Jewelry vendor trains far-flung associates with online games and quizzes

A modern-day take on the Mary Kay model, Stella & Dot is using online quizzes to prepare its ‘stylists’ for trunk shows and online selling.

Pop quiz: How do you train 20,000 people to run a retail business out of their homes? Especially if those people live on two different continents? For the staff at Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that operates under an updated version of the Mary Kay sales model, the answer was pop quizzes.

“Training is really at the heart of what we do,” says Steve McCurry, platform director for the company. “A lot of the people who come in don’t have a prior sales background.”

After the company’s sellers, which it calls “stylists,” take training courses in the online Stella & Dot University, they can take a multimedia quiz. A passing score earns a stylist a badge that he or she can show off all over the Web. Not only do the quizzes help with training, they get people who have never heard of Stella & Dot talking about the brand, which operates in the United States and Europe.

Development

Stella & Dot University uses articles and videos to show stylists how to run a trunk show or operate their personal online stores. But executives were looking for more.

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