Dozens of booksellers gathered at Spring Book Show to discuss a variety of topics including store traffic, the economy, and maximizing sales.
Ideas for Attracting Store Traffic
Use Twitter to make friends, not for the hard sell. High Give:Ask ratio. Use Get Caught Reading!
Keep sign-up sheet for Emails at Point of Purchase area.
Exploit B2B! Reach out to schools, non-profits, gift shops, museums, realtors, libraries, etc.
Making the Most of Each Customer; Maximizing Sales, Creating Repeat Customers Advanced Hand Selling – Place the book in the customer’s hand and take the book out of the customer’s hands, both create ownership and sell books.
Offer a ‘money back guarantee” book; get the staff to agree on pushing selected staff picks.
Sell to any & all that enter the store to sell you.
Getting the Customer to Return, And Bring a New Customer
Give automatic local discount based on zip code.
Daily Word Challenge – game where a purchase must be made to play; win something from the “fabulous prize box”, in this instance filled with mini candy bars.
In the case of used books, have receipt show how much has been saved.
Host an in-store Ereader Class inviting customers to bring in their e-readers and demonstrate how to buy books from your website.
Print off bibliographies for your customers of their favorite writers or genres.
A no cost program with a big return for children’s booksellers
By Heather Hebert, Children’s Book World
We are about to head into the time of year when fall galleys start flooding into our stores. It always starts out nice and organized and then inevitably the galleys completely overtake your office, your back room, your storage area. Your instinct is to get rid of them, but wait, DO NOT GET RID OF YOUR FALL GALLEYS until you read this first. We have been running a program for the last twelve years that brings customers in repeatedly, builds a sense of community, generates tons of goodwill and it costs nothing, and takes next to no time set up and run. It is our read and review summer program for children, tweens and Young Adults.
Every summer we take most of the fall galleys we receive put them in crates according to age group (3rd- 5th grade, 6th -8th and YA). We then send out an email inviting our customers to read and review these ARCS for us. Each child is allowed to take out one book at a time and keep it for up to two weeks. A one page review sheet is given with each book. We do not want this to feel like homework so we keep the questions light and simple. They can either be answered with pretty much one sentence (or even one word) such as , “would you recommend this book to your friend?” and some of the questions are even in scale form, such as “rate this book on a scale of 1 to 10 – one being awful and 10 being totally awesome!” Everytime a book and review are turned in, a dollar store credit is given. At the end of the summer, these credits can be redeemed.
This month’s highlighted benefit of SIBA Membership is the Free Book Stimulus Plan (FBSP) Any core member store can participate and it is a high-value perk for which the bookstore has to do very little.
We have core member stores who have placed the FBSP website on their receipts and stores that have printed out the mail-back form as a bag stuffer. SIBA has collected a contact list of hundreds and hundreds of southern readers via this program and does outreach on members’ behalf regularly. We have had many participants from Alpharetta, Suwanee, and Duluth, GA; Elizabeth City and Franklin, NC; and Tampa, FL. We’ve given away over 2000 books. It is a great way to thank your customers and who doesn’t love getting a free book in the mail?
Bottom Line: Anyone who shops in your store can mail their receipt attached to the form found at www.freebookstimulusplan.com and they are mailed a free book handpicked by me from my library of books from 20 years with SIBA.