If you’ve got the bookstore basics nailed but are looking for opportunities to improve and grow, consider these tips to help you run a successful bookstore.
1. Be creative when running promotions
Promotions, book bundles, gift sets and seasonal offers are a great way to encourage new and regular customers into your bookstore.
Books are a popular gift. Promote gift vouchers at the counter and consider a display in your best-selling categories that features a “top 5 books of the month” or similar. You should also make it easy for gift recipients to exchange titles bought at your store if they already own them.
Gift bundles are a clever way to move stock by pairing a strong selling title with a slower-moving book. And seasonal promotions or offers are a tried-and-tested way to boost sales around special occasions like Easter and Christmas.
2. Stock a range of non-book materials
Your bookstore should sell more than books. Consider related products like the movie or soundtrack associated with a book that’s also on-screen. People love to retreat with a book – help your customers create a tranquil reading nook with add-ons like meditation cushions, candles, teas, incense, handmade mugs and more.
Impulse purchases displayed at the register will help you increase the average customer spend – consider bookmarks, board games, journals and notebooks, and travel-sized or on-the-go reading accessories.
3. Consider adding a bookstore cafe
Adding a coffee shop to your bookstore is a savvy way to attract new customers and encourage readers to stay in your store for longer. Most of us love to read with a coffee or tea in hand – a café lets your customers catch up on the latest titles while enjoying a hot drink that someone else has made for them.
Our blog, 5 ways your bookstore could benefit from adding a café, gives more insight into how adding a coffee shop to your bookstore can boost revenue, attract a broader customer base and build loyalty with existing customers.
4. Hire knowledgeable and passionate staff
Bookstore customers are looking for more than fantastic customer service – they want to deal with knowledgeable staff who are passionate about reading and able to recommend both new releases and historical titles to suit their interests. Your employees should be keen readers who are well-versed in books generally and have a deep knowledge of a handful of categories. An “our favourites” section or stand personalises the shopping experience by showcasing the titles your staff are reading and encouraging customers to chat with them about these books and similar titles.
5. Host book signings and events
Book signings and events are an excellent way to create a buzz, encourage word-of-mouth promotion and build a sense of community around your bookstore. Hosting authors to speak to an audience and sign their books will draw a crowd, sell lots of books, and position your bookstore as a compelling place to visit.
6. Use bookstore-specific POS software
Point of sale software that’s designed specifically for bookstores and links with your inventory management system will empower you to get the most out of the growth strategies we’ve shared above. Your bookstore POS system should offer detailed reporting to support informed decision making and better financial management, a range of secure payment options, and ecommerce capability.
Booknet is a comprehensive bookshop management solution designed for independent and small chain retailers to simplify the way you work, increase efficiency and give you more time with your customers. It integrates seamlessly with book industry tools like Titlepage and offers a wide range of models that support you to run your bookstore your way.