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Retailing / e-Commerce

  • Teacher(s):  
  • English title: Retail /e-Commerce
  • Course given in: French
  • ECTS Credits:
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2021-2022, 4.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences
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Both online and offline retailers must constantly adapt to new consumers' expectations. The increasingly competition between retailers requires companies in this industry to revise their standards to remain competitive. Distribution is one of the four pillars of marketing and it is essential to learn its fundamentals both from the manufacturer's side and retailer's side. Indeed, retailers are simultaneously customers and partners with brands to sell their products and services. Moreover, retailing like many other activities faces the digitalization challenge. The rise of e-commerce (i.e. the buying and selling of goods and services via electronic interfaces) is leading retailers to rethink their offering and to redesign the customer's journey by including these technologies (e.g. smartphone) in-store and online. For many retailers, the implementation of an omnichannel strategy is nowadays a must have to competitive as is the use of new retail technology (smart retail).

The main objectives of this course are to:

  1. Provide an understanding of the basic elements of offline and online retailing
  2. Provide the tools necessary to implement an omnichannel retail strategy.
  3. Demontrate the benefits of a customer oriented approch in the retail industry resulting in a high quality customer experience.

Upon successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  • Conduct an analysis of the strategic and operational aspects of a retailer strategy (both online and offline)
  • Identify friction points related to the customer experience at the point of sale
  • Evaluate the performance of a retail strategy and its impact on the company's marketing strategy.


To achieve the objectives, the course content is organized based on the following four themes:

  1. Retail management (Retailers types, customerbuying behavior, retail site location, omnichannel strategy, pricing policy, assortment, merchandising...)
  2. Buying Merchandise (retailer's buying policy, supply chain issues ...)
  3. Relationships between channel members (strategy & positioning, conflict management, forms of cooperation...)
  4. E-commerce (user experience, performance of online sales channels...)

The course uses different pedagogical approaches (lecture, case study, reading, use of internet application). The pedagogical material will be available on Moodle. Please note that it is your responsibility to regularly check the material on Moodle to know what you have to prepare before a class. The assessments will allow you to validate and apply the different concepts and theoretical frameworks discussed in class.


The following books offer an excellent foundation for this course and are strongly recommended:

  1. Filser, M., Des Garets, V., & Paché, G. (2020). La distribution: organisation et stratégie. 3ième Edition, Éditions EMS.
  2. Isaac, H. (2017). E-Commerce. : vers le commerce connecté. 4ième Edition, Pearson France.

We will also use selected chapters from different books as well as relevant articles and cases. These additional readings will be available via Moodle.


Principles of marketing


First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  
  1. Retail audit [40% - Collective assessment]
    This assignment will be completed throughout the semester. An intermediate version of the audit will be the subject of a formative evaluation. The final version of the audit will be submitted during the last session.
  2. In-class tests* [40% - Individual assessement].
    Several tests will take place in class including a final test at the end of the semester
  3. Inidvidual report [20% - Individual assessemen]
    This report will be due no later than one week after the last class.

* If courses were to be held online, adjustments may be necessary.


Without exam (cf. terms)  
  1. Retail Audit completed individually [40%]
  2. Individual Test [40%]
  3. Individual report [20%]

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