Research Projects 2015/2016

Harvey Millar
Factors Affecting Self-Checkout Experience

This study aims to understand the factors that have a positive or negative impact on customer experience in self-checkouts. We will examine the impact of design, human, and product factors on service times, customer satisfaction and the willingness of seniors to use the service. This study will provide retailers with insights for improving customer experience with self-checkouts.


Ethan Pancer
Persuading Consumers with Strong Existing Preferences

We explore how different types of word-of-mouth can effectively convince people to change their minds. Word-of-mouth that is tough to argue against may provide sufficient reasons for people to consider an alternative to their current, strongly-held preference. This study will benefit retailers by providing them with an understanding of how to shift brand preferences


Kevin Kelloway
Making the R.I.G.H.T. Match: Selecting Employees for Retail

Selection decisions are among the most important decisions made by employers. Hiring the right employee enhances both customer experience and organizational performance. Drawing on decades of research in employee selection, our objective is to design and validate an accessible system for matching candidates to job requirements in retail settings.


Michael Zhang
Cooperative Negotiation Strategy to Improve Service and Profitability

Retailers often negotiate prices and terms of a sale with their suppliers. The primary goal of this study is to better understand business issues that arise from both cooperative and competitive negotiations. The study will develop a mathematical model of negotiation and will propose optimal negotiation strategies using data analytical methods.


Camilla Holmvall and Ramesh Venkat

Customers as Witnesses of Mistreatment Incidents

Being mistreated (e.g. yelled at) by customers takes a toll on service employees. What is less understood are the effects on other customers of witnessing such negative customer-employee interactions. We will examine various factors that might predict outcomes such as witnesses’ loyalty to the company, brand views, and recommendation intentions.


Hai Wang
Optimal Bundle Design and Pricing

Bundled promotions, where multiple items are offered in a package, have been widely used by many retailers to increase sales and profits. This project will develop a new business analytics approach for optimal bundle design and pricing. This new approach is capable of suggesting effective bundle promotions based on the retail sales transaction data.


Gordon Fullerton and Miguel Morales

The Measurement of Customer Engagement

Engaged customers are very loyal and emotionally attached to a brand or a retailer. Companies need to better understand factors that lead to customer engagement so that they can take proactive measures. We will develop a scale to measure customer engagement, which can be used by retail and service firms.


James O’Brien
Hiring in the Retail Sector

The hiring process is critical for the success of small retail firms. Engaged employees, especially at the frontline, contribute to positive customer experiences that drive sales. The purpose of this research is to understand how small retail firms recruit. The study will develop a set of recommendations to improve hiring practices in smaller retail firms. 



Claudia De Fuentes
Determinants of Innovation in Service Firms Located in Canada



Matthew Novak
Building a Comprehensive Retail Database for Halifax