior design of the store. So there are very very different from the last one.

Giovanni, on your opinion what Digital Signage can give to retailers? What for they need it?
The 1st point it gives an atmosphere with the store of modernity and it bring Digital into offline experience. It is collision a combination of Digital experience with traditional in-store experience.
The 2nd is it can produce very important saving on the production of printed materials. You can have an infinite number of images and dynamic messages onto your screen instead of producing and updating posters and printed materials. You can change the content immediately, constantly instead of printing and deliver posters and materials for POP and POS.
The 3rd point is that you can use videos. And video is the language, the current language for everybody now. Not only because it much visual experience, has much strong impact on the customers. But also because video in store can be integrate with video on-line and so it is a point of meeting between online-offline experience.
And the last but not the least Digital Signage may allow interaction, direct interaction through applications with customers. And this the most interesting and challenging points.

Your predictions for future trends?
We say future but we must consider that sometimes future is already present. Sometimes when we talk about DS, the past is very close, the past could be two years ago and the future could be in a next weeks. So what is happening now and what I have vision to be happen in the close future is always more intense integration between DS and digital experience, digital online experience. I mean we must consider DS as one part of the omnichannel customer journey. The brand will be present in the smartphone, pc as well as sales will pass through this kind of devices. But the store represents also the strongest media, retailers have. The point wh ere the brand experience is the most intense and the strongest so DS will more and more one bridge between the online experience and the offline customer experience. In the future to be successfully it must convey also the customer digital experience the store. And this would happen through interactive applications as well as integration other technologies such as Internet of thing technologies, the use of beacons, rfid and so it must provide not only visual contents (slide show or videos) but must be integrated it to brand experience that would be both digital and physical.

Giovanni, could you please give some advices for those companies who are going to implement Digital Signage projects in their business?
We must consider that the main point in Digital Signage is not technology. Technology is of course extremely relevant for this project but is somehow something that has client sosts a long the time so you can invest in technology using the right partners, the right advisers, concidering the choice between buy or rent, which one is the best. But when a retailer starts Digital Signage projects must consider not only technological project but communication project. So the main issue is the content. How will use this beautiful infrastructure, how we leverage it the best way. So DS is the shows really how we say content is king, the driver is content, not really technology. DS demands also new challenge, it demand a meeting points between the company, between engiiring, technological brain of the company and marketing, and it demands professionals able to bridge this two points, able to bridge languages of people warring IT with those who works for marketing.

On the 6th international conferenc "Digital Signage - no alternative" you will have a chance to learn more about Digital Signage solutions, visit the presentation of international speakers.

To participate in the conference, please, register.

If  you have any questions, please, contact:
Anna Kuzina
+7 495 937 63 09 ext. 202
+7 903 664 51 93