Current Research Projects@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.

  • Marketing Performance Measurement in the Digital Age

    Measuring the return on marketing (ROMI) is what managers from finance as well as marketing departments are interested in. Thus, marketing performance measurement is a cross-functional interest within firms. Today’s digital age comes with an increasing amount of customer data accessible to firms and facilitates new forms of performance measurement. Social media usage, web searching, participating in loyalty programs, and purchasing online are only a few from a wide range of examples where customers leave their traces and provide those who have access to these data with valuable insights.

    Striving to be customer centric, firms are not only interested in measuring their performance on an aggregate level, such as overall sales or revenue. They also increasingly want to understand how successful they are in offering services or products to individual customers and consequently, how much value these customers deliver to the firm (Customer Lifetime Value). The new possibilities of analyzing customers’ behaviors coming with the digital age confront managers with the question: How to measure (marketing) performance? Answering this question with a special focus on the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), the net present value of all current and future cash flows a customer generates for to a firm, is the focus of this research.

    With this research, we contribute to the implementation of the concept of customer centricity which is central to value-based marketing.

    Contact person: Sophie Christine Ladwein

  • Designing Digital Customer Interfaces

    The success of online shops depends not only on attractive assortments but also on delivering a superior customer experience. In offline environments, pleasant customer experiences are created by designing visually appealing shops, using sounds, smells, and providing samples.

    In comparison, online shops have finite possibilities and are primarily limited to visual design such as search bars, filters, and product pictures that guide and provide customers with information that is needed to make a purchase. Yet, it is much more difficult to evoke emotions and sensory felling as well as providing a human touch. This restriction can decrease the customer experience and inhibit purchases.  In turn, we need to develop shop designs and orchestrate various shopping tools to address the limitations of online shopping to warrant the success of online shopping business models.

    In our research, we answer the question how to design online shops that create a pleasant experience and affect customers' shopping behavior positively. Thereby, we support online retailers to design pleasant shopping experiences that finally generate value for the shoppers and retailers.

    Contact person: Christopher Stein

  • Modelling consumers’ goals in their decision-making process

    Consumers pursue different goals when they buy groceries. For example, consumers may have the goal of shopping as quickly as possible, shopping as cheaply as possible, shopping as healthily or sustainably as possible, or indulging themselves. These goals may vary in importance for each purchase occasion. In addition, the importance of a goal may change during a shopping trip.

    Imagine you enter a supermarket with the goal of treating yourself today. You first go to the candy section and think about how you want to indulge yourself for a cozy movie night. You add chocolate and candies to your shopping cart. Then you continue shopping. Your eyes keep falling on the sweets and the feeling creeps over you that you should also buy some fruit to start the next day with a healthy breakfast. Or imagine that you use your cell phone to work through your shopping list. You are standing in front of the sausage rack, deciding whether to buy salami or ham, when you receive a push message. This message addresses factory farming and the consequences for animals and humans. Instead of buying salami or ham, you decide to buy one of the veggie options today. These are two examples of how consumers’ shopping behavior is influenced by changes in goal weights. As described, a change in goal weighting can occur through external or internal triggers.

    So far, we know little about consumers' goals and their influence on purchasing behavior. We want to contribute to a better understanding of consumer shopping behavior and the relevance of changes in goal weights.

    Specifically, we want to better understand how to reinforce sustainable purchasing behavior among consumers through triggers.

    Contact person: Lisa Richter

  • Reducing the CO2 footprint

    The food system of production and consumption is responsible for over one-third of the global CO2 emissions and serious environmental degradation. Consequently, individual food choices hold potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by influencing manufacturers’ offerings (demand pull). However, consumers are often overwhelmed when it comes to assessing the extent to which their consumption choices contribute to their environmental footprint.

    Thus, to enable a habitual change in grocery shopping, consumers need to be sensitized, require access to knowledge and transparent information about CO2 footprints. Empowering customers by informing them about the impact of their consumption choices, they can advocate sustainable choices.

    Likewise, economy is facing the challenges of an urgent sustainable transition that entails practices supporting long-term economic growth without negatively influencing social, environmental, and cultural aspects of the community.

    Our research aims to support policy makers and firms on how to provide information about the environmental impact (i.e., CO2 footprint) of food products. By this means, the customers may derive in well-informed decisions that support the steer of the consumption and production system towards a sustainable transition.

    We support the sustainable transformation of our food system and thereby generate value for society.

    Contact person: Fabienne Michel-Angeli