Many publishers are adding ecommerce features to their websites to become retailers—but is it worth the effort and expense? Here are the pros and cons as we see them.
A new high margin revenue stream. By selling directly you can substantially increase your sales margin and encourage multiple sales in your own controlled environment.
Data collection and analysis. By selling from your own platform you can collect data on your customers from a sales and browsing perspective, and hopefully then develop a loyal community of buyers.
Backlist sales. Often a missed opportunity. With a fast, intuitive website search your backlist comes back to life, with your full inventory accessible from every search.
Control of pricing and promotions. You have complete control over pricing and promotional offers. There is no need to cater to enforced discounts of third party sellers.
Breadth of inventory and enhanced user experience. By adding a shopping element to your website users can browse your inventory with no limits. You can direct them to other recommended titles and authors, and supplementary materials such as author videos and PDFs and audio elements, with additional flexibility to tailor your sales message.
Regional marketing influences. Unlike a physical shop, an ecommerce shop enables you to reach anyone, anywhere, at any time. Complicated tax rates and pricing issues can be dealt with, allowing you to run regional carts all from the same website.
Personalised shopping. By understanding your users’ preferences you are able to prioritise which titles appear to them, and boost your key titles in the website search results.
Selling new products and repeated sales. Amazon will not allow you to sell subscriptions, though some consumers prefer the subscription model.
Budget. A reliable shop integrated into your website will require at least several thousands to set up effectively.
Visibility. It is crucial to identify your target audience and acquire a list of suitable buyers or ensure online visibility through effective marketing.
Poor shopping experience. Poor and slow website search and cart processes will result in lost opportunities and leave buyers with negative experiences.
Finding a distribution partner. Customers will demand an instant service, and you need to make sure you are capable of delivering it.
Cover images. In order to provide a life-like shopping experience it is important to provide a ‘sneak preview’ feature so customers can look inside your books.
So: how to succeed with ecommerce? Supadu offers a variety of ecommerce solutions for new and existing websites. By integrating with fulfilment partners such as Ingram, your orders can be handled seamlessly from beginning to end. Supafolio API & Cart offers enriched metadata, advanced relevant search and a fast, effective shopping experience to ensure the success of every online purchase.
A simple side cart is our quickest and simplest solution, allowing customers to integrate an ecommerce facilitiy into their website regardless of the web platform. As a Shopify partner we also offer a complete Supadu / Shopify plugin cart. Both large publishers and start-ups like Shopify, as its large library of third party apps enables additional functionality to be added to the shopping cart without huge expense.
Supadu’s partnership with FoxyCart provides any existing publisher website with a simple cart option without costly redevelopment. Supadu has also developed a Supadu / Ingram cart which combines the FoxyCart payment gateway with our Supafolio API & Cart and Ingram’s physical and digital distribution. Its powerful features include a side cart, multi-store management function and the ability to customise the language, headers, footers and styling of the checkout process with elements such as coupons and discounts. It’s fast to build and low maintenance. We also integrate with the WordPress plugin WooCommerce , which powers a third of all online stores. Many of their ecommerce add-ons are free and easily customisable.