Like with any business, growing your online bookstore requires plenty of time and effort. Even still, you don’t need to go into the process without guidance. Of course, you can consider standard tools and resources, studying marketing best practices and business methods for online shopping platforms. However, you can also take a more targeted approach. Rather than implementing generic concepts, consider focusing your attention on efforts that focus on online bookstores and, even more specifically, your bookstore in particular. Whether you specialize in bibles and other Christian books or you highlight new releases and old favorites of all kinds, the right plan can skyrocket your online bookstore’s growth.
Learn from the experts.
When it comes to growing your online business, e-commerce experts can take your plan from functional to phenomenal. Consider hiring experts like the experienced professionals behind Ascenial, a growth marketing company dedicated to breaking the mold within the industry. Are you waiting until your company has grown a bit before you hire outside experts? Turn to the insights they provide in the meantime for some great ideas to get you started—for instance, Tim Chard’s years of expertise are utilized in the company’s blog and within their team of promoters. Whether you’re promoting the bible and Harper Collins Christian new releases or current bestsellers of every niche, these methods can draw in your ideal customers.
Consider your niche.
As an online bookstore, you’ll want to focus your attention on more particular ideas than e-commerce best practices alone. Instead, it would be best if you turned to concepts targeted specifically to digital bookstores. To take this a step further still, take note of your more exact niche. For example, a Christian book store would focus on bibles and the other Christian books in their current catalogs. Another online shop might not use a blessing in their marketing efforts, but one focused on Christian books would prioritize that as an incredibly effective method for reaching their target audience.
Take advantage of events.
If you were running a brick-and-mortar bookstore, you’d likely be hosting events with local and touring authors, promoting new releases, bestsellers, and neighborhood works. Online, you can’t host these features in retail locations, but you can certainly take advantage of Zoom readings and other digital events. After all, it’s these tools that brought many traditional bookstores through the height of COVID-19. Be sure to highlight a holiday or special occasion, too. For instance, Christian bookstores might highlight featured bestsellers, a new Christian picture book, and children’s bibles as potential gifts as young believers take their first communion. A change as simple as starting to feature info about these events on your website can help draw potential customers to your site, whether they’re looking for Spanish bibles or Harper Collins Christian bestsellers.
Upgrade your outreach.
Beyond the basics of marketing, consider more creative activities for spreading the word about your shop. Maybe you’ll work with influencers, creating exclusive coupon opportunities, sharing sample chapters, or creating an affiliate program to crowdsource social media coverage. You might include exclusive downloads or today’s scripture on your site’s homepage. You could even add seasonal gifts and accessories to your inventory like frankincense and myrrh come advent. However, you’re reaching out to potential customers, consider ways you could improve those methods.
Make it easy.
If your website is challenging to use, it won’t matter how thoughtful your marketing efforts are—no one will want to utilize your site. At every stage, ensure you’re prioritizing your user’s experience. For example, when a customer creates an account and provides their email address, do you offer an incentive like free shipping to thank them? If they’re searching for Spanish books, will your site’s algorithm suggest Spanish gifts next? Can they find gift certificates or book bulk deals quickly? Do they have to use advanced search tools to find Harper Collins kid’s books? Answer questions like these from the perspective of your ideal buyer. Then, make sure they’re getting the most from your site, whether they’re seeking scripture-focused graduation gifts or they’re drawn in by your new free shipping deal.
Some customers turn to online bookstores for used copies of the Berenstain Bears series or classics like James Joyce’s Dubliners. Others are searching for current bestsellers or featured new releases, while still others want to spread the Holy Spirit through large print bibles. From online gift certificates and personal finance tomes to baby gifts and first communion must-haves, your online bookstore is unique—and it deserves a marketing plan that’s just as unique as it is.