Who would have believed small booksellers can compete against the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Well, the small bookstore owners have always felt they could, if only they could figure out how. Well, it seems they have done just that. Despite doom-and-gloom predictions from just about everyone, independent bookstores are surviving and, in some cases, thriving. Sure they suffered for many years, and a large number went out of business.
Yet, as discussed in this Fortune story, many book retailers are doing better because they followed basic marketing principles by first finding out what customers wanted and then offering it to them. In this case, they learned that their customer base will shop there more often if they feel a connection to the store. Retailers have responded by building a sense of community by offering more events, such as author readings and lectures.
They have also learned customers want more product options at these stores resulting in an expansion of their offerings including adding new product categories, such as greeting cards, and new services, such as adding cafes.
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