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Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One Hardcover – July 15, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A powerful rejoinder to anyone who predicted the irrelevancy of the three most important factors in retail: location, location and location. It’s a must read for anyone who runs an Internet business.” —BRAD STONE, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

“David Bell has written a playbook about how to win the internet. By illuminating the connections between our physical and virtual lives, he’s paved the way for smarter shopping, selling, sharing and living.” —NEIL BLUMENTHAL and DAVE GILBOA, co-CEOs and co-founders of Warby Parker

“Thoroughly researched and elegantly written, this book offers a provocative insight—our online behavior depends a lot on where we live and this relationship is quite stable and predictable. Anyone interested in understanding online behavior of consumers would benefit tremendously from reading this book.” —SUNIL GUPTA, the Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

“The Internet has had a powerful impact on business. But the real world and the virtual one are more connected than you might think. Location Is (Still) Everything shows you what’s new, what’s the same, and what you should be doing about it.” —JONAH BERGER, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On

“Wharton professor David Bell reveals how location still matters in surprising ways, even in the supposedly 'flat' world of e-commerce.” —INC.com

“Wharton marketing professor David Bell trots out a laundry list of convincing evidence that today, despite all the world-is-flat hype, where we live still dictates our buying patterns. It’s a welcome addition to a conversation that seems to ignore the fact that even in today’s hyper-connected age, only a projected 9% of retail transactions will happen online by the end of 2014, according to Forrester Research—and even those purchases are shaped by the physical world around them.” —Fortune.com

“The bursting of the Internet bubble in 2000 has often been blamed on what then Fed chairman Alan Greenspan described as 'irrational exuberance,' but that’s only one part of the story. In [Location is (Still) Everything], David R. Bell, the Xinmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, suggests other reasons for the bust, reasons that should concern anyone with an interest in online commerce. The book doesn’t address the bubble directly, but it does deflate the idea that underpinned much of the exuberance in the second half of 1990s—that the Internet is always a flat, friction-less marketplace.” —Strategy + Business

About the Author

David R. Bell is the Xinmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studies how we use the Internet and related technologies to search, shop, and sell. David developed Wharton’s first course on digital marketing and e-commerce, and he is an active angel investor in, and adviser to, a variety of successful Internet startups. David is a New Zealand citizen and received his PhD from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He divides his time between Philadelphia and San Francisco, and searches and shops online from both places.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544262271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544262270
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David R. Bell is the Xinmei Zhang and Yongge Dai Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he researches how people use the Internet and related technologies for shopping and information. David is an active angel investor in, and advisor to, a variety of Internet startups.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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11%
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See all 27 customer reviews
A must READ for anyone involved in an ecommerce company.
KANISHKA W.
As we all are head down into our smart phones this book explains what we are doing and how it relates to our physical location.
Rick Toone
This book is both very interesting and very well researched and useful.
Branka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hong on October 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a ton of business, economic, and psychology books. I’m a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, Clayton Christensen, and authors of that genre. I loved this book. In these days of e-commerce, we often discard location as ball and chain that we’ve been released from. But what this book reveals is how our physical location is still such a strong force in determining how we behave.

I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone, but David introduces this idea of homophily as part of his framework, GRAVITY, and brilliantly reveals how and why birds of a feather really do flock together.

I actually work for a hyperlocal digital advertising technology company that runs ad campaigns based on where people live and their proximity to retail stores. This book has provided incredible insights that both explained the phenomenon that we’ve seen and predicted others we haven’t.

I highly recommend this book for anyone that is either working in digital or starting up a tech venture. This will no doubt inform any strategy that you are considering that involves geographic expansion.
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Format: Hardcover
Many years ago while completing several assignments for American Airlines, I had the opportunity to spend some time at its training center and was intrigued by the flight simulator. Of course, the design and capabilities must be based on the real-world experiences it replicates. I recalled that visit as I began to read this book.

According to David Bell, the relationships that exist between our physical-world locations and our virtual-world behaviors can be - and usually are -- robust. "They'll be pretty stable and quite predictable. Indeed, the very idea that your experiences in the physical world shape your behavior in the virtual world may seem rather obvious after you've seen the reasons why. (Good and lasting ideas always seem intuitive once you have the means to appreciate them.)" Quite true.

Bell suggests that gravitational pull is the reason he'd be better off taking the elevator in his apartment building rather than a "shortcut" to the street by jumping from the window. Yes, that is a simple example but its implications are anything but simple. The characters played by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in the film Gravity can flow in space but not when approaching the space shuttle before the next flight. They and we live in two worlds: where we are located physically when purchasing a copy of Bell's book, and, where information as well as our thoughts and feelings about it exist. We have a physical location when using the Internet to complete the purchase but it makes no difference where and when we do so.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First (fun) fact: David Bell, the writer, is a pure blood Kiwi; he succeeds from the first pages of his book to mix references from the All Blacks, Lorde, and Invercargill, his home town. If you dream about the Southern hemisphere, buy the book. Yes, even if you do not care about e-commerce and/or Internet and/or academic research. New Zealand inhabitants are so few that Location is (still) everything is a rare way to enjoy Kiwi humor and culture.

Second (serious) fact: if you are interested by e-commerce, Internet, academic research, then familiarize yourself with GRAVITY. This is the key concept which organizes David's book
G... Geography - Where we live determine to a great extent our preferences and the way we use Internet
R...Resistance - Internet is used to remove search frictions (in big cities) or geographic frictions (smaller locations)
A...Adjacency - We are similar to our neighbors which induces geographic contagion
V...Vicinity - initial sales arise from proximity, later sales from similarity
I...Isolation - local sellers cater to the majority so the preference minority buys online
T...Topography - tax rates, delivery time, shopping environment is different in each place
Y... You - if you want to become rich then follow Warby Parker's example
David's main theory is to show that the way you shop online depends actually a lot of where you currently leave (the "real" world).

Third (fun) fact: if you are the kind of person who likes Trivial Pursuit or brainteasers, this book is a gold mine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Muir on September 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book provides truly novel insights that demonstrate how who we are as offline consumers (and, importantly, where we are located) affect who we are as online consumers, eloquently encapsulated in the GRAVITY framework, a set of strategies that provide the foundations for one to actively and effectively engage in the digital marketplace. As an educator I will adopt this book as a textbook for my digital marketing class, but the book is equally and especially pertinent to industry practitioners who are looking for clear advice on how to propel their marketing strategies and prosper in the digital world. (The short answer? Location!) Dr. Bell is a master storyteller, doing an extraordinary job distilling rather complex ideas from a host of academic studies into tangible nuggets through the easy-to-remember GRAVITY acronym. I highly recommend the book to educators, industry practitioners, disruptive innovators, and anyone else with an interest in understanding how to leverage the interplay of the offline and online spheres in this rapidly-evolving world.
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