Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector - Looking beyond the Covid-19 Crisis

Thursday 11th June 2020 14:00-16:00 - Online Workshop
Registration will be open soon

Why Participate?

The Digital Retail sector is radically changing and will look significantly different within the next five years. Most parts of the sector have also been significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 epidemic. 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

Michael Hanley

Dr Zohreh Pourzolfaghar

Gültekin Cakir

Rehan Iftikhar

Artem Bielozorov

Douglas Cirqueira

Prof Markus Helfert

Markus Helfert is the Director of the Innovation Value Institute research centre and Professor of Digital Service Innovation at Maynooth University. His research interests include PayTech,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 for the Innovation Value Institute (IVI), Maynooth University’s digital transformation research centre.

Michael directs the design, development, and deployment of IVI’s Education, Professional Training, and Certification Programmes. An expert in workplace learning, he’s studying for a Doctorate in Education Leadership.

Dr Zohreh Pourzolfaghar

Dr. Zohreh Pourzolfaghar is Assistant Professor in Management Information System in 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.

The overall goal of PERFORM is to establish a European training network to prepare the next generation of Digital Retail Managers. Established Business Models need to be revised as customer behaviour is changing. Customers no longer prefer online or in-store purchasing but switch between channels to suit their own personal requirements. Innovative digital technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data, advanced analytics as well as augmented reality novel payment systems and visualisation concepts can create a unique and individual customer experience.

View Agenda
10:00 – 10:15 Agenda, Introductions and familairisation with online collaboration enviornment
10:15 – 10:30 Focused Learning – Setting the scene
Looking beyond the current crisis. – will we return to normal or is there a new normal for operating in?
(Markus Helfert, IVI)
10:30 – 10:45 Break – Virtual Coffee and Networking Online
10:45 – 11:30 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 using novel online techniques
11:30 – 11:45 Break – (IVI Will summarise the themes collected while participants take a break)
11:45 – 12:15 Design Activity – Future of Retail Industry
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?
12:15 – 12:30 Summary, next steps and close

The location:

This is an online virtual event and we will be using a number of novel tools and techniques to enable a remote collaboration environment

Register here for the event