The Retail Analytics Council (RAC) conducts research and educational events to advance knowledge and understanding in retail marketing, shopper experiences, in-store technology, e-commerce technology, and quantitative analysis of current and future retail practices. The RAC is part of the Spiegel Center for Research Center and affiliated with the Department of Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University’s Medill School.

The RAC places particular evidence on automation and robotics, as well as analytic methods including artificial intelligence, machine learning, the integration of stores and e-commerce. The RAC focuses on the role of technology in enhancing shopper experiences and retail performance. Of particular interest, is the intersection of retailing and media, often in the form of retail media networks.


The RAC partners with retailers, suppliers, and vendors to conduct empirical research on cutting-edge topics. Partner organizations provide the RAC with data and resources and the RAC develops research teams of faculty and students to conduct the studies. Completed projects are summarized in reports provided to the industry and papers published in academic journals.

The key distinction of RAC research is at the intersection of data, analytics, and technology in the context of retail marketing and shopper experiences. In alignment with the academic programs in Integrated Marketing Communications, RAC prioritized data-driven approaches to strategy and the engagement of consumers in meaningful ways to both serve consumer experiences and drive organizational performance.




Contact the Retail Analytics Council to get involved with educational initiatives such as research or the Retail Tech Bulletin. 

The quarterly Retail Tech Bulletin, published by the Retail Analytics Council, Northwestern University, includes articles on current retail trends, case studies, artificial intelligence, and related retail technologies. The Bulletin also includes updates on Retail Analytics Council activities, the Retail Robotics Initiative, and the Retail AI Lab at Northwestern University.


More about what partners do and how to become one. 

Previous slide
Next slide

Read about Relationship Holiday Planned Gift Giving and Chatbot Conversations in the latest issue of... Read More

Feb 27 2023, 8:03 pm

"In another instance of innovation in retail automation, Jamba, a chain known for its smoothies... Read More

Feb 24 2023, 2:00 am

"While most Retail Media Networks depend on static display and search, The Fresh Market is... Read More

Feb 16 2023, 8:43 pm
Skip to content