Part of our job at Chrislands is to create your online
bookstore, database administration, and to maintain your online
presence. This helps to market your store by ensuring your
customers can quickly and easily locate your products online.
There are also several simple steps that you the
bookseller, can take to ensure you are maximizing how you market your
business. This newsletter will look at several simple ways you
can further promote your bookstore and, as a result, increase your
We cover quite a bit here. I hope it is not
too long for you.
I do not want to take up too much space here
explaining what we do but I do want to highlight some.
As many of you know, twice a week we upload your inventory to http://www.google.com/products
(base.google). We have recently given you access to this upload
file for you to use anyway you determine is best. For instance,
two sites Dealoz.com and Shopping.com support the base.google product
feed. Of course, you have to have an account with these
sites. There might be other sites out there that also support
these feeds or you might have other ideas of how to use this file to
market your business.
You can find your base.google product feed in your store
Login -> Administration -> Marketing (left menu) -> Sites
That Accept Base.Google (froogle) Feed
Twice a week, we also create/update google compatible sitemap files
for your store. We add your store to our Webmaster tool kit
account and link google to those sitemaps. You can find your
sitemap file by entering the following link in your browser.
You have to replace YOURDOMAINNAME.EXTENSION with your own domain
name and extension (.com, .uk.co, .com.au, etc). This is an
index sitemap, it points to any and all other sitemap files for your
store. Be careful opening the actual sitemap files as they may
be quite large and lock up your browser.
Good descriptions help to ensure buyer satisfaction
and higher sales. The more a buyer knows about a book, the more
likely they are to buy it. Moreover, your customers will be
happy when they receive exactly what they expected.
Make sure your listings include (where applicable):
-- Describe the condition and binding accurately
-- List any flaws clearly and honestly
-- Include a brief synopsis or interesting details if suitable
-- Provide details about any signatures or inscriptions
This might be too time consuming for all listings, but
if you have some really rare or high cost items, it might be worth
A good description might help with placement in search
engines as well.
your Store through Email
A significant amount of any online business is
conducted through email - therefore, it is wise to start using your
email to promote and market your business.
Having an email signature is an effective and
inexpensive way to get your store name and contact information
out every time you send or reply to an email
Use your email signature to provide your customers with all the
contact information they require, and to attract new buyers to your
The basic signature block should include contact information and the
store's web address. It is also common to include other
information, such as links to specific products or categories, any
current promotions, or a favourite quote. For example:
Communicating with customers by email is an important
way to market your online store. In all your emails you
should include information about your store so that it is easy for
customers to find you when they are ready to order again. We
recommend you send three follow up emails for every order. These
1. Books Available Confirmation email.
2. Books Shipped email.
3. Books Delivered email.
The purpose of "Books Available Confirmation" email is to
inform the customer you have the book(s) they ordered and you will
ship the book(s) the next business day. In this email you can
suggest an additional book(s) to order (see cross-selling
above). You could also tell the buyer that if he/she wanted to
order any additional books, then you could include those books in
his/her order at no additional shipping cost.
The purpose of the "Books Shipped" email is to inform the
buyer that his/her order has been shipped. If delivery
confirmation is used, then the delivery confirmation code should be
provided to the buyer. This email also implicitly lets the
buyer know that it is too late to order additional books that can be
included in that order.
The purpose of the "Books Delivered" email is to inform the
buyer their order should have arrived (this assumes you use some type
of delivery confirmation). From a marketing perspective this is
the most important email; when the buyer receives the "Books
Delivered" email he/she has already received his or her
order. Assuming there is nothing wrong with the order then this
is when the buyer should be most satisfied because he/she has just
received the book they desired. Since you have now fully
satisfied the customer, you will want to remind him or her about how
they can order more books from you. You may even want offer a
coupon code as an incentive to order from your store.
Have This Too!
Cross-selling books can be very effective. Many
booklovers would be interested to hear your suggestions on similar
books they might enjoy by the same author, or a different book within
the same literary genre.
Cross selling is most useful when the suggestions are
sincere, and when they are presented in a timely manner. Try
positioning cross-selling in the email you use to tell the buyer
about means of payment and shipping.
We hope you enjoy this copy of Animal Dreams by Barbara
Kinsolver. We have many more books by Barbara Kingsolver.
Have you read Prodigal Summer?
You might also say something like:
We hope you enjoy this copy of American Cities, a
Panoramic View. We have many other listings in our Art category.
Additionally, we believe in every shipment you send
you should add something that reminds the buyer of your store.
A few examples could be: current coupons, a flyer of upcoming
promotions, special events you have going on, book fairs you are
participating in, and even just a bookmark with your store's domain name
Page Content and More
Your use and choice of keywords plays a very important
part in how often customers will locate your listings. Although
I'm not an expert, I do believe that the use of keywords in content
helps wtih placement in search engines and on what page your store
will appear on search results.
This applies to the page content on your
website, (home, about us, contact us, etc) as well as
descriptions of your inventory. Again, it might be too time
consuming to do every item in your inventory but if you have some
really special items, look at the keywords and how they are used in
Try to keep the wording on your site as relevant to
the books you are selling as possible. Think about what
potential buyers would type into a search engine when looking for a
book you have for sale.
You will want to include these key terms or phrases in your site
content as much as possible, without getting overly repetitive.
What this means is use the keywords in the context of a paragraph
Rather than try to convince you, I've added links to
some articles about the use of keywords and your website
content. Please review these as you have time:
You have the ability to edit your store's page content
right inside your store's administration:
Login -> Administration -> click a page
title/page area in left menu
If you have not updated your page content for a while
or think you can work in some good keywords, we highly recommend that
a Community, Right?
Don't discount the potential business gained by
advertising through traditional, offline channels. I think
since we are online we forget that we still are part of a local
community and that might be a mistake.
Think about putting an ad for your bookshop in the
local paper - especially if you would like to highlight your niche
market, specialty listings, or any upcoming sales.
Make sure your store is listed in the local Phone Book.
Look for any relevant public service opportunities,
especially if there are any relevant upcoming community events such
as literacy drives, or antiquarian book fairs.
Think outside the box. I once read about a store
owner who recieved a permit from the city to have a parade and then
put on a one "float" parade emphasizing their
business. Don't know if this is true but if it is, what a great
example of thinking outside the box.
Unfortunately, owning an online store is not like a
Field of Dreams. Just because you build it does not mean they
will come. An online business is the same as any other
business, there will always be a need to market your
I hope we have given some of you new ideas, refreshed some ideas for
others, and maybe brought other ideas to mind for you to market your