Ellos Group – Project description

Position as Industrial PhD student in Informatics with a specialization in artificial intelligence within e-commerce

For 70 years, Ellos Group has been making it easier for our customers to brighten up their day. We are currently a leading fashion and home furnishings e-commerce group in the Nordic region. This success is attributable to the purposeful creation, by our committed employees, of offerings well-adapted to customer needs. In recent years, focused development work has created a modern and robust e-commerce platform, which will strengthen Ellos’ position in the Nordic e-commerce market and generate continued profitable growth. Ellos Group – with Head Office in Borås, Sweden – is present in all countries in the Nordic region. The online stores Ellos, Jotex, Stayhard and Homeroom are well established and the group has over 1,5 million active customers. Ellos Group has around 600 employees and sales of around SEK 2 billion. For more information, visit www.ellosgroup.com

As an industrial graduate student in INSiDR you will be employed by Ellos Group. In addition, you will be admitted to the PhD study programme in Informatics at Jönköping University.

Project Description

  • During the five years of PhD education, you will spend 80% of your working time on dissertation work, such as:
  • Planning and conducting research work
  • Analysing, writing and publishing scientific papers in high quality journals
  • Participating in research level courses
  • Participating in national and international conferences and workshops
  • Organizing and writing the PhD thesis

E-tailers are currently undergoing the rapid and disruptive process of digitalization. Ellos Group has in recent years transformed the business model from mail-order/catalogue to pure e-commerce. Today Ellos Group’s business model is based on the common e-commerce platform. Thanks to the e-commerce platform, the four online stores, Ellos, Jotex, Stayhard and Homeroom, can provide adapted and affordable customer offerings, while the Group derives benefits of scale by being able to coordinate sourcing, logistics, payment solutions, customer interface and customer services. Fast and reliable deliveries are facilitated by a joint, cost-effective logistics platform. The e-commerce sites have the capacity to source products via a centralised sourcing function. By coordinating purchases in Ellos Group, the Company is able to source its products through selected agents, importers and manufacturers in various geographies and to ensure that they meet the Company’s requirement that these activities are conducted in a responsible manner.

Through a partnership with a third party, Ellos Group offers integrated, flexible and efficient payment solutions that are appreciated by customers and in a manner that is cost-effective for the Company. Based on customer knowledge and design capabilities, Ellos Group develops a product offering that satisfies its customers’ preferences and needs and is in tune with current fashions and trends. Design, positioning, marketing and pricing are determined by each individual e-commerce site, to retain the unique characteristics of the various brands.

The PhD project that you will undertake focuses on developing and applying AI techniques for different tasks. Some sample problem statements to address are:

  • Improved customer insights through machine learning
  • Automated recommendation systems
  • Designing and adapting processes for utilization of AI techniques

Technically, the project will adopt a data-driven approach, using machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques for developing systems either supporting or making decisions. A very important part of the project is to identify suitable tools, based on not only tasks but also the business context and the intended user groups.

The remaining 20% of your time will be spent on work related to your PhD project at Ellos Group. Specifically, solutions should be developed, integrated and tested in Ellos Group IT systems. In addition, you will have an important role in suggesting modified processes supporting or utilizing developed solutions, specifically identifying and documenting best practices. Finally, you should communicate your PhD project, and the results, within the organization, to make sure that your work is well-aligned with company strategies and related ongoing projects.


The core formal qualifications needed for the position are to fulfil the requirements for admission to doctoral studies at Jönköping International Business School. These requirements consist of passed examination at advanced (masters/second) level and fulfilled course requirements of at least 240 credit points (ECTS credits), 60 of which should be at advanced level, or equivalent competences acquired in some other way within or outside of Sweden. Requirements also include a Bachelor degree, consisting of at least 90 credit points (ECTS credits, 3 terms) in a relevant subject area for the position. The doctoral programmes at JIBS are conducted in English. The applicant must show proof of fluency in English, both written and spoken. Please note that a Swedish 1-year master (magister) degree in a relevant subject is sufficient, provided that it also includes a bachelor degree diploma.

For this PhD project, the required core skills are:

  • Solid educational background in data science, artificial intelligence, applied computing or related subjects
  • Excellence in programming
  • Solid skill in at least one data science programming language (Python, R etc.) and/or at least one integrated software for machine learning, e.g., Azure, Knime etc.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English

In addition, the following skills are desirable:

  • Experience of working with tools like Power BI, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics
  • Experience from roles like analyst, business developer, executive manager or similar
  • Experience from retail and/or e-Commerce
  • Experience in leading and executing projects & meeting deliverables

A candidate should have a genuine passion for data science, but also for improving businesses. You should have excellent analytical skills and be able to both work independently and in teams. You will work together with both business executives, IT experts and the digital management at the company.

Terms of Employment

The PhD position entails full-time employment at Ellos Group, in Borås, with an initial 2-year fixed-term contract, which will be converted to a permanent position, subject to sufficient progress of the PhD studies. In total, the PhD study time is limited to a maximum of five years.

As an industrial graduate student in INSiDR you will be required to attend PhD courses and workshops at both University of Borås and Jönköping University, in addition to your daily work at Ellos Group.

Starting date: September 2018.

Application and selection procedure

It is still possible to send in an application. All applications submitted after this date will be considered in order of submission, until all positions are filled.

Applications to the PhD project, and the associated position at Ellos Group, should be uploaded via the application form


For questions about the PhD project, please contact the academic supervisor or Ellos Group.

Supervisor contact: Ulf Johansson, Professor, School of Engineering, Jönköping University, ulf.johansson@ju.se

Ellos Group contacts: Mathias Ekström, CMO, mathias.ekstrom@ellos.se and Johnny Eriksson, HR Director, johnny.eriksson@ellos.se

For questions about INSiDR or the PhD studies, please contact:
Jenny Balkow, INSiDR Director of School, University of Borås,
, +46 70 191 48 19

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