Have you heard of MOOCs? MOOC is an acronym for Massively Open Online Course, a phenomenon that is taking the education world by storm! Prestigious universities that were once cost-prohibitive for many people such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Cornell are now offering online courses for free on sites including Coursera and EDX. Topics range widely, from technical skills such as programming and design to philosophy, business and many more. Below we explore some of the top courses that retailers will enjoy to top up their skills and stay informed of new trends in consumer behavior and the retail business.

The Mobile Consumer

Have you ever wondered how you can leverage mobile technologies to connect with? This four-week course from Marist College uncovers the amazing impact that mobile technologies have in consumers’ lives. Students will learn how businesses can make use of “Social-Local-Mobile”, also known as SoLoMo, and strategies to reach today’s connected consumers. The course also covers the theory and practical concepts on how to use SoLoMo to grow their businesses, as well as examples of how other major brands have used these concepts successfully.

The Secret Power of Brands

This 10-week free online course, offered by the University of East Anglia, explores the hidden powers of brands and what makes some brands so successful. Students will learn from insiders at successful brands including Google and Virgin, and will gain practical insights that can be used to make a positive change in their businesses. In addition to learning about building and strengthening a business brand, students will also learn about the awesome powers of personal branding, and how defining a personal brand can bring one’s career to the next level.

Store Design, Visual Merchandising and Shopper Marketing

How can physical stores use design and visual merchandising concepts to provide an immersive shopping experience that really sells? To compete with e-commerce merchants, retailers with physical stores need to become increasingly creative and scientific in their approach to in-store shopper marketing. In this six-week course, students will discover how to optimize store layouts and design as well as sensory cues including colors and smells to influence consumers.

Give Yourself the Location Advantage

Whether you’re looking to expand your retail footprint into new markets, or just want to make the most of your existing locations, this free six-week online course will provide the theory and case study examples to learn how to make smart decisions about business location. Students also receive free access to Esri’s cloud-based location analytics platform during the course. Understanding local markets, reducing risk, detecting market opportunities and selecting the best geographic locations are all covered in this MOOC.

Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies

Can you think of a better place to learn about luxury and fashion than Milan, Italy? While a European trip may not be possible for many, this free online course from Università Bocconi in Milan is the next best thing! The self-paced course uses case studies to present brand management strategies in fashion and luxury companies. Students will learn about the evolution of business models from designers to fast fashion retailers, product development, omni-channel retailing and more.

Related Resources

Thought Leadership Modern Merchandising
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Webinar: Using Data to Innovate and Shape the Shopping Journey
On-Demand Webinar: Using Data to Innovate and Shape the Shopping Journey
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Connected Clienteling e-Book
Connected Clienteling: The Secret Ingredient for the Ultimate Omni-Channel Customer Experience
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