Digital Scholar Blog

28

May
2019
Digital Retailing Student Teams Work on Digital Case Studies for Mudpie Texas

Each semester in my upper level SEO/SEM class, I pick a local business for my students to do a ‘case study’ on the company’s digital presence, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, their website. The owners come to the class at the beginning of the semester and discusses their background,...

01

May
2019
Matt Alexander, Co-Founder of Neighborhood Goods Hosts NRFSA Students

In December, I shared about the latest retail concept Neighborhood Goods, as I was interviewed by...

30

Apr
2019
$110,000 in Scholarships Awarded at Annual Event

Our annual Scholarship Ceremony highlights our deserving students and show-cases industry and individual benefactors who generously support our programs.  This year’s event was held April 30 on campus, where students, faculty, parents and industry donors all gathered in the Gateway Center to...

19

Apr
2019
Consumer Experience Symposium Features Ruth Crowley, Lee Summers and Mason Page

The Global Digital Retailing Research Center develops and puts on two annual events promoting the important current dialog around digital retailing and consumer experience, and how we are contributing to the agenda for industry.  Yesterday we were pleased...

28

Mar
2019
Applications are Now Open for the 2020 NRF Next Generation Scholarship

One of the many hats I wear here at UNT is Faculty Advisor for NRFSA, which is the National Retail Federation Student Association. I work to promote many opportunities to our students, and the latest is the Next Generation Scholarship, with a top award of $25,000. 

If students were not...

26

Mar
2019
Lauren Tillman from The Michaels Companies is Featured Guest Speaker

We’re fortunate in the DFW area to have many retailers with management leaders who gladly come to campus to share their real-world work journeys and experiences. Lauren Tillman, Manager of eCommerce Operations and Store...

12

Mar
2019
Reporting from ShopTalk 2019: Answers to Retailer Woes Can be Found in the Data

I’ve just returned from ShopTalk, the digital retailing focused industry conference, which does not disappoint with its line-up of thought-provoking speakers and presentations, along with numerous sessions to choose from.

Since I had a front-row seat to...

19

Feb
2019
Students Learn Every Company Needs Digital Leaders Who are Willing to Adapt and Work Hard

Our February 18 NRFSA guest speaker was Carole Elwell, who contributes her time on our Merchandising & Digital Retailing Advisory Board and is the Director of Digital Solutions for ...

12

Feb
2019
Our Tech-Focused Degrees are the Only Ones of Their Kind in the U.S. – Featured in Dallas Innovates

This week, I was interviewed by Dallas Innovates about our unique Consumer Experience and Digital Retailing degree...

01

Feb
2019
Consumer Experience Management Featured at UNT’s Star’s Shine Brighter Event in Frisco

I was honored to be selected by our President Neal Smatresk to represent our Consumer Experience Management program at the Stars Shine Brighter event...

29

Jan
2019
Digital Tipping: Why Is It Confusing Us?

While we are all living in the new digital economy, our most valuable personal commodity remains the same: time. Everyone has a finite and the same amount of it to spend.  Many of us are embracing technologies and apps that seemingly make transactions and experiences faster and easier...

23

Jan
2019
Digital Retailing, Consumer Experience & Merchandising Students Travel to NYC

I just returned from five days in New York with 12 of our Digital Retailing, Merchandising and Consumer...

10

Jan
2019
2019 Post Holiday Shopping Season Survey

Dr. Judith Forney, Director of Research for the GDRRC was interviewed recently, providing her insight on the cycle of purchasing and gift returns after the Christmas holidays. Since many people often receive gifts they plan to return, WalletHub conducted an online survey to determine how...

19

Dec
2018
The Newest Retail Concept Neighborhood Goods Just Launched in Plano, Texas

Retail is in a time of great disruption. Consumers have been telling retailers for years, by voting with their wallets, that they are tired of the same old cookie cutter concepts. A new breed of merchants is winning the consumer purchase and the old concept of shopping malls is changing as well...

13

Dec
2018
What's One of the Hottest Products on Christmas Wish Lists This Year?

Is it a CrockPot? Is it a pressure cooker? What is the kitchen appliance that grew in popularity not through traditional marketing efforts, but through the power of the consumer and word-of-mouth?  Gilma Avalos, CBS 11 news anchor and I chatted about the...

23

Nov
2018
Thanksgiving Weekend, the Traditional Kickoff to Shopping Season Will Be Strong

This year in particular, retailer's really seem to have turned up the volume in an effort to catch consumers' attention prior to the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Deals, promotions and sales are everywhere. In a recent interview with Jenna Duncan of...

20

Nov
2018
It's Black Friday Shopping Weekend - Retailers are Ready

The economy is great, consumers are in a good mood and retailers are ready for them. This will be one of the best Black Friday shopping weekends on record. Gilma Avalos, evening news anchor at CBS 11 and I chatted last evening about what customers can...

05

Nov
2018
2019 Digital Study Tour - Applications are Now Open

Applications to join on our 3rd annual Digital Study Tour are now open. I lead this trip, which is a course designed to engage students in an intense study of the field of digital retailing. We travel to Seattle, Washington and the Silicon...

24

Oct
2018
NRFSA Members Take a Field Trip to Reformation for Fall Meeting

As the Faculty Advisor for our campus student organization National Retail Federation Student Association, I typically line up our speakers and field trips to expand our students' knowledge of the insdustry. For our meeting yesterday evening, we took a field trip to...

23

Oct
2018
Digital Agency iProspect Hosts UNT's Digital Retailing Strategies Class

Yesterday I took my upper level Digital Retailing Strategies class to visit the iProspect offices in Ft. Worth. iProspect has been a strong long-time supporter of our programs, each...

19

Oct
2018
Walmart.com Exec and UNT Professor Discuss Technology Impacts on Retail

Several hundred students, faculty and industry executives attended the Executive + Scholar Lecture Series event held on the UNT campus on October 18, 2018 to hear insights from Phill Oaks and...

21

Sep
2018
Shop.org eCommerce and Retail Conference Focuses on Continually Changing Consumer Behavior

The annual Shop.org retail conference was held last week in Las Vegas, where about 10,000 retail leaders gathered to keep abreast of the continually changing retail landscape. I participated in the industry conversations at the Executive Afternoon as well as...

19

Sep
2018
He Started Out With Nike. Now He's Launching a Shoe Brand that 'Builds People Up'

In recent years, many retail start-up companies have begun with a dual purpose of selling their product while also generating donations for various causes.  The challenge is that while the missions are genuine and well-intended, the foundation of the businesses is based on the premise that they...

15

Sep
2018
Sure, Next Day and Same Day Shipping Give Us Instant Gratification, but Is It Good for the Environment?

Yes, we can get any product whim fulfilled, often the next day, sometimes even the same day. And usually for free. Options such as Prime Now by Amazon and UberRush promise delivery within hours. We know that like many things, if it sounds too good to be true, there usually is a catch or a...

01

Sep
2018
The Changing Definition of Convenience

From Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s in 1955 to Pop-Tarts to microwaves, consumers have long placed a high value on convenience. And why shouldn’t we? Time is the greatest equalizer, no matter your position in the work world or your wealth. It's our most precious commodity. We all have the same...

18

Aug
2018
Good News! There's A Consumption Boom Coming!

The stars are quietly aligning for the next big consumer consumption boom thanks to the inevitable suburban migration of millennial moms and dads, who will be headed to the same pleasant neighborhoods their boomer...

14

Aug
2018
Back to School and Tax Free Shopping: A Great Pairing for Consumers

Even in this great economy, parents still look for deals as they get kids ready to go back to school.  Earlier this week, CBS 11 news anchor Gilma Avalos interviewed me for some thoughts about ...

07

Aug
2018
Texas' Tax Free Shopping Weekend Reaches 20 Year Anniversary

The tax free shopping weekend during back to school is a Texas tradition dating back to 1999. This year, digital is influencing consumer back to school buying trends more than ever. Some key takeaways include:

  • A few, high-priced items will generate the most in sales dollars...

09

Jul
2018
Retail Disrupted and Reimagined

I recently returned from the 2018 American Marketing Association and American Collegiate Retailing Association international conference in Toronto, Ontario Canada.  Along with Dr. Dee Knight, I...

15

Jun
2018
Watch the 2018 Student Produced Digital Study Tour Travel Diary

Our 2nd annual Digital Study Tour to Seattle, Portland and the Silicon Valley was another big success!  The student project is to create a video travel diary. Follow along with us on the Digital Study Tour at the...

29

May
2018
2nd Annual Digital Study Tour Was a Success

After a very successful inaugural 2017 trip of the Digital Study Tour and invitations from all of the companies visited to return, we headed out after spring graduation on the 2nd annual trip to the west coast.  The students and I travelled to leading eCommerce and digital corporate locations to...

12

May
2018
Over $150,000 Awarded at CMHT Annual Scholarship Celebration

One of our favorite events of the year is our annual Scholarship Ceremony, because it highlights the efforts of our hard-working and deserving students as well as the generous industry and individual benefactors of our programs. During our reception held in the Gateway Center on campus April 27...

30

Apr
2018
Students in Digital Strategies Course Help Wedding Cake Bakery Grow Business

Each semester, students in my Digital Retailing Strategies course work in teams on a real-world case study project, analyzing a local business’ online search results, website and mobile presence, digital communications to customers and consumers’ online experience. This spring I worked with...

23

Mar
2018
ShopTalk Retail and eCommerce Conference Showcased the Need for Digital Talent

I’m just back from the ShopTalk Retail and eCommerce conference in Las Vegas, along with 8,000 other retail executives, start-up founders and continual learners, where we participated in the industry conversation and heard from those important innovators who...

10

Feb
2018
Dallas Innovates Spotlights UNT as the First U.S. School to Offer a Degree in Consumer Experience Management

With the rapid evolution of online and consumer's new 'always-on' mobile mindset, the power shifted away from the retailer's buying organization and into the hands of the consumer, who now has boundary-less choices. Taylor Lowder from...

01

Feb
2018
UNT Launches New Consumer Experience Management Degree

For those of us who have been retail merchants a long time, we know the pendulum tends to swing to extremes and then back. The consumer is weighing in and retail is thankfully heading away from cookie-cutter formats to one of experiential and a re-focus on customer service. Here at UNT, we are...

06

Jan
2018
Digital Retailing and Merchandising Students Head to New York

Eighteen of our Digital Retailing and Merchandising students are headed to New York with me next week to experience one of retail's biggest industry conferences.  They'll have a unique, exclusive vantage point a the Student Program for two days, along with about 750 other universtity students...

10

Dec
2017
UNT Students Unleash the Power of Digital Marketing for Local Business

Denton Record Chronicle writer Caitlyn Jones profiled my student's search engine marketing and digital case study project in her recent article.

01

Dec
2017
4-Legged Friend Attends First College Course

Gunner, a patron of Dogtopia in Highland Village, Texas, happily attended his first college course at the University of North Texas earlier this week. Other students reported he was friendly, outgoing and engaged in the class. He...

26

Nov
2017
'Tis the Spending Season: Tips on How to Avoid Holiday Overspending

Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the beginning of the holiday spending season. For many, the shopping can lead to credit card debt and overdraft fees.

It can sometimes be a time for indulgence and excess, but it’s no time to throw cautious spending to the wind, especially when the...

04

Nov
2017
Retailer Digital Disruption: Why An Organizational Shift Is Needed Now, Part 2

Part one of this series, Retailer Digital Disruption: Why an Organizational Shift is Needed Now, was featured in ...

20

Oct
2017
Retailer Digital Disruption: Why An Organizational Shift Is Needed Now

Currently there are two types of retailers selling online: digital natives such as Amazon.com and Warby Parker, and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers that expanded their operations into this channel.

The...

14

Oct
2017
After gobbling up Whole Foods Market, what should Amazon buy next?

We should always stay curious, always keep asking questions, always keep learning.  At a recent retailing conference here in Dallas, I ran into Maria Halkias, who covers retail in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the Dallas Morning News. She was asking...

04

Oct
2017
Is the death of the physical retail store fake news? Target thinks so.

If you only read the headlines, many recent doomsday reports have you believing the physical store is dead, but we can assuredly categorize this as fake news. Target is one mega-retailer that is challenging the pessimists and investing about $7 million per store to renovate and elevate the in-...

20

Sep
2017
Groceries-To-Go

Have you tried online grocery shopping yet? I shared some thoughts about the online grocer technology and customer convenience proposition with Jenna Duncan at the ...

02

Sep
2017
Do You Wonder if You Have Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is not a new concept. It was first defined in a 1990 journal article and is often lauded in business circles as a key component in becoming a likeable, strong leader who is looked upon as...

16

Aug
2017
Digital Grocery Shopping: Is This Idea Fresh and Can it Grow Profits?

As 2016 comes to a close, one of the hottest topics in the digital space is online grocery shopping. As Amazon gobbled up Whole Foods, many are weighing in on the viability of long-term sustainability for the...

01

Aug
2017
A New Lesson in Back-To-School Shopping: 5 Trending Reasons It’s a Season of Change for Retailers

As sweltering temperatures cool, fall breezes blow in and fashion turns to comfy sweaters and game-day hoodies, retailers turn their attention to capturing a share of the student shopping dollar. Now the second-most important retail selling period, ranked only behind 4th quarter holiday, the...

25

Jul
2017
Traditional Retailer JCPenney's Efforts Toward an eCommerce Turnaround

JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison recently said, "There was no retailer our size as behind the curve on e-commerce and omnichannel." He stated, "We were woefully behind in every respect." Lack of investment and not implementing current best practices can be the downfall of any traditional retailer...

03

Jul
2017
Transform Yourself Like a Chameleon. Be Like Madonna

In my latest guest blog post for Total Retail, I suggest 5 strategies to extend a long life to your own retail career, examining some tips from pop-star Madonna...

23

Jun
2017
Love Products and Retail? Why You Should Get Your Degree from the University of North Texas

Here in the Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing at the University of North Texas, one of our passions is to prepare students for exciting and rewarding careers in the constantly changing retail industry.  We have a leading-edge, comprehensive program...

15

Jun
2017
From the C-Suite: Agents of Change

Change can be hard for some people. In his bestselling book Who Moved My Cheese?, author Spencer Johnson describes how to deal with...

06

Jun
2017
7 Old School Post-College Interview Tips

The memories of graduation are captured in photos and with a new degree in hand, many college grads are seeking their first ‘real’ job. And while technology has changed and benefited our lives in countless ways, there are a few successful tips your parents used that hold up remarkably well in...

31

May
2017
Watch the 2017 Digital Study Tour Video Diary

The inaugural trip in May 2017 was a huge success! Follow along and see the Digital Study tour at the University of North Texas trip experience through the eyes of our students who travelled to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. 

...

18

May
2017
New Digital Study Tour Launches at University of North Texas

The freshly-minted 2017 Digital Retailing degrees were handed out this past Saturday and we’ve proudly sent another set of bright minds out to make a difference in the eCommerce industry. But our work is never done, and right behind these digitally-savvy graduates is the next group of students,...

05

May
2017
12 Awesome & Unique Graduation Gifts You Can Buy Online

Giving great gifts is an art and the availability of online choices make the task easy, fast and even fun. Sure, gift cards or cash are functional choices, but they won’t leave a lasting impression on the grad. I love to give gifts that the recipient thinks fondly of me when they use it and...

26

Apr
2017
Local Nestle Café Finds Retailing Sweet Spot With Students’ Help

Business is about to get a little bit sweeter for the Nestlé Toll House Café in Highland Village thanks to help from University of North Texas students.

Students taking the Digital Retailing Strategies course are creating...

21

Apr
2017
SapientRazorfish Executive Discusses Retailer Innovation at University of North Texas Virtual Reality Consumer Experience Symposium

Recently, I had the opportunity during our annual GDRCC Consumer Experience Symposium here at the University of North Texas to sit down for a conversation with Jon Panella, Head of Commerce Technologies for SapientRazorfish, and chat about virtual...

13

Apr
2017
Google Executive Speaks at University of North Texas Virtual Reality Consumer Experience Symposium

Last week here on campus at UNT, our GDRCC had the opportunity to host a dynamic conversation with Google’s Matthew Pritchard about the rise of 360 video, virtual reality and augmented reality. We are only at the...

05

Apr
2017
UNT Digital Retailing Seniors Share Their Thoughts on Retail Data-Driven Merchandising

Here at the University of North Texas, we are fortunate to have strong support from leaders in the retail digital industry, as they come into our Digital Retailing classrooms and connect directly with our students.  Companies who generously give of their time include...

24

Mar
2017
Google, SapientNitro execs to discuss retail virtual reality at UNT talk

DENTON (UNT), Texas - How are virtual and augmented reality technologies transforming the way people shop? Retail and technology gurus from Google and SapientNitro, a marketing and...

16

Mar
2017
Social Media vs. Social Commerce: What is the Path to Conversions?

With our continually developing language of ecommerce, it’s easy to confuse the terminology of social media with social commerce. Connecting and engaging with our networks using social media platforms is a different activity than eCommerce that happens directly on a retailer’s website or...

09

Mar
2017
Digital Dialog Discourse: 21 Definitions to Clarify the Meaning of Digital

In a previous post, I discussed the ‘Language of eCommerce’ and the challenges created within organizations in the absence of a common, shared set of definitions around the...

08

Mar
2017
5 Strategies to Help You Hire Digitally Savvy Staff

In the role of vice president of e-commerce and marketing, I’ve managed teams of well over 100 associates. It seemed there was always an open position to hire due to promotion, a newly created role or someone moving on. We’ve all experienced the pain of hiring the wrong person for the job....

01

Mar
2017
The Language of eCommerce: Clearing the Confusion Around Digital Dialog

Just like often-used broad business terminology such as marketing, sales and products, the word digital is presently being slung around loosely like a well-used backpack.  Terminology definition and confusion of this relatively new business area can make it difficult for all levels within retail...

Welcome I'm Linda

Linda MihalicI work to lead the digital dialog at our university and in the industry. eCommerce is hard to keep up with - it’s fast-paced, constantly changing and wide open for the next out-of-the box thinker to shake up the status quo. And that’s why we love it! Read more about our blog



ARCHIVES

28 May 2019 Digital Retailing Student Teams Work on Digital Case Studies for Mudpie Texas
01 May 2019 Matt Alexander, Co-Founder of Neighborhood Goods Hosts NRFSA Students
30 Apr 2019 $110,000 in Scholarships Awarded at Annual Event
19 Apr 2019 Consumer Experience Symposium Features Ruth Crowley, Lee Summers and Mason Page
28 Mar 2019 Applications are Now Open for the 2020 NRF Next Generation Scholarship
26 Mar 2019 Lauren Tillman from The Michaels Companies is Featured Guest Speaker
12 Mar 2019 Reporting from ShopTalk 2019: Answers to Retailer Woes Can be Found in the Data
19 Feb 2019 Students Learn Every Company Needs Digital Leaders Who are Willing to Adapt and Work Hard
12 Feb 2019 Our Tech-Focused Degrees are the Only Ones of Their Kind in the U.S. – Featured in Dallas Innovates
01 Feb 2019 Consumer Experience Management Featured at UNT’s Star’s Shine Brighter Event in Frisco
29 Jan 2019 Digital Tipping: Why Is It Confusing Us?
23 Jan 2019 Digital Retailing, Consumer Experience & Merchandising Students Travel to NYC
10 Jan 2019 2019 Post Holiday Shopping Season Survey
19 Dec 2018 The Newest Retail Concept Neighborhood Goods Just Launched in Plano, Texas
13 Dec 2018 What's One of the Hottest Products on Christmas Wish Lists This Year?
23 Nov 2018 Thanksgiving Weekend, the Traditional Kickoff to Shopping Season Will Be Strong
20 Nov 2018 It's Black Friday Shopping Weekend - Retailers are Ready
05 Nov 2018 2019 Digital Study Tour - Applications are Now Open
24 Oct 2018 NRFSA Members Take a Field Trip to Reformation for Fall Meeting
23 Oct 2018 Digital Agency iProspect Hosts UNT's Digital Retailing Strategies Class
19 Oct 2018 Walmart.com Exec and UNT Professor Discuss Technology Impacts on Retail
21 Sep 2018 Shop.org eCommerce and Retail Conference Focuses on Continually Changing Consumer Behavior
19 Sep 2018 He Started Out With Nike. Now He's Launching a Shoe Brand that 'Builds People Up'
15 Sep 2018 Sure, Next Day and Same Day Shipping Give Us Instant Gratification, but Is It Good for the Environment?
01 Sep 2018 The Changing Definition of Convenience
18 Aug 2018 Good News! There's A Consumption Boom Coming!
14 Aug 2018 Back to School and Tax Free Shopping: A Great Pairing for Consumers
07 Aug 2018 Texas' Tax Free Shopping Weekend Reaches 20 Year Anniversary
09 Jul 2018 Retail Disrupted and Reimagined
15 Jun 2018 Watch the 2018 Student Produced Digital Study Tour Travel Diary
29 May 2018 2nd Annual Digital Study Tour Was a Success
12 May 2018 Over $150,000 Awarded at CMHT Annual Scholarship Celebration
30 Apr 2018 Students in Digital Strategies Course Help Wedding Cake Bakery Grow Business
23 Mar 2018 ShopTalk Retail and eCommerce Conference Showcased the Need for Digital Talent
10 Feb 2018 Dallas Innovates Spotlights UNT as the First U.S. School to Offer a Degree in Consumer Experience Management
01 Feb 2018 UNT Launches New Consumer Experience Management Degree
06 Jan 2018 Digital Retailing and Merchandising Students Head to New York
10 Dec 2017 UNT Students Unleash the Power of Digital Marketing for Local Business
01 Dec 2017 4-Legged Friend Attends First College Course
26 Nov 2017 'Tis the Spending Season: Tips on How to Avoid Holiday Overspending
04 Nov 2017 Retailer Digital Disruption: Why An Organizational Shift Is Needed Now, Part 2
20 Oct 2017 Retailer Digital Disruption: Why An Organizational Shift Is Needed Now
14 Oct 2017 After gobbling up Whole Foods Market, what should Amazon buy next?
04 Oct 2017 Is the death of the physical retail store fake news? Target thinks so.
20 Sep 2017 Groceries-To-Go
02 Sep 2017 Do You Wonder if You Have Emotional Intelligence?
16 Aug 2017 Digital Grocery Shopping: Is This Idea Fresh and Can it Grow Profits?
01 Aug 2017 A New Lesson in Back-To-School Shopping: 5 Trending Reasons It’s a Season of Change for Retailers
25 Jul 2017 Traditional Retailer JCPenney's Efforts Toward an eCommerce Turnaround
03 Jul 2017 Transform Yourself Like a Chameleon. Be Like Madonna
23 Jun 2017 Love Products and Retail? Why You Should Get Your Degree from the University of North Texas
15 Jun 2017 From the C-Suite: Agents of Change
06 Jun 2017 7 Old School Post-College Interview Tips
31 May 2017 Watch the 2017 Digital Study Tour Video Diary
18 May 2017 New Digital Study Tour Launches at University of North Texas
05 May 2017 12 Awesome & Unique Graduation Gifts You Can Buy Online
26 Apr 2017 Local Nestle Café Finds Retailing Sweet Spot With Students’ Help
21 Apr 2017 SapientRazorfish Executive Discusses Retailer Innovation at University of North Texas Virtual Reality Consumer Experience Symposium
13 Apr 2017 Google Executive Speaks at University of North Texas Virtual Reality Consumer Experience Symposium
05 Apr 2017 UNT Digital Retailing Seniors Share Their Thoughts on Retail Data-Driven Merchandising
24 Mar 2017 Google, SapientNitro execs to discuss retail virtual reality at UNT talk
16 Mar 2017 Social Media vs. Social Commerce: What is the Path to Conversions?
09 Mar 2017 Digital Dialog Discourse: 21 Definitions to Clarify the Meaning of Digital
08 Mar 2017 5 Strategies to Help You Hire Digitally Savvy Staff
01 Mar 2017 The Language of eCommerce: Clearing the Confusion Around Digital Dialog