To Boost Online Sales, Focus on Close-Knit Communities

David Bell

Word-of-mouth testimonials from consumers are effective in driving online sales. But these signals are even more powerful in communities where people have closer ties and trust each other, according to new research by Wharton marketing professor David Bell and Jae Lee. Read More

Technology and Barriers to Entry in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry

Working Papers

The real estate brokerage industry is important. For a majority of U.S. households, purchasing or selling a home is one of their most important financial decisions. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that almost 80% of residential real estate transactions involve a realtor. The industry has gone through several significant developments in the past decade.Read More

Do Organic Results Help or Hurt Sponsored Search Performance?

Published Research

We study the impact of changes in the position of competing listings in organic search results on the performance of sponsored search advertisements. Using data for several keywords from an online retailer’s ad campaign, we measure the impact of organic competition on both click-through rate and conversion rate of sponsored search ads for these keywords.Read More

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

Published Research

Conventional wisdom holds that the internet makes the world flat and reduces friction by erasing the impact of the physical world on our buying habits. But Wharton professor David Bell argues that the way we use the internet is still largely shaped by the physical world we inhabit.Read More

Media Multiplexing Behavior: Implications for Targeting and Media Planning

Published Research

There is a growing trend among consumers to serially consume small, incomplete “chunks” of multiple media types—television, radio, Internet, and print—within a short time period. We refer to this behavior as media multiplexing and note the key challenges for integrated marketing communications media planners.Read More

Preference Minorities and the Internet

Published Research

Offline retailers face trading area and shelf space constraints, so they offer products tailored to the needs of the majority. Consumers whose preferences are dissimilar to the majority — “preference minorities” — are underserved offline and should be more likely to shop online. The authors use sales data from Diapers.com, the leading U.S. online retailer for baby diapers, to show why geographic variation in preference minority status of target customers explains geographic variation in online sales.Read More

The Internet and Job Search

Published Research

As dot-coms proliferated and at home Internet use skyrocketed, many economists began to speculate on how this new technology would change the labor market. In 2000 Alan Krueger wrote that “The Internet is rapidly changing the way workers search for jobs and employers recruit workers . . . [with] significant implications for unemployment, pay, and productivity.”Read More

“Lost” on the Web: Does Web Distribution Stimulate or Depress Television Viewing?

Published Research

In the past few years, YouTube and other sites for sharing video files over the Internet have vaulted from obscurity to places of centrality in the media landscape. The files available at YouTube include a mix of user-generated video and clips from network television shows.Read More