Leeds Metropolitan University and Bluefin Solutions, a global independent consultancy, are launching the world’s first Omni-channel Master’s degree for retail professionals.
The move is designed to address the retail industry’s shortage of professionals with direct omni-channel experience, which is slowing down retailers from growing because they don’t have the necessary business and technical skills required to successfully engage and build brand loyalty with customers.
The Omni-channel Masters (MSc) programme commences in September 2014, with enrollment for retail professionals now open. To apply, visit here:http://courses.leedsmet.ac.uk/
“A business challenge facing retail executives is understanding how to change their organisations so they are more responsive to ever shifting consumer behaviour,” said Cathy Barnes, Professor of Retail Innovation at Leeds Metropolitan University. “We are excited to be offering a first-of-its-kind Master’s degree in Omni-channel with Bluefin Solutions because together we will help to advance the retail industry.”
The two organisations also announced today the launch of an extensive global study into omni-channel retailing. The research will include the development of an adoption index that will benchmark how retailers are evolving from single-and multi- to omni-channel status. The study will involve interviewing retail professionals to assess their current level of business and technology readiness. The findings will be released in 2015, at Omni-Channel Retail Day, a one-day forum attended by corporate sponsors and students of the world’s first omni-channel master’s degree.
“Omni-channel is the new black,” said Dan Hawker, head of Bluefin Solutions’ Consumer Business practice. “Successful retailers are those that have created a clear Omni-channel vision and are well on the way to achieving it in quick and easily manageable steps. They are breaking down silos to enable shoppers to have a seamless experience across all channels and devices.”
Pent-up demand for omni-channel experience
“Over the next 18 to 24 months we expect to see growing competition for industry professionals that have significant experience in helping organisations evolve online,” said Graeme Howe, IMRG. “Leeds Metropolitan University and Bluefin Solutions have identified a skills gap that needs addressing if the retail industry is to be a driver of economic growth.”
Students on the Omni-channel programme may choose to obtain a masters, diploma or certificate. The course has been designed to allow for the transfer and practical implementation of knowledge between the student and his/her employer as quickly as possible.
Unlike traditional courses that offer one-to-one mentoring between student and teacher, the Omni-channel Masters programme offers personal education by community (PEC) so all students have access to a network of academic and industry experts throughout the duration of the programme.