Bookworld A Local Alternative To Amazon
What do you predict for the future of your business and eCommerce?
An increase in local purchasing and a backlash against those businesses that do not support local communities, ie those that strip out profits from states/countries without paying taxes in those places. Firstly many governments, including Australia, are working on this, and over the next year I believe consumers will also start being more discerning in their purchasing behaviour as this becomes more apparent and an issue to them.
This has to go hand in hand with local retailers offering as good a service as these larger international players, which many are now doing. I know it’s boring but mobile will dominate both search and transactional behaviour. Bigger screens and purpose built mobile sites will allow people to search and transact in the moment and if you do not already have a mobile-centric view then it is likely you are behind. So greater sales through mobile and greater mobile related advertising spend are two trends I see continuing.
The other area will be fulfilment options. Speed of delivery will become standard. You will have to have a same day/next day delivery and depending on your category you may need a three hour service. You then need pick-up options so people are not carded (the world’s most frustrating experience). We will see these becoming standard features on all good websites.
eCommerce is still under penetrated in Australia so as websites, delivery and the devices on which people purchase improve, ecommerce sales will take a larger share of the market
What is the Critical Success Factor in your business ?
Customers are the number one focus in our business. Not only acquiring new customers, particularly to the new Bookworld brand, but also in retaining and engaging them with relevant communication.
What is the most beneficial traffic and subscription driver to your site/s? Is it Press/Media, Social Media, SEO PPC, Affiliate?
Paid search is the strongest traffic driver along with SEO. We also have a very engaged EDM database and our email programme is at the heart of our CRM strategy. That said you should not discount the other media channels, particularly social. Whilst the returns are not always immediately identifiable this channel creates strong brand awareness.
What are your biggest eCommerce challenges?
Getting people to become aware that there is a better local alternative to Amazon. We deliver faster and are cheaper, we pay tax locally and employ Australians in our business, but Bookworld is not yet a household brand. We have to stretch every piece of marketing we can afford to get this message out to people. Once people have tried Bookworld we have a great retention rate and over time will build that into advocacy and our customers will do the marketing for us, but this takes time, and we are not yet three years old.
What was your best day in eCommerce, what did you sell and how did you drive those sales?
Last year we had our biggest day of sales in December driven by a very successful marketing and social campaign and the fact we were guaranteeing delivery before Christmas Day when no overseas provider could do so. Ultimately our proximity to our customers is our differentiation and this is reflected in our speed of fulfilment, the relevance of our communications to an Australian audience, and the comfort that customers have knowing they are dealing with a trusted Australian business.
Want to hear more about Bookworld; visit the Online Retailer Expo and Conference 22-23 July, Sydney