Growth Barriers and Business Training For New Entrants on E-commerce Platform

Last registered on November 12, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Growth Barriers and Business Training For New Entrants on E-commerce Platform
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006725
Initial registration date
November 10, 2020
Last updated
November 12, 2020, 8:20 AM EST

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Harvard University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
UC Berkeley

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2019-05-01
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Expansion of e-commerce presents new opportunities for SMEs to enter broader markets at lower costs, but the new entrants face barriers to growth after entry. To facilitate the new entrants to overcome these barriers, we implement a training program as a randomized controlled experiment with new sellers on a large e-commerce platform. The business training program focuses on delivering practical knowledge of business operation skills and seeks to tackle challenges specific to the new sellers. We plan to analyze the impacts of the training on sellers and consumers on the platform with the administrative data.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Jin, Yizhou and Zhengyun Sun. 2020. "Growth Barriers and Business Training For New Entrants on E-commerce Platform." AEA RCT Registry. November 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6725-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We implement the training online and randomize access to the training among new sellers. The training consists of sequences of customized tasks that the platform assigns to the sellers daily with an algorithm. Each task tackles a specific challenge that new sellers face, such as posting products to their stores or attracting visitors to their sites. The platform matches the tasks to sellers based on sellers' performance. Once taking up a task, the seller will have a designated period to reach the goal with the aids of online tutorials, webinars, and Q&A forums. Figure 1 shows the user interface of the tasks on the official sellers' portal app. If a seller completes the task, she can earn free short-term access to tools that support business operations.
Intervention Start Date
2019-05-01
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Sellers' revenues, number of visitors, conversion rates, ratings, adoption of marketing, and other relevant strategies.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We randomize access to the training among new sellers when they register on the platform.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomized with a randomization algorithm.
Randomization Unit
Randomization happens at the seller level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The randomization is not clustered.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The sample size depends on the number of sellers registered on the platform and cannot be precisely estimated before the start of the experiment.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The sample size depends on the number of sellers registered on the platform and cannot be precisely estimated before the start of the experiment. We assign 25% of sellers to the treatment group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University
IRB Approval Date
2019-05-30
IRB Approval Number
IRB19-0647

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials