Research focus: The evolution of customer behaviour in a multi-channel shopping context
After working as a commercial consultant straight after graduating from my undergraduate degree I realised that what I most enjoyed was having time to really dive into the root causes of a problem and develop an innovative solution. I came to Monash to do my Honours* and develop those skills and realised that I really enjoyed the academic environment. After that, a PhD was a natural stepping stone to put me on an academic career pathway.
My research examines how customer behaviour evolves over time in a multi-channel shopping context. Having worked as a research consultant to retailers for a number of years, this was continually highlighted as a major issue facing the industry. I have used real behavioural data provided by a United States retailer to create a model of how consumer channel choices evolve over time, and how marketers can use their marketing communications to influence these behaviours.
Academia is becoming increasingly competitive, and having a PhD is now an essential criterion (but not sufficient by itself) to an academic career. However, it has had more of an impact than simply a line on the CV. My PhD has taught me how to be self-sufficient, how to develop a solution to a complex problem, how to analyse data in complex yet robust ways, and how to keep pushing forward through adversity.
The best part is looking back to when I started with a blank page and an idea, to now having defined a problem and developed a solution to that problem. That really is a unique experience that is not replicated in any other setting. It certainly brings challenges though, as there is no ‘right answer’ and correct way of doing things, you have to find your own path.