“Clicks” vs. “Bricks” bookstores

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I’ve been considering how a “bricks” bookstore would compete in today’s online world, and in the retail bookstore industry that has been transformed by Amazon.com.

The best way to compete as a local bookstore would be through the smart use of low-cost technologies, combined with a unique, customized, quality customer service and an in-depth knowledge of local book buying habits and interests. A local bookstore should specialize and find a niche target market. It should also study carefully the local market behaviors in regards to book buying.

Additionally, a local bookstore can supplement walk-in physical sales with online book sales through an established retailer such as Amazon.com. But, once again, the number one advantage a local bookstore has is its physical presence. This gives it the ability to service its customers by provide a real tangible shopping experience and a value that goes beyond the books being purchased. Additionally, a local bookstore can respond more quickly to current events or other trends, providing information, events and related books that are relevant to the market’s ever changing interests. A website would be very challenged to do this effectively.

(Note: Because I’m on vacation this week, this post was pre-written some days ago. Enjoy, and pitch in with ideas and comments)

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