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World’s Best B-School Professors: Raymond Burke

Indiana University’s Raymond Burke has laid claim the term “shoppability,” the ability of retailers to convert consumer demand into purchases

Raymond Burke

Kelley School of Business

Claim to Fame: Retail ‘Shoppability’


University of Florida, PhD

University of Florida, MS

University of Miami, BA

A fun fact:  I was president of the Ham Radio Club in college, and the only member who wasn’t an engineering student.  Technology was always easier for me to understand than people, which is why I majored in psychology.

Alternate fact: My first pets were two grey geese named Richard and David.  Today, I have two children, Richard and David (with distinctive middle names so they won’t be confused with someone’s pet goose).

What do you like most about your current job? I have the opportunity to learn and grow every day: instructing students who teach me, researching problems that challenge my knowledge, and collaborating with faculty who inspire me to work harder.  As one of my former colleagues at Wharton once said, “If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.”  The Kelley School is a great place to grow.

What do you like least? Grading when students don’t do well.  Fortunately, our talented students make this an uncommon experience.

If you weren’t teaching, what would be your dream job? I would open a retail store and apply what I’ve learned about optimizing shoppability from our Customer Interface Lab.  I guarantee that you would see supply and demand come together in a most passionate embrace!

Though most men might agree that the act of shopping has nothing to do with strategy, there is one who has developed a science out of it. Through his study of how and why consumers exhibit certain buying behaviors, Indiana University’s Raymond Burke has laid claim the term “shoppability,” the ability of retailers to convert consumer demand into purchases using tracking devices, customer interviews, and 3-D simulations of retail environments. At Kelley, he is the founding director of the school’s high-tech Customer Interface Lab where graduate students and professors embark on virtual shopping excursions to test consumer behavior theories.

The virtual shopping technology developed by Professor Burke is used by market research firms around the world. He also serves as an advisor and consultant to well-known retailers. Burke’s curricular innovations using retail technology and virtual simulations have influenced several awards he’s received for teaching excellence.