For centuries, books have been an in-demand product. The Internet has provided each bookstore with new online opportunities. From the start of the internet boom, it was evident that books will occupy a certain niche in eCommerce.
The bookselling sector will continue to grow because of its convenient format, limitless shelf life, affordable transportation costs, creative digital reproductions, and bestselling writers who write amazing stories. Aas long as books are in high demand, online entrepreneurs will always have a market to explore.
This guide includes information from encouraging thoughts on the potential of online bookselling to the layout of a low-cost online bookstore.
Online bookstore market characteristics and challenges
As with every industry, the book business begins with a market survey and a fundamental knowledge of what an online bookstore is. It is worth taking a look at each of the difficulties. Some issues will persist for a long time, while others will appear to fade away when their causes completely disappear.
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Quality: The breadth of the market
The book-selling platform will never go out of business. COVID-19 has had little influence on the global bookselling industry. Retailers are encouraged to develop online stores as a result of the regular lockdowns that force many people to stay at home.
Many people are concerned about contracting the virus via physical artifacts. Touchless payments and door-to-door delivery appear to be able to help counterbalance such issues in the paper book industry. When selling books from hand to hand at brick-and-mortar bookshops, retailers must keep in mind that due to the customers’ established habits of buying online, many customers may not be able to return to brick-and-mortar bookshops.
Quality: E-books popularity
New trends in the book business are in a process of being created by both total digitalization of the routines and pandemic limits. It’s understandable why paper book sales are slowly declining while e-book sales are increasing. It’s expected that between 2021 and 2030, the e-book industry is going to rise by 11.7%.
Quality: Paper books infinity
Printed papers will not vanish from bookshelves. Nonetheless, certain alterations in the paper book industry are possible. The economics of print-on-demand encourages manufacturers to embrace the concept.
Only blockbusters and instructive material may now be mass-produced in large quantities on paper. Print-on-demand helps publishers to avoid freezing their working cash for risky long-term expenditures. Customized books, which may be created in very limited quantities, are another emerging trend. The content of such books designed for a specific client is made up of personalized words and graphics.
Issues: Copyright infringement
Many netizens are enticed to download pirated copies of books. When a single paper copy is digitized and made available for free on the internet, the entire print run looks to be at risk of going unsold.
To counter the problem, editors and retailers should launch broader advertising to alert new buyers about where they may easily obtain legal versions. Shareable links, QR codes, email newsletters, and other modern technological tools come to the rescue. Marketing techniques such as lotteries, giving distributes, autographed copies, and other similar methods might assist readers to overlook illegal versions.
Issues: Books in audio version
People need to consume material on the move to keep up with their fast-paced daily lives. Audiobooks should be used by authors, publishers, and booksellers as a new way to reach out to their audiences. Every book should include an audio version as an optional by-product that is available alongside other forms.
However, producing a good audiobook is not easy. Nevertheless, nonfiction books and specialist literature are rarely available in audio format: you will be hard-pressed to discover an audio version of a higher math textbook. Audiobooks provide a challenge to the traditional book industry but should not be a source of anxiety for online store operators.
Issues: Marketing strategies
Some services enable you to come up with innovative ways to reach a larger number of readers. Readers can use comments and summaries posted on such sites to determine whether a book matches their interests.
Furthermore, providing brief information about each new book may keep the audience informed about changes in the book business. Booksellers may use research to figure out who the proper audience is for each book. The more work you put into providing your consumers with personalized sales, the fewer readers will get distanced from your target market. Alternatives are the means through which bookshops may go to the next degree.
The exposure of books and writers is considerably increased when they are sold through online retailers. A lower price and better client service must be achieved. Your online shop may outperform others by combining well-designed capabilities with attentive customer-centric services.
Online bookstore market trends
Because the book industry is always changing, certain important trends must emerge along the way.
- For writers, publishers, and bookstores, combining ebooks/audiobooks with paper copies may be a potent promotional tool. There are digital advances accessible to generate and launch electronic copies of books.
- Reviews and summaries serve as a fantastic appetizer for readers seeking new publications. Popular summary platforms are taking things a step further by turning their author collaborations into online courses.
- AI might aid publishers and retailers in the efficient tracking of consumer behavior.
- Self-publishing is quickly becoming a popular way for new authors to get their work out there. Authors will have more flexibility with self-publishing since they will have more influence over numerous factors such as graphic design, packaging, marketing.
- Small independent publishers provide a broader range of books from a broader range of authors. Many popular writers choose to work with publishers from the rapidly expanding small publisher list.
History of Amazon: From online bookstore to everything
The history of Amazon demonstrates that the path to the wealthiest shop may start with an online website that was formerly thought to be a cheap online bookstore.
- Amazon began offering a global delivery service, which was groundbreaking at the time. It has been selling computer games and music since 1998.
- Electronics, toys, home goods, and software were added to Amazon’s product line in the 2000s.
- With the debut of Amazon Web Services, Amazon transformed into a tech firm.
- The first Amazon Kindle e-reader was released in 2007.
- Amazon Publishing Service was launched in 2011 to make ebook distribution quickly outperform traditional book sales.
How to get ahead in the global book market?
Every bookseller is expected to use marketing strategies that have been proven by successful authors, publishers, and booksellers in the past.
- Tell writers and bookstores concise descriptions, summaries, and reviews. Concentrate on what piques your audience’s attention the most. Work with your consumers regularly.
- You should not be hesitant to make cold calls for support and help to authors, social media influencers, bloggers, book reviewers, and other essential people who can influence your audience’s perception. Consider what kind of service you might provide in exchange for them spreading the news about your bookstore.
- Create SMS campaigns that are tailored to your target demographic. At least twice a week, update your online blog with new posts. Post a short video interview with an author on your YouTube channel.
- Never rely on a platform other than your online bookstore. Do everything you can to increase visitors to your website using social media. If you concentrate on web resources that are not under your control, your online presence will be susceptible.
- Social media networks may be useful and successful tools for promoting your business.
How to build an online bookstore on Magento and Shopware?
Now that we determined all of the ins and outs of the book business let’s talk about building an actual online bookstore. Perhaps the best way to achieve this is using an e-commerce platform that is the most suited for this goal, such as Magento and Shopaware. Magento development of course requires certain expertise so it’s best to look for a reliable vendor that specializes in the platform or a Shopware agency.
If you create an online book shop, the following website architecture appears nearly by default:
- Your client’s journey through your online book shop begins on the front page. There are several homepage layouts available.
- The product catalog displays your full offering to the audience. There are certain key elements about the books you sell there, such as a cover image, synopsis, size, price, author information, and so on.
- Reviews, reader feedback, delivery information, pricing, and coupons may all be found on the product detail page.
- The readers can purchase an e-book with an e-book option.
- Checkout and cart create an experience by outlining all of the actions your readers must take to purchase the cart. Both shipping services and payment channels can be incorporated here.
- Your consumers may customize their online book shop experience by providing a little but appropriate quantity of personal information. The data enables you to establish a direct line of communication with your audience to run promotional programs that increase retention.
A separate layer of your website is dedicated to administrative duties:
- Order management provides access to everything needed to handle orders, including altering order status, delivering information to users, issuing bills, scheduling shipment, and developing tailored offers.
- Product management allows you to control all of the material on the website, including creating new pages and changing old ones.
- Customer management assists you in making essential modifications to your online book shop to better match the expectations of your target audience.
- The services offer a wide range of out-of-the-box options and configurations to enable you to tailor your online book shop to your specific requirements.
- You may set different prices for different consumers or groups of customers. It can function in an automated manner without the need for manual operations.
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The final words
People are now accustomed to purchasing items through the internet. The worldwide book market is dominated by e-books and audiobooks. The most efficient approach to reach a large audience of book readers is through online book retailers. Just like anything, building an online bookstore takes time, patience, technical and marketing expertise, but from a business standpoint, it’s absolutely worth the effort if done correctly.
This article is written by Jane Vyshnova. Jane is the CEO & Co-Founder of Dinarys GmbH, a development agency specializing in Magento and Shopware. For over a decade Jane has been specializing in management and has been in the IT field for the past 8 years. You can follow her on LinkedIn.