Interview • 17.03.2015

eCommerce: "Retail currently needs employees with in-depth knowledge"

Interview with Peter Stolpe, Director of Retail Qualifications at the Akademie Handel

Peter Stolpe: Students are able to immediately apply teaching contents in...
Peter Stolpe: \"Students are able to immediately apply teaching contents in practice at their companies\"
Source: Akademie Handel e.V.

The key for small and medium-sized retailers to stay competitive despite the big online retail competition lies in going online, too. With a new postgraduate program, the Akademie Handel (English: Retail Academy) in Munich trains retail employees to face the challenges of ecommerce. Peter Stolpe, Director of Retail Qualifications at the Akademie Handel, has designed the degree program and talks about the goals and contents of these studies in this interview.

Mr. Stolpe, in November of 2014, the new postgraduate program “Online Manager Handel“(English: Online Retail Manager) started at the Akademie Handel. What specific topics are participants studying in this program?

When we designed the Online Retail Manager degree program, it was important to address current retail needs by creating a custom fit. At the same time, we also wanted to offer retailers intense and fast support alongside their day-to-day business with this three-month postgraduate program. More than ever, retail currently needs employees who are able to add in-depth knowledge in the areas of online presence, eCommerce and online marketing to their existing industry-sector-specific retail know-how. That’s why study contents also address the subjects of online marketing tools, social media management and the set-up and management of an online store. Other items are customer orientation online, sales psychology and cyberlaw. Strategies are being developed to notice search engines on the World Wide Web to begin with.

We also see a big advantage in the fact that participants don’t learn contents in a teacher-centered setting, but rather by using a workshop approach. That’s also, why the study course is divided in three 4-day long modules. Students are able to immediately apply teaching contents in practice at their companies and are allowed to independently work on a practical project between the first modules. In doing so, our instructors are able to address student questions in the subsequent modules and gradually expand their online knowledge.

The degree program is geared specifically towards small and medium-sized retailers. Why do they need to develop skills in online retail today?

Seventy-five percent of Germans today are online and for many, the Internet is no longer just a source of information, but also a place where they do their shopping. Nowadays, retail customers take it for granted that they are not just able to buy at a brick-and-mortar store and enjoy service options in the store such as consulting or returns. A good percentage also get informed ahead of time via web pages, comparison websites and comparison shopping engines or social media channels. Ordering, paying and delivery are conveniently done from home via the online store. Initially, this means a lot of work and investment for small and medium-sized businesses, because the web page and the content management system behind it need to be dynamic.

Nevertheless, a professional online strategy also offers enormous opportunities. Those retailers, who at least contemplate marketing concepts and communications with customers via social media platforms for instance stay in touch with their customers and show a keen sense for customer preferences. It is not a bold statement, when Rocket Internet founder Oliver Samwer predicts: “Eighty percent of retailers that stay clear of the Internet ultimately won’t be around in the long run.“

Which associates is the degree program geared towards and what prerequisites should they bring along?

The study course is aimed at all retail employees who want to implement online retail operations, need to make decisions and want to be well informed in this particular area. This can be a passionate rookie, a sales or marketing associate who wants to specialize, but also a manager, who wants to become an expert in online retail. We want to teach students skills to be able to make internal decisions or be able to advise decision makers on the one hand and to act as an interface toward external partners such as advertising and web agencies on the other.

Those who complete the program can for instance assume positions like ecommerce manager, online marketing manager or online project manager in their company. Ideally, students should already have a basic knowledge of marketing, strategic management and computer skills.

The internet and also ecommerce are always progressive and are influenced by many trends. How do you keep teaching contents up-to-date?

The degree program and teaching contents are deliberately not aimed at the mere acquisition of a job title, but at teaching students practical management skills. Our three experienced digital economy instructors Stefan Bauer (Board Member at Marit AG), Theo Grassl (Marketing expert and lecturer) and Daniel Gremm (business graduate and instructor IHK) form a team that deliberately originates from practical experience and not a university. The instructors have worked for more than 15 years in the online sector, sometimes also internationally.

Thanks to their own projects and experiences, the instructors are able to incorporate their real knowledge about online retail. In doing so, students can already advance their company in the online field during or rather immediately after their studies.

Interview: Daniel Stöter, iXtenso.com

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Mobile payments at the supermarket checkout
05.08.2019   #mobile payment #smartphone

Mobile payments at the supermarket checkout

An early adopter’s experience of mobile payments

Or: "What’s that you’re doing with your watch?“I still remember the first time I used mobile payment technology and paid for items with my smartphone at a supermarket checkout: It was October 17, 2018, exactly seven days after ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital Signage Summit Europe - 30 % discount...
07.06.2019   #customer analysis #marketing

Digital Signage Summit Europe - 30 % discount

Many of the world’s foremost digital signage experts, thought leaders and leading technology and service suppliers will come together to present a unique mix of keynotes, conference channels, awards and exhibition showcase.

Now in its 14th year, DSS Europe is the leading European strategy event exploring the business and technology of Digital Signage and DooH - here is a 30% code for our readers – 415839The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Customer ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retailers growing produce in automated farms...
10.06.2019   #food technology #food retail

Retailers growing produce in automated farms

A plug-and-play method to grow clean, healthy food

GP Solutions, a developer of modular, automated micro-farms, announced it is developing systems for major retailers.Throughout the world, companies are embracing the concept of growing clean food onsite in easy-to-operate, automated growing pods. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: When the product becomes the POS
19.08.2019   #mobile payment #pos systems

When the product becomes the POS

“Mobile-first” or the future of the Point of Sale

The classic Point of Sale means physical sales areas including a terminal, cash systems and queues. But this traditional image is changing. Nowadays many customers in brick-and-mortar retail outlets expect the same experience as online and require ...

Thumbnail-Photo: APG Cash Drawer: new SMARTtill business development manager...
15.05.2019   #cash management #cash handling systeme

APG Cash Drawer: new SMARTtill business development manager

APG Cash Drawer announces hire of SMARTtill business development manager

APG Cash Drawer, a fast-growing global manufacturer of cash management solutions, announced today the addition of Tony Pusateri as SMARTtill Business Development Manager. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Introducing a new, powerful mobile POS in Posiflex’s MT series...
25.06.2019   #epos systems #cashpoints

Introducing a new, powerful mobile POS in Posiflex’s MT series

MT-5310W from Posiflex combines the mobility of a tablet with the functionality of a fixed POS terminal. .

Today’s customers have higher expectations than ever when it comes to service. To meet and exceed customers’ ever-growing expectations, Posiflex is pleased to present MT-5310W, the latest addition to the popular MT series: a hybrid ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New innovative hybrid POS solution for small businesses...
20.05.2019   #pos systems #cashpoints

New innovative hybrid POS solution for small businesses

Posiflex presents a new innovative Hybrid POS solution for small businesses

The Retail market is always evolving, and so is Posiflex. Posiflex continually stays attached to the market and identifies ahead what the market really needs. Posiflex is honored to present its latest innovative Hybrid POS solution, WT-3007A, to the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The future of retail: AI is changing everything...
08.07.2019   #digital marketing #visual merchandising

The future of retail: AI is changing everything

AI-enabled systems help retailers understand their customers

For retailers, winning is still all about delighting the customer. The trick is to move fast enough and to be as nimble as possible to satisfy the customer not only today, but in the future. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Sales assistant Remy talks about strange customers and emotional...
25.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #pos marketing

Sales assistant Remy talks about strange customers and emotional decisions

An interview with a fictitious robot that works in retail

There is a lot of hype surrounding humanoid, socially intelligent robots and what they can do. They are interviewed, filmed and tested. Oftentimes, it’s to find out how consumers feel about the machines and how they are accepted by users and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: APG announces the hiring of Mr. Paul Griffiths as its new president and...
09.08.2019   #cash management #cash drawers

APG announces the hiring of Mr. Paul Griffiths as its new president and CEO

Global cash management solution manufacturer welcomes its new president & CEO Paul Griffiths

APG Cash Drawer, a global manufacturer of cash management solutions announces the hiring of Mr. Paul Griffiths as its President and CEO. Most recently, Mr. Griffiths was the CEO of Birchwood Casey, a sporting goods company working with large ...

Supplier

APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen