Inventory Showrooms and Customer Migration in Omni-channel Retail: The Effect of Product Information
Operations and Information Management Department; Faculty Adviser: David Bell
Using actual data from eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, this research looks at the impact that the opening of offline showrooms had on Warby Parker’s business. The findings show that opening offline showrooms increased both the overall and online demand and that the customers migrating offline were those with the highest cost to serve, both online and through product sampling. A few insights evidence the second finding: returns through the online channel declined, the conversion rate from sampling was higher, and repeated sampling by individual customers decreased. Thus, opening offline showrooms in areas where there were none before can increase an omni-channel retailer’s economics by offering customers that want to touch and try out merchandise before buying a new channel option that is more suitable to their needs.
Publications, Presentations & Awards
Bell, David R., Santiago Gallino and Antonio Moreno (2017), “Offline Showrooms in Omnichannel Retail: Demand and Operational Benefits,” Management Science, published in Articles in Advance, March 2017, pp. 1-23. https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/pdf/10.1287/mnsc.2016.2684.
Winner, POMS Applied Research Challenge, POMS, 2014
Winner, Overall Best Paper Award in the Workshop of Information Systems and Economics, WISE (Workshop of Information Systems and Economics), 2014