DENTON (UNT), Texas -- In recent years, shoppers have set records for retail sales via smartphones and tablets over what has been traditional shopping seasons and weekends, such as Thanksgiving weekend and Texas' tax-free holiday in August. A growing number of shoppers browse retailers' websites before they enter a store, and may not buy anything in the store, but go back online to make the final purchase, according to Shop.org, the digital retailing branch of the National Retail Federation.
During the 11th Consumer Experience Symposium at the University of North Texas April 9 (Thursday), students will learn how retailers are blurring the lines between shopping online and shopping in a store for customers by including digital technology in their stores.
"Digital In Store: Transforming Retail Experiences," which will include a panel of three industry professionals, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the ballroom of UNT's Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd. The event is sponsored by the Global Digital Retailing Research Center in UNT's College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.
The speakers are:
- Paul Hamer, executive vice president for Davaco, which provides digital signage and other technology for physical locations of retail, restaurant and hospitality brands throughout North America.
- Catherine Helm, human resources market leader for Target, which has its own in-store digital signage network to provide customers with more information about items.
- Zoran Mladenovic, senior director of global solutions for Demandware, an enterprise cloud commerce solutions company.
Created in 2013, the interdisciplinary Global Digital Retailing Research Center is the first of its kind in the U.S, advancing the global digital retailing field through collaborations in research, innovation and talent development between industry leaders and those in academics. The center's founding members are JCPenney, LiquidPixels, Pier 1, Rocket Red, Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., Usability Sciences and Zales.
During the 2014 fall semester, the center launched its inaugural Think Tank, with 10 executives identifying and developing points of view on trends, business models, technologies and strategies that will shape the future of digital retailing as an industry and a field of study. The Think Tank members will meet as a group after the symposium.
The Consumer Experience Symposium is free to UNT students and open to a limited number of non-UNT students and to the general public. Non-UNT students can buy individual tickets for $25 with valid college or university identification, while the general public will pay $50 for individual tickets. Parking is included in the cost of the tickets. For more information, contact Lisa Wallace, director of development for the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, at 940-369-7051 or Lisa.Wallace@unt.edu.