Jun.-Prof. Dr. Erik Maier
Today’s retail environment has changed considerably: the majority of retailers now renounces their former conviction that either on- or offline retail would eventually substitute the other. Online retailers open offline stores to address new target segments; traditional retailers react to e-commerce competition with own online stores. Thus, the proliferation and integration of retail channels – the so-called “omi-channeling” – is the new standard.
The purchase process, therefore, is not restricted to a single channel any more. While customers could formerly be attracted by opening high-street stores, and revenue be increased through a multiplication of these stores, customers now often have to be acquired as expensive online “traffic”. Consequently, the tools of digital marketing are vital for new and established retailers alike. Digital customer data and A/B-tests enable an increase in the marketing optimization frequency, which was unknown in the days of focus groups and quarterly reports. But surging online marketing costs and an increased strategic dependence on certain marketing channels constitute difficulties that companies have to handle.
The Junior Professorship in Retail and Multi-Channel Management explores the consequences of digitization for producers and retailers of consumer goods. We especially focus on teaching and further developing tools for the digital economy, particularly in online marketing.
These emphases of are visible in multiple areas: Our teaching discusses different digital business models (e.g., class “E-Business”); our research investigates retail topics with a higher complexity than could be handled in day-to-day business (e.g., assessment of consumer migration patterns in on-, offline and mobile shops). The Re-Invent Retail Think Tank aims at fostering public debates on current topics of retailing and marketing, for instance through industry studies or discussions on a blog (www.handels.blog – in German only).