The current issue of Martha Stewart Living includes a six-page feature on reading and independent bookstores, titled “Hit the Books! Our Reading List for 2017.”
As the news media has been reporting, some big box stores are closing some of their retail store fronts in non lucrative traffics areas these days.
What the unknown is that over time these big names had been gradually building their online storefront communities. Some of them had even started to combined their online sites with third party marketplace sellers.
This strategy has slowly building more new website traffic conversions to these big box retailers. One observation in the booksellers community is that part of the product mix of these big box brands web storefronts includes books which over the years was one of biggest internet e-commerce success grandfathered by the eBay and Amazon pioneers.
As books is entirely a new arena for these brands which in the past were in appliances, technology, housewares and clothing to name a few, these online selling marketplaces have not been fully invaded by the so called cheap discounters and dropshippers from Amazon and the traditional books online marketplaces. For how long it will be like these remains a question of time. This was the same scenario years back when independent booksellers started bailing out of Amazon and EBay to then specialized books website marketplaces.
As any bookseller knows. today these so called book special marketplaces are now following the footsteps of mighty Amazon. Not only are the so called valued Quality of books pricing and sellers are diminishing, these sites have deviated on their focus on helping Independant bookstores grow to the tune of fees, fees, charges and commissions. Some have amassed so much money by having selling fees and commissions tiers depending on how books you list and sell.
So as these big box retailers capture market share in books and having independent online sellers as partners our wish is that they don’t follow the footsteps on how book selling marketplaces are being run today. It’s fair to say these big box stores have established their brands of quality and customer service. Hopefully they don’t destroy their reputation by making sure they indeed study the facts and scenarios in bookselling today.
As we continue our vision of Affordable books, affordable with value, quality, and customer service is the main focus versus cheapest price in the planet.