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
Date Written: January 14, 2020
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
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