Texas Tech University

Then and Now: Hospitality and Retail Management Graduate Student Continues Research on Emerging Technologies

Matilda Beckanovic

July 12, 2022

Danielle Recalde

Graduate Student, Daniella Recalde, researches emerging technologies in the retail industry and how it has expanded and evolved since the COVID-19 pandemic

Daniella Recalde joined the Hospitality, Tourism, and Retail Management doctoral degree program within the Hospitality and Retail Management (HRM) department in 2020. She began to research emerging technologies in the retail industry. Over the past couple of years, Recalde has expanded into a more comprehensive view of the technologies. 

“These technologies form new layers in the customer-brand relationship,” Recalde said. “The increased use of smartphones and social media has certainly changed how customers shop and connect with brands”

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that many businesses interacted with their customers. Online shopping became the prominent way for retail businesses to continue to do business. The introduction of online virtual try-on(s) became more prevalent and has continued to advance as time has gone on. Social media as also become a direct way for brands to communicate directly with consumers.

“Instead of being only transactional partners, consumers are actively interacting with brands through co-creation, product personalization and endorsement behavior,” Recalde said. “I believe we are going to see profound changes in the customer-brand relationship field.” 

As technology has evolved over time, so has the way that retail companies have to do business in order to stay current in an ever-changing society. Retailers are integrating advanced technology into shopping experiences. The implementation of new technology is changing the way customers interact with products and brands.

“Retailers are mixing augmented reality and artificial intelligence to offer innovative and seamless customer experiences within channels with curated options and interactive try-ons,” Recalde said. “My main interest is to explore the impact of those new dynamics and how it changes our traditional view of customer path-to-purchase” 

Her research highlights the increasing use of online technology and how consumers connect with businesses through online platforms. As Recalde continues her study of the emerging technologies in the retail industry, she works closely with HRM faculty members. These experienced professionals help guide her through the doctoral program and her research. 

“It has been very helpful to have a faculty that is open to working with me, share their knowledge generously, and direct me to the right resources,” Recalde said. “With the HRM department guidance, I have been able to develop strong research skills and combine them with my industry background to define my research stream.”    

The Hospitality and Retail Management department is full of faculty members ready to assist students with research studies and give guidance through their programs, both undergraduate and graduate. Recalde, with the help from department faculty, will continue her research and analyze the emerging technologies in the retail industry, with a focus on customer-brand relationships. This research will help industry leaders better understand how technology can be used to better connect with consumers.