Small Business Academy

9 Aug

Q: My family owns an independent books and gifts store. What are the best ways to market ourselves and stay afloat and compete with the Kindle?

boulder-bookstore

 

I have to say as an author and someone who has been in the publishing field for several years now, that I can’t agree some of what is being said here.  I would like to offer a couple of simple steps that you could change your entire financial picture and generate years of success.

First, stop trying to “compete” with others in your industry.  Instead, keep your focus on serving your customers and creating new ways to bring more value to them and their experience with you.  If you have been following any of the trade publications over the last year or two you will see one glaring fact and that is ereaders, digital downloads, and smart phones are here to stay and now make up the bulk in book sales.  My recommendation to you is to build your own ebookstore online and set up an in-store kiosk so your customers can shop online, in your store, download digital books, or purchase a hardcopy all under your brand.  You should already have a website up.  If you don’t, get one pronto!  The next step is to add a shopping cart.  I like “1Shopingcart”.  I will also allow you to build your on-line “list” and send thank you auto-responders after purchase and campaigns or notices of special events.  In today’s market this is an absolute essential.  You will be able to continually upload books as needed. Now, here is the kicker.  Brick-n-mortar book stores who also have an online store have seen a 30% increase in revenue.  Your online store works for your 24/7, 365 making you money while you sleep and letting your customers shop at their convenience  

The key here is customer service.  The better your service your customer in all the ways they like to shop the deeper the brand loyalty.  Then, add that something special they can only get at your store such as year round gift wrapping and gift cards that can be used for digital downloads at your online store or in-store purchases.  I hope this has helped you.  If you need more in depth help please feel free to contact me on my website.  I would also strongly suggest that you download a copy of The Princeton Principle.  You will find a lot more detailed information than what I can provide to you here.  For more free business success tips, tools, and support go to AlexzandraD.com.  Good luck and I wish you continued success.

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