TMO Fashion Business School trains students to a bachelor’s degree for commercial management positions in the fashion and lifestyle sectors. As part of this degree at TMO is the Development Center where innovative research projects regarding different themes with 3rd-years TMO students, fashion companies, and expert partners are initiated. Expert partners are therefore also often technology companies. The purpose of these studies is to develop knowledge, but also to share results with the fashion and lifestyle sector. As tritonX we think it is of great importance that research is being done into new functionalities. For example, certain functionalities are only developed after a “workplace” test at retailers by TMO students. For this tritonX works together with TMO in the DevelopmentLab coordinated and coached by various TMO coaches. The coordination is done by Jacqueline Arnoldy en Chris van Veldhuizen. With their many years of experience in the fashion industry, they are completely at home in all aspects of this industry and is therefore the perfect supervisors for research focused on the customer and technology.
The importance of research
TMO is very committed to the development of knowledge and thus the transfer of knowledge to the fashion sector. This always happens in collaboration with companies from a tripartite structure with TMO students, clients from the fashion industry, and expert companies. “Time is changing fast and it is good to work with young people. We notice that the business community is also very interested in this. In addition to sound research results, TMO students are also creative thinkers and often give ideas considering the interests of the various stakeholders.Since the spring of 2016 TMO has been working with tritonX as an expert company, in which there has been an intensive collaboration and many ideas have been exchanged. Regarding the collaboration with tritonX, research is usually done within the theme “Omnichannel and Big data”. Hereby the interest of all three stakeholders within the research are represented. For example, knowledge is collected for TMO, retailers are given insight into techniques that can be used in their company and tritonX is given new insights into the forms and functionalities for the technologies that are developed.
Every semester, student duo’s work on a research assignment under the supervision of three TMO coaches. The research that is done must really contribute to the company. For example, research is being conducted into the possibilities of using online and offline data efficiently and effectively for a stronger returns position and/or growth opportunities for the company. Another possibility is research into the opportunities, possibilities and preconditions of an omnichannel strategy, in which, together with tritonX, the focus is on loyalty.
Research into loyalty applications
For example, a series of research assignments took place at Berden mode and Van Tilburg, where research was conducted over several semesters into loyalty and technology or functionality throughout the customer’s entire customer journey. A different technique was tested every semester to test which implementation would suit the retailer the best. “One semester we started testing what a chat function does in the app and how the customer feels when he/she is automatically recognized in a personal shopper through the Digital Sales Assistant, for example.” Here we worked not only with surveys but also in focus groups with real customers, where the app was tested with a prototype. “Berden mode has always been very active in attracting customers for these sessions. When suddenly 40 customers came in, it was really nice to see how many customers are interested in thinking along.” After this research was done into the limitations and obstacles of these technological developments, such as customer privacy. “We noticed that the more personal the service became, the less troublesome customers felt when they were recognized on arrival.” Due to also making the knowledge valorization in the TMO research assignments, the new loyalty program has also been visualized several times by the TMO students as activation of the client. The research at Berden started in 2016 and ultimately led to an implementation of a customer app in 2019. This makes this a very good example of research that ultimately led to a business.
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