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Ciclo seminarios Management Science


13:30 horas, Sala Asamblea, Beauchef 851, 4to piso, Santiago

Invitado: Santiago Gallino,  Profesor Asociado de Tuck School of Business

Título de la conferencia: “Does Online Training Work in Retail?”


A retail customer seeking to buy a product often needs to decide which of several versions of a product type best meets her needs. A knowledgeable retail sales associate (SA) can explain the features of the available product variants and give the customer sufficient confidence in her choice that she becomes willing to purchase.  Although it is plausible that increasing SAs’ knowledge will increase sales, training is not costless and turnover is high in retail, so most retailers provide little or no training.   Thus, an important question is, how much, if at all, does training increase an SA’s sales productivity? To answer this question, we partnered with Experticity, a firm that provides online training modules for retail SAs, and Dillard’s, a leading department store chain whose more than 50,000 SAs had access to the Experticity modules. We assembled a data set of the training history and sales productivity of Dillard’s associates over a two-year period.   We found that as SAs engaged in training over time, their sales rate increased by 1.8 percent for every online module taken.   We also found that willingness to engage in voluntary training was an indicator of raw talent; those SAs who engaged in training were 20 percent more productive prior to any training and 46 percent more productive after training than those who took no training. Surprisingly, brand-specific training does not significantly affect sales of the focal brand but instead improves overall sales of all brands.  Our evidence of successful online learning may be of general interest given that, to date, analysis of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has shown poor engagement by participants and questionable outcomes.

This is joint work with Marshall Fisher y Serguei Netessine

Organizan: Ingeniería Industrial U. Chile e Instituto Sistemas Complejos de Ingeniería (ISCI)

Contacto: Pamela Tapia / ptapia@dii.uchile.cl

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