Smart Shopping Aachen

Hybrider Einzelhandel c Stadt Aachen

Hybrid retail - thinking stationary and digital retail together

Inner-city vacancies, declining quality of stay, decreasing customer frequencies and falling inner-city sales are consequences of the advancing digitization of retail and changing customer needs. Customers buy where their requirements, needs and wishes are best met. The boundaries of sales channels, online or offline, are becoming increasingly blurred. Small, owner-operated retailers and restaurateurs are particularly affected by this development. Large chains are often stronger in offering customers a wide range of added values online. This is where the research project "Smart Shopping Aachen" comes in. The aim of the project is to merge stationary and digital offers from retail and gastronomy in Aachen and thus to be able to meet the blurring customer needs of sales channels. The competitiveness of Aachen's retail trade and gastronomy will be strengthened and the preservation of an attractive city center will be ensured.

Together with the Department of Economics, Science and Europe of the City of Aachen, the IMA of RWTH Aachen University is developing a digital toolbox from which retailers and restaurateurs can directly try out and implement various "tools" of digitalization. A digital online marketplace serves as a large toolbox that provides merchants and restaurateurs with the infrastructure for various digital functionalities. Examples of this are the possibilities of local online sales, or a 360-degree tour of one's own store, a local product search, or offering online reservation and offline pickup of products from local stationary retailers and restaurateurs. Another part of the project is the testing and deployment of various channel-linking services, i.e., the merging of stationary and digital commerce. Examples of channel-linking elements include the offline return of items purchased online, online appointment reservations for offline expert advice, digital posters (digital signage), loyalty programs or a "virtual shopping shelf" (enlargement of the offline product portfolio through a broad online range). Further tools, elements and functionalities will be developed and implemented in cooperation with retailers, restaurateurs and consumers in the course of the project.

"The project is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy (MWIDE) as part of the program "Digital Model Regions in NRW". If you are interested in participating in this project (as a merchant, restaurateur or interested consumer) or would like to learn more about the project, please visit us at or contact us at:"

Funding Body
Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Innovation, Digitalisierung und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (MWIDE)
Project Partners
Stadt Aachen, Fachbereich Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Europa; Lehrstuhl für Informationsmanagement im Maschinenbau (IMA) der RWTH Aachen University
Project Holder
Bezirksregierung Köln
Consortium Leader
Stadt Aachen, Fachbereich Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft, Digitalisierung und Europa; Unternehmensförderung
D 2.19
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