Buying a book online has never been easier, however, buying a book that is not sold through Amazon is a bit harder since they are the biggest reseller worldwide. In the past few months, it has become obvious that independent bookstores are facing closure if they cannot find a unique way to sell their books. This issue became even more important when online sales rocketed since people wanted to spend isolation time discovering new authors and reading compelling stories.
Why the trend?
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed everyone’s lives. Bookshop owners suddenly realized that they are struggling with decreasing numbers of customers due to lockdowns and quarantine measures. Hundreds of bookstores have shuttered their physical doors, emptied shelves, and signed up with Bookshop, an eCommerce website partnering with indie bookstores.
Just two weeks before WHO announced a global pandemic, this site was created to help independent and small bookstores sell their books online and become more visible on the market. This platform allowed them to have a new source of income in the form of a clean, user-friendly online bookstore that is based on community support.
The founders claim that there are 2,000 bookstores in the country and less than 10% of them have a working online shopping platform. Of course, Amazon is, by far, the biggest player on the market and with an influence that was shadowing small bookstores, and this platform was a chance to fight it reclaiming and reaching more customers.
Affiliates can earn money by selling with Bookshop via their social media, newsletters, websites, and they are getting 30% commission without having to trouble themselves with packaging, shipping, or handling returns. Also, Bookshop gives 10% of all non-bookstore affiliate sales on the website to support participating ABA independents bookstores in an overall earnings pool. Later, that money is evenly divided between stores every six months. Since Amazon built a strong network that connects many websites directly with book adds on their platform, Bookshop turned tides and set a trend in supporting small businesses run by book lovers that feel oppressed by a big corporation like Amazon. This created a giant wave of support and they have already gotten 240 000 $ and started working with Vox, New York Times, and Slate.
Bookshop’s immediate popularity suggests that many customers are willing to support local businesses and eager for a wider range of online book shopping options.
How about joining forces with local entrepreneurs in your niche?