Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector

Please note that on the foot of Covid-19 pandemic, the Retail Workshop has been postponed until further notice
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Why Participate?

The Digital Retail sector is radically changing and will look significantly different within the next five years. The massive use of digital technologies and big data analytics, such as Internet, AI, IoT, smart devices, cloud services, virtual reality, robotics or blockchain is transforming the face of retailing dramatically. This is mainly due to three major drivers:


  • Dynamic consumer behaviour and more than ever empowered customers with increased expectations in experience and convenience. [1]
  • Evolvement of channels, multiple retail touchpoints, changing of value creation within a market where boundaries are reshaping and new competitors from the digital world are entering.
  • At the same time, the world retail sector is expected to reach USD $20 trillion by 2024, at a yearly growth rate of around 6% between 2019-2024 [2].

The changes will also result in challenges that, while disrupting established processes, can create new value propositions and revenue streams. Some of the challenges are [3,4,5,6]:


  • Evaluating strategies towards digital innovation and transformation;
  • Enable consistency along the omnichannel customer journey;
  • Develop and leverage analytics technologies for sustainable competitiveness;
  • Undergoing organizational and cultural changes towards a digital-oriented mindset;
  • Redesign of operational activities such as assortment decisions, inventory management and reverse logistics;
  • Regulatory compliance and fraud prevention initiatives for protecting customers across channels.

It is then fundamental that all the digital retail stakeholders – customers, retailers, suppliers, service providers, employees, policy makers and investors – come together and actively participate in shaping the future of retailing mainly by shifting focus away from a system of isolated channels, to a digitally-powered integrated retailing scenario which puts the customers and retailers at the centre and maximize their experience, convenience and sustainability in the market.

This workshop will analyse and discuss possible scenarios, options and challenges in order to shape a vision of the Digital Retail sector in 2025. With a small group of experts and leaders, we will seek to define the new digitally-powered retailing ecosystem together with its business models and enabling technologies. We will identify a possible strategy and action plan to position key stakeholders ahead of the competition.
[2]Euromonitor 2020. World Retailing Market Sizes.

Forming a focused research initiative

To get the full benefit of the opportunities offered in the changing retail sector, all the stakeholders in the retail ecosystem and researchers need to come together.

The intent of the workshop is to build a working consortium of retailers, retail service providers, policy makers and researchers, who ‘stay together’ over the coming two years, to share and engage in this discovery and definition effort. We ‘learn and apply’ together. Ideally, we establish a core group that drive specific aspects, and a broader group that appreciate the shared knowledge and contribute as they can. Our current thinking is to run bi- annual detailed workshops. With this workshop we aim to find answers to the following question:

  • What is the action plan to achieve 2025 objectives toward a growing retail sector?
  • What are the potential digital solutions to improve customer experience across different channels?
  • What are the retail related challenges in compliance to GDPR and other similar regulations?
  • What skills and trainings are mostly required to move toward more efficient use of digital technologies?

Who should attend?

This is an invitation-only event for select digital retail stakeholders such as strategic leaders, digital innovation leaders, IT experts, brand manufacturers and suppliers as well as consumer associations representatives.




  • Possible scenarios and value network(s)
  • Prioritisation of challenges
  • Action plan to address key challenges

Prof Markus Helfert

Prof Digital Services Innovation, Maynooth University

Prof. Markus Helfert is Professor of Digital Service Innovation at Maynooth University. His research interests include Information Management, Innovation, Cloud Computing, Service Science, Enterprise Architecture and Smart Cities and Smart Buildings. He collaborates with a range of Enterprises in relation to Innovation and IT Management. He is the Project coordinator of the H2020 Projects: PERFORM on Digital Retail and is the Chair of Steering Committee Elite-S H2020 Marie Curie Project on ‘Future Leaders in ICT Standardisation for Europe’.

Markus has authored more than 200+ academic articles, journal and book contributions and has presented his work at international conferences. He is a member of the international programme committees and reviewer and associate editor of IS journals.

Michael Hanley

Head of Education & Knowledge Services, IVI

With 20 years training industry experience, Michael is an expert in managing workplace education and professional development. He focuses on developing and delivering effective work-based learning – specifically planning, designing, and managing innovative learning & development programmes for organisations. He has been employed by start-up companies, PLCs, and large enterprises. He has also lectured at third-level institutions including Maynooth University and the National College of Ireland, and has undertaken consultancy work for organizations including the ECDL/ICDL Foundation, University College, Cork, and the Centre for Research & Innovation in Learning Technology in Dublin. He is a member of the Irish Institute of Training & Development (IITD) and the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). He is an Elearning Guild Online Forum Presenter. He has written on education-related topics for a number of workplace training publications, and is a featured Learning Leader in the ‘Xyleme Voices’ series.

Michael’s research is predominantly focused on training and development in the workplace, with a special focus on using technology in education to enhance practitioner and organisation performance.

Dr Zohreh Pourzolfaghar

Dr. Zohreh Pourzolfaghar is Research Fellow at IVI, Maynooth University. Her research interests include Smart Cities, Enterprise Architecture, Business Modelling/Processes, Information and Knowledge Management, BIM, and Smart Buildings. She has been the theme lead in a project investigating the application of Enterprise Architecture in Smart Cities funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Zohreh presented her work at international conferences and has published research in Journals and Conference Proceedings. She has initiated and led many collaborations with academia and industry partners to work on a variety of proposals. She has been awarded the SFI industry fellowship (2018) working with industry on Building Information Management topic. She is a member of working group at NSAI to develop an Irish annex for Standard I SO 19650-2: Organization and digitization of information about buildings.

Gültekin Cakir

Gültekin Cakir is a Researcher at the IVI, Maynooth University, Ireland, and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in the PERFORM European Training Network, a Horizon 2020 funded project, where he is also chair of the ESR-Committee. He was involved in various consulting projects with SMEs and has a background in Business Management, Digital Retail and Information Systems. His research interest and recent publications deal with strategic and operational challenges retailers face such as the “Retail Apocalypse“, while undergoing the digital transformation process in the industry. Currently, he is investigating the strategic barriers of assortment integration while pursuing an omnichannel retailing approach. With the help of major Austrian and Irish retailers, he explores the underlying factors and new dynamics in assortment decision-making.

Rehan Iftikhar

Rehan Iftikhar is a Researcher at the IVI, Maynooth University, Ireland, and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in the PERFORM European Training Network, a Horizon 2020 funded project. He is currently working on the integration of offline and online retail channels as a part of the EU Innovative Training Network, PERFORM. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from University of Exeter, UK. His research interests include digital retail, information systems and big data. His peer-reviewed work has appeared in various journals and conference proceedings such as Journal of Global Information Management, British Food Journal, Academy of Management Global Proceedings and Information Systems Development.

Artem Bielozorov

Artem Bielozorov is a Researcher at the IVI, Maynooth University, Ireland, and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in the PERFORM European Training Network, a Horizon 2020 funded project. Artem has a Master’s Degree in International Business Management from Lauder Business School, Vienna, Austria. His research interests revolve around technologies in retail, service innovation, business process management, and information systems. Currently, with the help of Irish retailer, Artem is investigating how to model various aspects of Click & Collect service in the omnichannel context to help practitioners design this process in efficient and reliable manner.

Douglas Cirqueira

Douglas Cirqueira is a Researcher at the School of Computing at Dublin City University, Ireland, and Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich, Austria. He is currently a Marie Curie Research Fellow in the PERFORM European Training Network, a Horizon 2020 funded project. Douglas has a background in Computer Science and was involved in AI and Data Science projects in universities and companies in Brazil (Federal University of Pará), USA (Illinois Institute of Technology), and Germany (Universität Leipzig). His recent publications deal with customer behavior analytics in Digital Retail. Currently, he is investigating the integration of user-centric Explainable AI methods into Fraud Detection workflows within Digital Retail and Banking industries.

Facilitators and Organisation Team

The Innovation Value Institute (IVI) is a multidisciplinary research and education institute co-founded in 2006 by Maynooth University and Intel Corporation with the support of the Irish Government.

IVI’s mission is to research, develop and disseminate empirically proven and industry validated IT best practice through a unique open innovation and collaboration between leading academic and industry practitioners.

Maynooth University Department of Computer Science provides a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Multimedia and Mobile Systems along with an extensive research programme leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in many exciting areas.

Computers have become a part of everybody’s daily life, and in the Department of Computer Science we teach how computer systems work, with a particular focus on software, and we research into how computer systems will develop into the future. Our courses cover a wide spectrum of topics from software to computer hardware, from internal details of operating systems to computer applications, and from software engineering practice to computational theory. Our approach is to instill a thorough understanding of fundamental principles, while developing analytical abilities and practical skills.

View Agenda

09:30 – 10:00 Registration & Tea/Coffee
10:00 – 10:30 Agenda and Introductions
10:30 – 11:20 Focused Learning – Setting the scene
Briefing on the changing role of Digital Retail for 2025
11:20 – 12:10 Discovery Activity – Mapping the Contextual Landscape:
Explore benefits of digital technologies in the Retail Sector
Identify challenges
Prioritising the challenges for Retail Technology Practices towards 2025
12:10 – 13:00 Discovery Activity – Exploring Opportunities
Using Root Cause Analysis identify:
1. Organisational challenges
2. Dominant challenges and potential solutions
3. Exploring opportunities
13:00 – 13:45 Lunch Break
13:45 – 14:30 Discovery Activity – Future of Retail Industry
Categorise various stakeholders
Characterise how various stakeholders define success
Identify and prioritise required features
14:30 – 15:15 Design Activity – Innovation to achieve 2025 objectives
Technologies, capabilities and Transofrmaiton Path for Retail 2025
How to build better Digital Transformation roadmaps?
What are novel ways to utilize digital technologies in Retail?
15:15 – 15:30 Tea/Coffee Break
15:30 – 16:00 Activity – Journey to Digital Retail Practices for 2025
Action Plan for innovation creation
Identify metrics to validate progress
16:00 – 16:15 Follow Up – IVI Research Engagement & Support Opportunities
Reflect on today’s learnings / Key takeaways
Next Steps
16:15 – 16:20 Wrap and Close

The location:

Wednesday March 25th 2020
Maynooth University
Innovation Value Institute, 2nd Floor,
Eolas Building,
North Campus,
Maynooth University

Register here for the event

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