Local Commerce

In a market environment characterized by small growth, the local owner operated retail outlets represented the group with the highest revenue losses in 2014 (HDE 2015). The progressive digitalization and further development towards chain stores in Germany and worldwide threatens the very existence of local retail outlets run by their owners. In contrast to this, online retail showed the highest growth at 17.8 % in 2014 (HDE 2015) and according to the German Retail Association (Handelsverband Deutschland, HDE), it will continue to have good growth prospects in the future, especially due to its pioneering digitalization work.
Although online trade and e-commerce are dominant topics in current debates, the retail industry is still largely run through brick and mortar stores. Despite the high growth rates, the share of e-commerce in retail turnover is still only 11.1% in Germany (Statista 2014). This raises the question, to what extent digitalization can create a new development perspective for local owner operated retail outlets. As most of the research into digitalization in retail has focused on strategies for implementing digital applications in large organizations, there is a major research gap into digitalization of owner-run businesses.

The CCEC addresses this research gap with thematic projects, scientific publications, recorded lectures and a collection of resources. The information is openly accessible on this site for all those who are interested.

Our Local Commerce Activities

Future Lab Retail South Westphalia 2020 (supported by the European Regional Development Fund)

Future Lab Retail South Westphalia 2020

In the next 10 years, a 30 % decrease in revenues for brick and mortar retailers caused by online channels is expected. The medium-sized owner-managed retailers have not found an effective way to strategically realign themselves in this new competitive environment. They often lack the time and knowledge to develop new sales and communication concepts, in which the Internet is integrated. Therefore, the goal of the project is to strengthen the competencies of retail trade in the multi-channel area, on the basis of a detailed analysis of the situation in selected model cities in South Westphalia and the respective awareness campaign. This will be achieved through local workshops, as well as stationary and online training courses. Furthermore, product range, retail and service concepts are to be analyzed and optimized.

Project Partners

Our current project “Future Lab Retail South Westphalia 2020” was launched on April 1st, 2016.
It is a cooperation among the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHKs) of Arnsberg and Hagen, the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, the University of Siegen, and the Research Institut for Regional- and Knowledge Management gGmbH (Forschungsinstitut für Regional- und Wissensmanagement gGmbH.

Publications

2016 | IN-STORE ANALYTICS

In September 2016, the research findings on the topic “In-Store Customer Analytics – Metrics and Maturity Scenarios for the Collection of Physical in-Store Customer Data for Retail ” were presented on the conference Informatik 2016 in Klagenfurt am Wörtersee, Austria.

ABSTRACT

While collecting and analyzing customer data via the web browser (Web Analytics) is very common in online-retail, stationary retail outlets have so far tended to neglect to collect and assess data of customer visits to their stores (In-Store Customer Analytics) and have instead tended to focus on analyzing transaction data. Yet for online retail, it is the analysis of customer data prior to the transaction that has been the most influential tool for the further development and improvement of services, in particular the optimization of the landing page and conversion optimization. Thus it can be assumed that the analysis of customer visit data offers a similar potential to improve services and conversion rates for stationary retail. This paper offers a systematic assessment of the measurable components of in-store customer metrics based on an extensive literature review and furthermore provides a matrix for maturity assessment for a number of key technologies that are available for in-store customer analytics.

GERMAN VERSION

In-Store Customer Analytics – Metriken & Reifegradszenarien zur Erfassung physischer Kundenkontakte im stationären Einzelhandel

ENGLISH VERSION

In-Store Customer Analytics – Metrics and Maturity Scenarios for the Collection of Physical in-Store Customer Data for Retail

Autoren
Lars Michael Bollweg
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Richard Lackes
Technische Universität Dortmund

Markus Siepermann
Technische Universität Dortmund

Peter Weber
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

2016 | DIGITALIZATION OF LOCAL OWNER-OPERATED RETAIL OUTLETS

In July 2016, our research findings on the topic “DIGITALIZATION OF LOCAL OWNER OPERATED RETAIL OUTLETS: THE ROLE OF THE PERCEPTION OF COMPETITION AND CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS” were presented on the Pacific Asia Conference on Information Sytems (Pacis 2016) in Chiayi, Taiwan.

ABSTRACT

On the one hand, the increasing digitalization of commerce has put local owner operated retail outlets (LOOROs) under pressure to adapt their business models to the new technological and competitive environment as well as to the changing shopping habits of their customers. On the other hand, it also offers potential competitive advantages for them. This paper investigates the retailers’ perception of the competition and their perception of customer expectations, combined with a survey of the current use of digitalized services and the LOOROs readiness to increase the usage of digitalized services.

Our results confirm that the perception of competitive pressure and customer expectations has a positive influence on LOOROs’ readiness to adopt new technologies and business models. But a significant number of the surveyed retailers underestimate the expectations of their customers and are reluctant to add digital services to their business portfolio.

While our key findings are relevant insights for all LOOROs on their journey towards digitalization, our findings provide even more significant insights for all digital service providers aiming to take a slice of the still substantial market shares of LOOROs in rural areas.

Englisch
DIGITALIZATION OF LOCAL OWNER OPERATED RETAIL OUTLETS: THE ROLE OF THE PERCEPTION OF COMPETITION AND CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS


Autoren

Lars Michael Bollweg
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Richard Lackes
Technische Universität Dortmund

Markus Siepermann
Technische Universität Dortmund

Arbnesh Sutaj
Technische Universität Dortmund

Peter Weber
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

2015 | MIND THE GAP! Do local shop owners misinterpret customer expectations?

Based on a survey among local retailers conducted in February 2015, our research team wrote a research paper and submitted it to the MCCSIS Conference in Las Palmas (Gran Canaria).

ABSTRACT
The owner-operated stationary retail industry is in a phase of intense transformation. Digitalization and e-commerce are questioning the traditional retail business models. A conducted survey in a German city points out that local retailers are aware of the importance of digitalization for their businesses in future, but nonetheless do not think that their customers actually expect sophisticated digital services by them. In contrast to these findings, another recent study for the same city just revealed that 45% of all asked customers have already changed their buying behavior towards online retail. In this context, this paper uses the SERVQUAL Gap-Model by Zeithaml et al. (1998) to classify and interpret these observations. Shopping-convenience (e.g. time saving) is a known key factor for the buying decision and for the channel choice of customers, but local retailers do not seem to be fully aware of the changing expectations of their customers in this regard. If so, they run the risk of losing sight of the continuously developing digitalization-based business model innovations and the accordingly changing customer expectations which would inevitably weaken their competitive position.

English version (Original)
MIND THE GAP! ARE LOCAL RETAILERS MISINTERPRETING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS REGARDING DIGITAL SERVICES?

German version (translation)
MIND-THE-GAP_MISINTERPRETIEREN-LOKALE-EINZELHÄNDER-KUNDENERWARTUNGEN-IN-BEZEUG-AUF-DIGITALE-SERVICES

Autoren
Lars Michael Bollweg
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Richard Lackes
Technische Universität Dortmund

Markus Siepermann
Technische Universität Dortmund

Peter Weber
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

2015 | MIND THE GAP! - Extended Version

An extended version of the research paper MIND THE GAP! was published in the journal www/Internet in October 2015.

ABSTRACT
Local owner operated retail outlets (LOORO) are in a phase of intense transformation. Digitalization and e-commerce are questioning the traditional retail business models. A survey conducted
in a mid-sized German city points out that local retailers are aware of the importance of digitalization for their businesses in future, but nonetheless do not think that their customers
actually expect sophisticated digital services by them. In contrast to these findings, another recent study for the same city just revealed that 45% of all asked customers have already
changed their buying behavior towards online retail. Shopping-convenience (e.g. time saving) is a known key factor for the buying decision and for the channel choice of customers, but local
retailers do not seem to be fully aware about the opportunities of digital shopping convenience for their own business. If so, they run the risk of losing sight of the continuously developing
digitalization-based business model innovations and the accordingly changing customer expectations, which would inevitably weaken their competitive position. In this context, this paper
uses the SERVQUAL Gap-Model by Zeithaml et al. (1985) to classify and interpret these observations and offers examples of digital capabilities for LOORO to facilitate the Customer
Journey.

English version (Original)
MIND THE GAP! ARE LOCAL RETAILERS MISINTERPRETING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS REGARDING DIGITAL SERVICES? (Extended Version)

Autoren
Lars Michael Bollweg
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Richard Lackes
Technische Universität Dortmund

Markus Siepermann
Technische Universität Dortmund

Peter Weber
Fachhochschule Südwestfalen

Research and Documentation

2017 | STATUS OF DIGITALIZATION

This study describes the status of digitalization in local and owner-operated retail stores in Southwestfalia.

STUDY: STATUS OF DIGITALIZATION (in German)

2016 | DASHBOARDS - SURVEY AMONG RETAILERS SWF 2016

The results of our survey among local retailers in South Westphalia were visualised with dashboards. These dashboards summarise the usuage of digital technology by local retailers and their opinions about digitalisation. All results are in German.

Part I – Usage

Part II – Usage

Part III – Opinions

Education / E-Learning

2017 | WORDPRESS FOR RETAILERS

WordPress is one of the most used content management system. Approximately a fourth of all websites are based on WordPress.

This guideline (in German) will help you set up your own WordPress website.
WordPress Guideline (in German)

2016 | Search Engine Optimisation (no programming skills required)

Here you can find a guideline on search engine optimisation (in German).

Improving Search Rankings – Search Engine Optimisation for Retailers (no programming skills required)

Videos

Thomas Hörner - Future Retail Stores: How they Suffer, Change and Survive (20th CCEC Workshop | Soest)

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Dr. Oliver Bohl (Paypal) - Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc! (20th CCEC Workshop | Soest)

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