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Professor of retail management and trade marketing at the University of Ghent’s Vlerick Business School, Gino Van Ossel is one of the most soughtout experts on the consumer mindset and the path-to-purchase. Currently he is guiding major retailers in the transition from traditional in-store commerce to online shopping through the incorporation of predictive analytics.

Gino has researched consumer behavior for over 20 years, following people from the moment they begin to consider buying something to the time that the purchase is completed. His findings have shaped the policies and strategies of many major European companies, gaining him various awards such as the Mercury Award of Comeos of the Belgian trade association of retailers. He has also been recognized for his teaching excellence, having received the competitive Best Teacher Award at Ghent two times.

Gino’s current research focuses on how the Internet has dramatically changed the way we shop. In addition to his academic and consulting work, his solid command of retail and consumer psychology along with his entertaining delivery style have made him a popular speaker and moderator who has presented in 25 countries in over 4 continents.

Full Profile

As Professor in Marketing Gino Van Ossel is passionate about how people shop. After 20 years of experience he has developed an unrivaled understanding of the shopper’s journey from the earliest buying intention to the actual purchase. He first recorded the growing importance of in-store decision making. Today he is studying how the internet is changing our buying behaviour.

Over the years, he has broadened his scope from retail marketing to retail management. He conceived the retail business model, that helps retailers to structure their thinking and to improve their strategic decision making.

He is helping branded goods manufacturers to develop a better understanding of how retailers think. His expertise stretches from the more strategic channel management and go-to-market strategy issues to the more operational trade & shopper marketing practices.

Gino is very well-known for his teaching and short presentations, where he is combining solid content with a very entertaining style.

Gino Van Ossel is Adjunct Professor in Retail & Trade Marketing. He feeds his expertise into Vlerick’s Retail & Trade Marketing Research Centre. The Centre is funded through contract research and executive education. Among its clients are many leading retailers and branded goods manufacturers such as AbInbev, Akzo-Nobel Decorative Coatings, Bacardi-Martini, Beiersdorf, Brantano, Carrefour, Coca-Cola, Colruyt (Group), Danone, Delhaize (Group), Fnac, Macintosh Retail Group, Makro, Master Foods (Mars), Neuhaus, Panasonic and Samsonite.

In 2004, when he gave up teaching in MBA programmes, he received for the second time the Best Teacher Award. In 2007 he became Belgium’s 50th Master Marketeer, being the first academic to receive this honorary title. He also won the Mercury Award of Comeos, the Belgian trade association of retailers, for his contribution to the development of the Belgian retail industry. Gino Van Ossel is Independent Director of FNG Group (fashion – Euronext Brussels), Formen (fashion), Pirana Concepts (advertising) and the Dutch Trade Marketing Association.

He is also Chairman of the Expert Group Retail of the Belgian Marketing Foundation.

Gino Van Ossel is Master in General Management (Vlerick), Applied Economics (Ghent University) and Germanic Philology (Ghent University). He started his career in the advertising department of Procter & Gamble.

Because of his expertise, Gino is often consulted by the media to comment on retail and consumer marketing trends.


Gino Van Ossel Speaker Videos Back to top

Xeikon Café: Xeikon Teaser Featuring Professor Gino van Ossel


“Never judge the future based on what’s going on today.” Retail management expert Gino Van Ossel touches on key points of his research on the relationship between e-commerce trends and physical stores and how the two can draw on each other’s strengths to prosper simultaneously.


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


One of the leading researchers in 21st Century retail, Gino Van Ossel offers a holistic in depth program in three modules to give you and your organization all the knowledge and tools you need to structure and implement a business model fit for the digital age.

Drawing from his groundbreaking research that has been adapted by companies like Cocoa-Cola and Macintosh Retail Group, he covers essential techniques in strategy, branding, decision-making and leadership -- integrating all areas by harnessing technology to customize traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Gino demonstrates that e-commerce does not mark the end of traditional retail, but rather its evolution to a more efficient model for both customers and businesses.

MODULE I: Retail Strategy: Building Tomorrow’s Business Model

Strategy in action

Strategy is a decision-making process used to resolve the field of tension between objectives, the requirements of the environment, and available resources. You’ll explore a number of conceptual frameworks for strategic planning, as well as what it takes to implement a strategy and make it happen.

A World in Transition

The customer is the starting point of the future of retail. What are the latest consumer and shopper trends? How are retailers and e-tailers responding to these trends?

Omni-Channel & New Business Models

The rapid growth of e-commerce is forcing bricks-and-mortar retailers to respond. What new business models are emerging? What is ‘omni-channel’, and to what extent does it require true business model innovation?

Topics covered:

Trends in the environment, with emphasis on the consumer & shopper
Strategy as a decision-making process
Development and implementation of strategies
The business model of e-commerce pure players
Omni-channel and its impact on the retail value chain

Module II: Serving Tomorrow’s Shopper

Omni-Channel: Customer-centric commerce

What does it mean to put the customer and not the store at the heart of the business? How can we redefine the path-to-purchase? What are the relevant and critical touch points? What does this mean for our marketing? How does mobile fit in?

Crafting the Connected Store

What is the role of the store within an omni-channel strategy? What should the future footprint look like? How can store associates add value to the buying process? Will technology change the store of the future? Retail Safari

Watching omni-channel emerging in leading stores in the shopping capital of the world. During a retail safari, you will experience first-hand the new retail reality.

Topics covered:

Mapping the path-to-purchase and the relevant touch points
Product range, digital marketing, store design & service within an omni-channel strategy,br> Big data and the single view of the customer
MODULE III: The Back-Office in the Digital Era

Supply Chain Management

How do we organise the logistics flows in omni-channel distribution? How to manage inventories, and how to overcome the last mile in e-commerce? What are the critical success factors?

Negotiation and Collaboration: Creating a win-win with your suppliers

As a retailer, what key skills and tactics do you need to strengthen your position relative to your negotiation partners? How to move towards better results for all partners, while maintaining open and trusting relations?

Topics covered:

Managing tomorrow’s supply chains,br> How to improve the profitability of e-commerce logistics
Negotiation and collaboration skills, tools and tactics
THE UNIFYING THEME: Leadership in retail

You are becoming a leader who will make a difference in the future of your company. That’s why we devote a lot of attention to leadership throughout this programme. But instead of being presented as a separate module, leadership is interwoven as an integral part of the programme content.

Leading Yourself

To get the most from your team, you first need to be able to get the most from yourself. The ‘Self-Leadership’ track gives you insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and as a leader. Apart from this unique opportunity for self-development, you also gain a solid foundation in the principles of leadership.

Leading other People

The retail industry is the biggest private employer in many developed economies. Your employees can make or break your business, and its success depends on how you motivate and lead them. But how can you lead people in a decentralised organisation? In the ‘Leading People’ track, we provide you with the tools needed to boost your employees’ performance and engagement, regardless of whether these employees are professionals or low-skilled workers





* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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MODULE I: Retail Strategy: Building Tomorrow’s Business Model

Strategy in action

Strategy is a decision-making process used to resolve the field of tension between objectives, the requirements of the environment, and available resources. You’ll explore a number of conceptual frameworks for strategic planning, as well as what it takes to implement a strategy and make it happen.

A World in Transition

The customer is the starting point of the future of retail. What are the latest consumer and shopper trends? How are retailers and e-tailers responding to these trends?

Omni-Channel & New Business Models

The rapid growth of e-commerce is forcing bricks-and-mortar retailers to respond. What new business models are emerging? What is ‘omni-channel’, and to what extent does it require true business model innovation?

Topics covered:

Trends in the environment, with emphasis on the consumer & shopper
Strategy as a decision-making process
Development and implementation of strategies
The business model of e-commerce pure players
Omni-channel and its impact on the retail value chain

Module II: Serving Tomorrow’s Shopper

Omni-Channel: Customer-centric commerce

What does it mean to put the customer and not the store at the heart of the business? How can we redefine the path-to-purchase? What are the relevant and critical touch points? What does this mean for our marketing? How does mobile fit in?

Crafting the Connected Store

What is the role of the store within an omni-channel strategy? What should the future footprint look like? How can store associates add value to the buying process? Will technology change the store of the future? Retail Safari

Watching omni-channel emerging in leading stores in the shopping capital of the world. During a retail safari, you will experience first-hand the new retail reality.

Topics covered:

Mapping the path-to-purchase and the relevant touch points
Product range, digital marketing, store design & service within an omni-channel strategy,br> Big data and the single view of the customer
MODULE III: The Back-Office in the Digital Era

Supply Chain Management

How do we organise the logistics flows in omni-channel distribution? How to manage inventories, and how to overcome the last mile in e-commerce? What are the critical success factors?

Negotiation and Collaboration: Creating a win-win with your suppliers

As a retailer, what key skills and tactics do you need to strengthen your position relative to your negotiation partners? How to move towards better results for all partners, while maintaining open and trusting relations?

Topics covered:

Managing tomorrow’s supply chains,br> How to improve the profitability of e-commerce logistics
Negotiation and collaboration skills, tools and tactics
THE UNIFYING THEME: Leadership in retail

You are becoming a leader who will make a difference in the future of your company. That’s why we devote a lot of attention to leadership throughout this programme. But instead of being presented as a separate module, leadership is interwoven as an integral part of the programme content.

Leading Yourself

To get the most from your team, you first need to be able to get the most from yourself. The ‘Self-Leadership’ track gives you insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and as a leader. Apart from this unique opportunity for self-development, you also gain a solid foundation in the principles of leadership.

Leading other People

The retail industry is the biggest private employer in many developed economies. Your employees can make or break your business, and its success depends on how you motivate and lead them. But how can you lead people in a decentralised organisation? In the ‘Leading People’ track, we provide you with the tools needed to boost your employees’ performance and engagement, regardless of whether these employees are professionals or low-skilled workers


Xeikon Café: Xeikon Teaser Featuring Professor Gino van Ossel


“Never judge the future based on what’s going on today.” Retail management expert Gino Van Ossel touches on key points of his research on the relationship between e-commerce trends and physical stores and how the two can draw on each other’s strengths to prosper simultaneously.