Research - IWM

Our research focuses on how firms can create value to their customers and ultimately value to the firm. We are highly interested in the influence of digitalization and technologies on consumer behavior and firm performance.

  • Personalized Shopping Interfaces

    Through the increasing digitalization of grocery-shopping, retailers have the possibility to provide new shopping experiences to customers. In comparison to the offline environment, online shops are easy to adapt to individual customer needs. However, it seems that existing online shops do not focus on different customer types but only on prominently featured navigation tools for goal oriented customers (e.g. search bar, category tree or filter). In contrast, for customers without a concrete goal, the navigation lacks in terms of intuitiveness, leads to higher search and decision costs, and reduces the shopping convenience.

    The focus of our research is online grocery retailing. We aim to identify customer behavior and needs to provide insights on how shops should be designed to meet customers' needs and expectations. In addition, we want to investigate the impact of different shop designs on outcomes for customers (e.g. experience), retailers (e.g. size of shopping basket) and manufacturers (e.g. brand choice) considering different types of customers.  The findings of the research projects will offer guidance to retailers on how to design online shops to improve the shopping experience for different types of customers. This could subsequently lead to a positive impact for manufactures as well.

    Contact person: Christopher Stein


    Moreover, many purchases in grocery retailing are unplanned. The challenge for retailers is now how to stimulate unplanned purchases online to increase shopping basket sizes. To answer this question, we need to address four subquestions:

    • When? - At what stage of the shopping journey are customers prone to make unplanned purchases?
    • What? - What type of communication is most effective to stimulate unplanned purchases?

    • How? - How to present products in the different stages of the customer journey to foster unplanned purchases?

    • Where? - Where on the screen should products be presented to improve awareness?

    Contact person: Lisa Richter

  • Recommendation Systems in Marketing

    Every day we make numerous choices – often without limited information about the available alternatives. To deal with this kind of insecurity we often rely on decision aids. Recommendation systems represent one popular type of such decision aids. Recommendation systems suggest items that are of potential interest for us. Companies like Amazon, Google, and Netflix base substantial parts of their business on recommender systems. Especially online retailers use their own recommendation systems to nudge shoppers towards relevant products customers are potentially not aware of.

    However, more and more customers complain about ‘unsurprising’ recommendations like recommending ‘Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets’ if a customer has bought ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone’ previously. We develop an innovative recommendation system that aims to enhance not only customers’ satisfaction with the system but also with their ultimate choices.

    Contact person: Fabian Kraut

  • Influencer Marketing

    On average, we have eight social media accounts and spend over an hour on social media networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. One motivation among others is to be entertained and inspired by Influencers. Therefore, it is not surprising that Influencer marketing is prevalent in firm strategies to reach consumers. However, it is not clear why some Influencers generate more online brand engagement (e.g. likes and comments) with their content than others? The “gold rush” of Influencer marketing is over and companies can no longer use a “spray and pray” attitude to achieve visible results. Firms want to know about the outcome of a campaign from the onset, but in order to do so managers need to analyze and learn about the marketplace. Therefore, the demand for data-driven evaluations of the effectiveness of Influencer marketing is constantly increasing.

    The focus of this research project is to identify Influencer characteristics that drive brand engagement and to predict the (financial) value of an Influencer. The findings of this research project will provide guidance for brand managers which Influencers to choose when composing a portfolio of brand ambassadors for a campaign.

    Contact person: Jane Johne

  • Explaining Future Growth Potential

    At the stock markets, we often observe that firms that operate in similar business environments and whose balance sheets are comparable to each other are valued fundamentally differently. Vice versa, there are firms, which are extremely different on their balance sheets and income statements, but are still valued similar.

    This gap in valuation can be explained by expectations about a firm’s future unrealized growth potential. These growth expectations in turn can be driven by the companies’ performance in the three strategic marketing investment categories: product/service, brand, and relationship. We examine the relationship between strategic marketing investments and a firm's future growth potential. By doing so, we provide insights for C-level executives on how to form and manage growth expectations.

    Contact person: Karlo Oehring