Società Italiana Marketing awards a thesis prize to Francesa Sarravalle

Published on June 21, 2021 Updated on September 24, 2021

The Società Italiana Marketing (SIM), with the support of BNL Groupe BNP Paribas, has created a prize for two of the best presented theses. The 2nd prize has been awarded to Francesa Sarravalle for her thesis on the perception of augmented reality in retail, carried out at the Magellan iaelyon Research Center as part of an international dual degree between University of Turin and iaelyon School of Management, under the joint supervision of Milena Viassone and Régine Vanheems.

Thanks to a international scientific cooperation agreement between Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy) and the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Francesca was able to carry out her doctoral work under the supervision of two specialized professors in retail, Régine Vanheems, iaelyon School of Mangement and Milena Viassone, Università degli Studi di Torino.

Her thesis "Augmented reality in retail: an analysis of this immersive technology through consumers’ and retailers’ perception" was defended in November 2020.

A thesis on the perception of augmented reality in retail

The doctorate aims to extend knowledge on the consumers’ and retailers’ perception on augmented reality, an omni-channel technology, where the channels (online and offline) are integrated in the selling process.

Through three exploratory studies (two qualitative studies on the consumer and retailer side and the last quantitative one), the results highlight the role of immersive technology when combined with emotional product involvement, without which it remains a mere hedonic instrument. In fact, on the one hand consumers perceive technology as an additional, stand-alone tool, if not combined with specific products of their interest.

The relationship between product involvement and behavioral intentions mediated by the immersive experience with augmented reality described in the model of this thesis opens new managerial horizons for all those companies, which are aware of the benefits of these technologies and that would like to improve their performance using immersive tools.


"Francesca carried out work on a particularly innovative and important topic for professionals in the distribution sector. These workers are currently interested in putting digital in their POS and putting in place a "phygital" strategy. Francesca did a wonderful job on augmented reality. She has always shown great motivation, strong perseverance, a beautiful curiosity! The perfect ingredients for a great researcher ! Congratulations to Francesca!” Régine Vanheems.

"I am very satisfied with the doctoral thesis of Francesca and proud of the recognition that has been given to her. The research that was carried out in her thesis is very original and creative and Francesca has examined the same subject through different angles (consumers, retailers) by using several methodologies, displaying also her maturity as a researcher. Furthermore, the results are extremely interesting and Francesca analyzed them with a great critical capacity. I truly believe that her thesis can really bring a significant contribution to the literature on this subject with interesting implications.” Milena Viassone

The path of Francesca Serravalle

Graduating with a Bachelor of Economics and Business Management, and a Master of Finance and Financial Markets, both from the Università degli Studi di Torino, Francesca first did a master’s thesis on “health fundraising” with the creation of a fundraiser against cancer thanks to the creation of a digital application for smartphones.

Francesca joined Lyon in 2017 to do her thesis with the Magellan iaelyon Research Center as part of a dual French-Italian doctoral agreement. She defended her thesis on the 21st November 2021 with jury honors. She is currently teaching at the University of Turin in Italy. .

We would like to congratulate Francesca, as well as her co-thesis supervisors.
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