The Need for Digital Retailing Talent Development and Research

There are two “mega trends” in retail that have created, and will continue to create both a need for talent and a need for rigorous consumer and industry research:

    1. eCommerce continues to be the growth sector of retail
    2. The ever increasing expectations of the “omni-channel” consumer demands seamless experiences regardless of touch point or channel

At the University of North Texas, we are addressing this need though our Global Digital Retailing Research Center (GDRRC) and our Bachelors of Science degree in Digital Retailing, the only degree program of its kind.

Through our degree program, we seek to develop the next generation of digital retailing leadership by addressing the complete value chain (end-to-end digital commerce)… from content creation on the front end to logistics on the back end. To be successful, we recognized the need for strong industry – academia collaboration. So, we established the Research Center (GDRRC), and at the heart of the Center is an industry executive advisory board, and a “think tank” made up of digital retailing thought leaders.

The Global Digital Retailing Research Center stands on four solid pillars:
    1. Global Discovery – research conducted with academic rigor
    2. Objective Thought – disseminating, sharing, and exchanging information and ideas
    3. Talent Development – both student talent and executive education
    4. Awards of Distinction – recognizing both innovation and accomplishment in digital retailing

The thought leadership and industry perspective of the think tank enables us to prioritize research initiatives by what is most needed by the industry. Industry insights also help us to determine the skill sets most needed by the industry that can then be built into our degree programs. web analytics, digital platforms, SEO/SEM/attribution, supply chain, and retail profitability are just some examples of coursework developed based on these insights. Another important insight coming from our industry leaders is the need for digital “101” for store management. This has led to the creation of our Digital Executive Education Program (DEEP).

To learn more about how industry leaders, thought leaders, academic research scholars, and students are all learning from each other at UNT, watch this video from Retail TouchPoints: .

For additional information, you can reach us at