Meet David Bell
Professor Bell is an expert in consumer shopping behavior. His current research focuses on theories and explanations for geographic variation in the performance of Internet retail startups. Startups studied include Bonobos.com, Diapers.com, and WarbyParker.com. Recent articles explain the effect of physical location on customer acquisition, contagion effects among co-located consumers, and the effect of preference isolation on online demand. Other projects focused on traditional retail settings explore unplanned and impulse buying, and consumer amortization strategies for fixed shopping costs. Previous articles explained consumer store choice among retailers with different pricing strategies, the effect of reference point formation on consumer response to promotions, and the effect of structural factors (e.g., dwelling size) on consumer shopping strategies.
Professor Bell’s research is published in all of the premier academic marketing journals: Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Marketing Science, and Quantitative Marketing and Economics. He has won several teaching and research awards, including the MBA Core Curriculum Award, Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award, MBA for Executives Excellence in Teaching Award, the Frank M. Bass Outstanding Dissertation Award, three John D.C. Little Best Paper Finalist Awards, and two INFORMS Marketing Science Long Term Impact Finalist Awards.
Professor Bell teaches Marketing Management in the Wharton MBA and MBA for Executives Programs and Empirical Modeling in PhD program. He also teaches an elective course Digital Marketing and Electronic Commerce on both the Wharton | Philadelphia and Wharton | San Francisco campuses. He is the Academic Director for Wharton’s Advanced Management Program.
Professor Bell serves as an expert witness in intellectual property matters pertaining to individual choice behavior. Recent representative cases include Sky Technologies LLP v. SAP, Individual Network LLC v. Apple Inc., and Two-Way Media LLC v. America Online, Inc. (on behalf of the plaintiff; retained by Susman Godfrey) and Power Management Solutions LLC v. Intel Corporation (on behalf of the defendant; retained by WilmerHale).
Professor Bell is on the editorial boards of International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Retailing, and Marketing Science. He holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, an MS in Statistics from Stanford University, an MA (Honorary) from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.Com (1st Class Honors) and B.Com from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Even in today’s interconnected, digital world, location means everything. David R. Bell, an authority on consumer behavior and e-commerce, explains why.
A graduate of Stanford University and marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, David is an award-winning teacher. His studies focus on how we use the Internet and related technologies to search, shop and sell – a subject he delves deep into in his best-selling book – “Location is (Still) Everything” (New Harvest, July 2014).
David developed Wharton’s first course on digital marketing and e-commerce. His research articles have appeared in all major marketing journals – Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Marketing Science, Management Science – and his research has been recognized with the Frank M. Bass Outstanding Dissertation Award, three John D.C. Little Best Paper Finalist awards, two INFORMS Marketing Science Long-Term Impact Finalist Awards, and First Place Award in the 2014 Production and Operations Management Society Applied Research Challenge.
An active angel investor in and advisor to a variety of successful Internet startups, David’s current research homes in on theories and explanations for geographic variation in the performance of internet retail start-ups – including Bonobos.com, Diapers.com and WarbyParker.com. He also serves as an expert witness in consumer internet litigation.
A New Zealand citizen, David received his PhD from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Why Location is (Still) Everything and What it Means for the Future of Business
Conventional wisdom holds that the Internet has made the world flat, and erased the impact of the physical world on what we buy and where we buy it (online or offline). But Wharton Professor David Bell argues that the way we use the Internet is still largely shaped by our physical surroundings and location. Nearby shops, trendy neighbors, and local sales tax, among other factors, play a critical role in our decision-making process when it comes to buying online. So too, our willingness to search for and consume information depends on where we live and who we live next to. Drawing from his award-winning book, “Location is (Still) Everything,” David offers an in-depth look at online commerce and retailing, and explores the surprising influence of the real world on how we search, shop and sell in the virtual one. He presents his unique GRAVITY framework, a powerful and practical tool that explains how the two worlds connect and what Internet sellers must focus on in order to succeed. It will give entrepreneurs, managers, students and investors the key to better understanding and capitalizing on consumers’ behavior – online and off.
Online Only? Not So Fast. The Future of Business Isn’t Just Digital
The business world is in the throes of the digital age. But just because digital marketing is indispensable, it doesn’t mean we can ignore the impact of offline presence. More than ever, consumers still need to interact with brands in person. Professor David Bell explores the important intersection between online experience and traditional retail. Pointing to real-world examples – such as eyeglasses manufacturer Warby Parker, a brand originally born online that now has thriving retail locations – he discusses the future of marketing and e-commerce, and how to build the right omni-channel experiences for the right customers in the right locations.
Location Is (Still) Everything