David Bell

David Bell
  • Xinmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor
  • Professor of Marketing

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    755 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
    3730 Walnut Street
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304

Research Interests: unified commerce, omnichannel, contagion and neighborhood effects

Links: CV, Personal Site, Twitter

Overview

Professor Bell’s research focuses on digital marketing and e-commerce, with many applications in retail and unified commerce. He is the author of Location is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One (published in Portuguese and Mandarin for the Brazil and China markets, respectively), an authoritative book on how to win in the digital economy, and the forthcoming book: The BOSS Model: How to Sell to Millennials.

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 as well as Journal of Econometrics and the MIT Sloan Management Review. 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, and the Production and Operations Management Society Applied Research Challenge First Place Award.

Professor Bell teaches Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, and Social Media Marketing in the Undergraduate and MBA Programs and Empirical Modeling in PhD program. He is the Academic Director for the Wharton Executive Education Program Digital Marketing Strategies for the Digital Economy. He also serves as an expert witness in intellectual property matters pertaining to individual choice behavior in digital markets. 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 active investor in digital economy companies including Bonobos (acquired by Walmart), Harry’s, Jet (acquired by Walmart), Quidsi (acquired by Amazon), and Warby Parker, among many others. He holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, an M.S. in Statistics from Stanford University, an M.Com (1st Class Honors) and B.Com from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

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Research

  • David Bell, Antonio Moreno-Garcia, Santiago Gallino (2018), The Store is Dead -- Long Live the Store, MIT Sloan Management Review.

  • David Bell, Antonio Moreno-Garcia, Santiago Gallino (2017), Offline Showrooms in Omnichannel Retail: Demand and Operational Benefits, Management Science.

  • Kathleen Li and David Bell (Working), Augmented Difference-in-Differences: Estimation and Inference of Average Treatment Effects.

  • Kathleen Li and David Bell (2017), Estimation of average treatment effects with panel data: Asymptotic theory and implementation, Journal of Econometrics , 197, pp. 65-75.

  • David Bell, Antonio Moreno-Garcia, Santiago Gallino (2014), How to Win in an Omnichannel World, MIT Sloan Management Review.

  • David Bell, Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One (2014)

  • Jae Young Lee and David Bell (Work In Progress), Social Learning and Awareness Diffusion for Online Retail Trials.

  • Jae Young Lee and David Bell (2013), Neighborhood Social Capital and Social Learning for Experience Attributes of Products, Marketing Science.

  • Robert Meyer, Joachim Vosgerau, Vishal Singh, Joel Urbany, Gal Zauberman, Michael Norton, Tony Cui, Brian Ratchford, Alessandro Acquisiti, David Bell, Barbara E. Kahn (2013), Behavioral Research and Empirical Modeling of Marketing Channels: Implications for Both Fields and a Call for Future Research, Marketing Letters, 21, pp. 301-315.

    Abstract: Game theoretic models of marketing channels typically rely on simplifying assumptions that, from a behavioral perspective, often appear naïve. However, behavioral researchers have produced such an abundance of behavioral regularities that they are impossible to incorporate into game theoretic models. We believe that a focus on three core findings would benefit both fields; these are: first, beliefs that are held by the various players regarding profit consequences of different actions are incomplete and often biased; second, players’ preferences and optimization objectives are not commonly known; and third, players have insufficient cognitive abilities to achieve optimization objectives. Embracing these three findings shifts the focus from rational decision making to how decision makers learn to improve their decision-making skills. Concluding, we believe that greater convergence of game theoretic modeling and behavioral research in marketing channels would lead to new insights for both fields.

  • David Bell, JeongHye Choi, Leonard Lodish (2012), What Matters Most in Internet Retailing, MIT Sloan Management Review, 54, pp. 27-33.

Teaching

Past Courses

  • MKTG212 - DATA & ANLZ FOR MKTG DEC

    Firms have access to detailed data of customers and past marketing actions. Such data may include in-store and online customer transactions, customer surveys as well as prices and advertising. Using real-world applications from various industries, the goal of the course is to familiarize students with several types of managerial problems as well as data sources and techniques, commonly employed in making effective marketing decisions. The course would involve formulating critical managerial problems, developing relevant hypotheses, analyzing data and, most importantly, drawing inferences and telling convincing narratives, with a view of yielding actionable results.

  • MKTG227 - MKTG AND ELECTRONIC COMM

    The effect of the Internet and related technologies on business and social institutions is more profound than that of any prior invention, including the printing press and the internal combustion engine. Furthermore, marketing is critical to the success of firms that will shape the consumption-led economies that are fueled by these technologies. MKTG 227 provides a research-based and framework-driven approach to succeeding in this environment, through a rigorous approach to understanding digital marketing and electronic commerce. The course is organized into two sections and utilizes relevant theory, empirical analysis, and practical examples, to develop the key learning points.Guest speakers will participate as well, as appropriate.

  • MKTG270 - DGTL SOCIAL & E-COM MKTG

    MKTG 270 explores the digital marketing environment from both a consumer and business perspective. The course provides an overview of various online business models and delves into digital advertising and social media marketing techniques and technologies. A mixture of case studies, guest speakers and assignments, including one that uses real advertising data, translates theory into practice. It is recommended that students enrolling in the course be comfortable using Excel and are knowledgeable in applying regression analysis techniques. Students who would prefer a less technical course may wish to take MKTG 227, Digital Marketing and Electronic Commerce, a half cu course offered by the department.

  • MKTG611 - MARKETING MANAGEMENT

    This course addresses how to design and implement the best combination of marketing efforts to carry out a firm's strategy in its target markets. Specifically, this course seeks to develop the student's (1) understanding of how the firm can benefit by creating and delivering value to its customers, and stakeholders, and (2) skills in applying the analytical concepts and tools of marketing to such decisions as segmentation and targeting, branding, pricing, distribution, and promotion. The course uses lectures and case discussions, case write-ups, student presentations, and a comprehensive final examination to achieve these objectives.

  • MKTG727 - MKTG AND ELECTRONIC COMM

    The effect of the Internet and related technologies on business and social institutions is more profound than that of any prior invention, including the printing press and the internal combustion engine. Furthermore, marketing plays a key role in shaping the modern consumption-led economies fueled by these technologies. MKTG 727 provides a research-based and framework-driven approach to understanding digital marketing and electronic commerce. The course is organized into two sections and utilizes relevant theory, empirical analysis, and practical examples, to develop the key learning points.Guest speakers will participate as well, as appropriate.

  • MKTG770 - DGTL SOCIAL & E-COM MKTG

    MKTG 770 explores the digital marketing environment from both a consumer and business perspective. The course provides an overview of various online business models and delves into digital advertising and social media marketing techniques and technologies. A mixture of case studies, guest speakers and assignments, including one that uses real advertising data, translates theory into practice. It is recommended that students enrolling in the course be comfortable using Excel and are knowledgeable in applying regression analysis techniques. Students who would prefer a less technical course may wish to take MKTG 727, Digital Marketing and Electronic Commerce, a half cu course offered by the department.

  • MKTG777 - MARKETING STR

    This course views marketing as both a general management responsibility and an orientation of an organization that helps one to create, capture and sustain customer value. The focus is on the business unit and its network of channels, customer relationships, and alliances. Specifically, the course attempts to help develop knowledge and skills in the application of advanced marketing frameworks, concepts, and methods for making strategic choices at the business level.

  • MKTG890 - ADVANCED STUDY PROJECT

    RETAIL ECOSYSTEM ACTION LEARNING PROJECTS: This course offers graduate students from Wharton and other Penn schools an opportunity to work on real-world projects for companies in the retail industry and in the wider retail ecosystem. It requires the exploration and analysis of actual business issues or opportunities identified by sponsoring/client companies, as well as the formulation of recommendations. It combines 1) academic principles, 2) application of prior business knowledge to the project at hand, and 3) a solutions-oriented mentality. In addition to supervised project work and regular updates to the corporate client/project sponsor, the course involves classroom meetings and discussions on topics pertaining to the projects. While this course focuses on "marketing" topics, projects might also incorporate topics from related disciplines such as operations, management of innovation & technology, data analytics, international management, design, and real estate. Indeed, the goal will be to constitute interdisciplinary teams from Wharton and other relevant Penn graduate schools. ADVANCED STUDY PROJECT (GENERAL): The principal objectives of this course are to provide opportunities for undertaking an in-depth study of a marketing problem and to develop the students' skills in evaluating research and designing marketing strategies for a variety of management situations. Selected projects can touch on any aspect of marketing as long as this entails the elements of problem structuring, data collection, data analysis, and report preparation. The course entails a considerable amount of independent work. (Strict library-type research is not appropriate) Class sessions are used to monitor progress on the project and provide suggestions for the research design and data analysis. The last portion of the course often includes an oral presentation by each group to the rest of the class and project sponsors. Along with marketing, the projects integrate other elements of management such as finance, production, research and development, and human resources.

  • MKTG899 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    A student contemplating an independent study project must first find a faculty member who agrees to supervise and approve the student's written proposal as an independent study (MKTG 899). If a student wishes the proposed work to be used to meet the ASP requirement, he/she should then submit the approved proposal to the MBA adviser who will determine if it is an appropriate substitute. Such substitutions will only be approved prior to the beginning of the semester.

  • MKTG995 - DISSERTATION

  • MKTG999 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

    Requires written permission of instructor and the department graduate adviser.

Awards and Honors

  • Overall Best Paper Award 2014, Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE), 2014 Description

    For "Inventory Showrooms and Customer Migration in Omni-Channel Retail: The Effect of Product Information" (with S. Gallino and T. Moreno)

  • 2014 First Place Award, Productions and Operations Management Society Applied Research Challenge, 2014 Description

    For "Inventory Showrooms and Customer Migration in Omni-Channel Retail: The Effect of Product Information" (with S. Gallino and T. Moreno)

  • 2010 AMA Innovation, Technology and Interactivity Best Article of the Year, 2011 Description

    “Spatiotemporal Analysis of Imitation Behavior across New Buyers at an Online Grocery Retailer,” published in Journal of Marketing Research, 47 (February) 75-89. (with J. Choi and S. Hui)

  • Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011
  • Finalist, INFORMS Long Term Impact Award for Marketing Science, 2010 Description

    For “Looking for Loss Aversion in Scanner Panel Data: The Confounding Effect of Price Response Heterogeneity,” Marketing Science, 19, 2 (Spring), 185-200. (with J. Lattin)

  • MBA Core Curriculum Award, “Above and beyond call of duty”, 2009
  • Finalist, INFORMS Long Term Impact Award for Marketing Science, 2009 Description

    For “The Decomposition of Promotional Response: An Empirical Generalization,” Marketing Science, 18, 4 (Fall), 504-26. (with J. Chiang, V. Padmanabhan)

  • MBA for Executives (West) Elective Teaching Award, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • MBA Core Curriculum Award, “Above and beyond call of duty”, 2006
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, Journal of Retailing, 2005
  • MBA for Executives (East) Elective Teaching Award, 2004, 2005 Description

    Marketing Strategy

  • John D.C. Little Best Paper Award Finalist, 2004 Description

    For "Creating Win-Win Trade Promotions: Theory and Empirical Analysis of Scanback Trade Deals,” Marketing Science, 22 (1), 16-39. (with X. Dreze)

  • Marketing Science Institute Young Scholars Program, 2002
  • John D.C. Little Best Paper Award Finalist, 2001 Description

    For “Looking for Loss Aversion in Scanner Panel Data: The Confounding Effect of Price Response Heterogeneity,” Marketing Science, 19, 2 (Spring), 185-200. (with J. Lattin)

  • Frank M. Bass Outstanding Dissertation Award, 2000 Description

    For “Shopping Behavior and Consumer Preference for Retail Price Format: Why `Large Basket’ Shoppers Prefer EDLP,” Marketing Science, 17, 1 (Winter), 66-88. (with J. Lattin)

  • John D.C. Little Best Paper Award Finalist, 1998 Description

    For “Shopping Behavior and Consumer Preference for Retail Price Format: Why `Large Basket’ Shoppers Prefer EDLP,” Marketing Science, 17, 1 (Winter), 66-88. (with J. Lattin)

  • Winner, Alden G. Clayton Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Award, 1994

In the News

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Activity

Latest Research

David Bell, Antonio Moreno-Garcia, Santiago Gallino (2018), The Store is Dead -- Long Live the Store, MIT Sloan Management Review.
All Research

In the News

Will Traditional Retailers Get a Frosty Reception This Holiday Season?

Is rushing to stores for price-slashed holiday gifts still a thing, now that customers can order anything they want online and even get discounts? Here’s what Wharton marketing experts have to say.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2017/11/24
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Awards and Honors

Overall Best Paper Award 2014, Workshop on Information Systems and Economics (WISE) 2014
All Awards