The Effect of Sales Assistance on Purchase Decisions: An Analysis Using Retail Video Data

Jain A, Misra S, Rudi N. The Effect of Sales Assistance on Purchase Decisions: An analysis using retail video data. Quantitative Marketing and Economics. 2020 Mar 20:1-31.

34 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2015 Last revised: 2 Jun 2020

See all articles by Aditya Jain

Aditya Jain

City University of New York - Narendra Paul Loomba Department of Management

Sanjog Misra

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Nils Rudi

INSEAD - Technology and Operations Management

Date Written: January 14, 2020

Abstract

We investigate the role of sales assistance in driving customer’s purchase decision using unique observational video data from a cosmetics retail chain. The data contain visual descriptors of customers and their in-store activities including the time they spent in interacting with salespersons (sales assistance), and are linked to their purchase decisions. Our empirical specification is based on the process of customer deciding to engage in sales assistance to acquire information meaningful toward purchase decision. Thus, we treat sales assistance as endogenous construct, and employ a control function approach to correct for this endogeneity using instruments pertaining to the supply of sales assistance. Our analysis quantifies the role of sales assistance in driving a customer’s purchase decision, and it shows that the effectiveness of sales assistance diminishes with its amount. In addition to highlighting the importance of sales assistance towards purchase decisions, our results also quantify how the retailer can influence sales assistance by increasing the availability of salespersons. We also examine the effect of sales assistance on in-store search carried out by the customer. Finally, we offer number of context specific insights into the heterogeneity of customers’ shopping and purchasing behavior.

Keywords: Sales assistance, Video analytics

Suggested Citation

Jain, Aditya and Misra, Sanjog and Rudi, Nils, The Effect of Sales Assistance on Purchase Decisions: An Analysis Using Retail Video Data (January 14, 2020). Jain A, Misra S, Rudi N. The Effect of Sales Assistance on Purchase Decisions: An analysis using retail video data. Quantitative Marketing and Economics. 2020 Mar 20:1-31., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2699765 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2699765

Aditya Jain (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Narendra Paul Loomba Department of Management ( email )

NY
United States

Sanjog Misra

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

Nils Rudi

INSEAD - Technology and Operations Management ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77 305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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