To Amazon Or Not To Amazon - That Is The Question: Independent Online Book Stores Growing Despite Success of Giants

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Deeper Calling Media follows the independent book selling market; and along with thousands of other retailers is well aware of the scope of the Amazon marketplace. For booksellers with a physical inventory of either new or used merchandise, it can be tempting to list products for sale through Amazon’s online website. Now is the time to do just the opposite.

Deeper Calling Retail Division

High street retailers are facing increasing competition from online stores...The situation is likely to deteriorate for those retailers unwilling or unable to adapt to changing consumer behavior. - Dunn & Bradstreet CEO Christine Christian

Deeper Calling Media, through its retail sales division Deeper Shopping, very closely tracks and analyzes what is happening with independent book sellers. The rise to truly Goliath prominence of the biggest player - Amazon - has taken huge market share from Main Street America book retailers. Although Amazon certainly has every right to succeed, DCM is in the corner of the Mom n Pops of the marketplace.

Gaze Into the Crystal Ball - Be Like Amazon
The idea of swimming downstream may seem like an acceptable short term strategy, but in the long run, it is not going to develop a sustainable business. Why? - Because there are drawbacks in selling any merchandise through Amazon. Some of these include:

  •     Amazon charges a hefty 15% transaction fee in the Books category, and in other categories those rates can be even higher. The Internet sales department is hard enough without giving away a substantial chunk of profit!
  •     Amazon will own the relationship with the customer – not the actual seller. Sellers lose control of customer lists – ultimately becoming nothing more than an Amazon supplier.
  •     Amazon controls the scheduling of promotions, specials and other incentives. There is no way to reach out to consumers with special offers or custom designed promotions.
  •     Amazon pockets a portion of the shipping fees – making it challenging to ship products without losing money.

What Does The Research Say?
In a recent study by the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA), most member booksellers identified online retailers as their number one business threat. So if booksellers identified online websites as their major competition, why are they selling through Amazon and similar outlets? It is imperative to the viability of independent booksellers that they take advantage of other available internet tools to sell products and drive new revenue streams.

Dun & Bradstreet's latest Business Expectations Survey for the March quarter 2012 addressed Main Street retailers in general. According to Dun & Bradstreet CEO, Christine Christian, “High street retailers are facing increasing competition from online stores; compounded by the fact that they are dealing with overheads not applicable to e-commerce. The situation is likely to deteriorate for those retailers unwilling or unable to adapt to changing consumer behavior.” Ms Christian said.

What Is The Real Alternative? A Map And A Motto
Where ever possible, booksellers should establish independent eCommerce websites which will allow books to be offered on the owners' terms, and more importantly, begin building consumer relationships that will yield repeat business. There are many different options for launching an independent bookseller website. Brainstorm, build, and blunder; or use a prebuild solution. Generally a package solution is most effective as it keeps the emphasis on getting the service out to consumers with the least expenditure of capital, energy and time.

A bookseller website needs to be more than a book image, a map, the trading hours, and a photo of the owners standing in front of the store. The goal is to sell inventory, which begs the question - How many of America’s 300 million residents live in the store's local neighborhood? It becomes painfully obvious that an online store is the only cost effective way to reach customers throughout the United States - and the world.

Booksellers have never had more clear-cut choices when it comes to prebuilt eCommerce platforms. Members of the American Bookseller’s Association (ABA), and Members of the (CBA) should be aware and compare their options.
For the ABA,
>The ABA’s IndieCommerce offering: At $175 per month it allows a store to sell inventory, as well as have orders fulfilled directly from Ingram Book Distributors.
>DeeperCalling Bookseller Store: Available in both a free and a paid version, stores include fulfillment through Ingram, and Baker & Taylor Book Distributors.
For the CBA,
>DeeperCalling Christian Bookseller: service available in both a free and a paid version with fulfillment provided by most distributors in the CBA.
>Innovative’ s Signature Websites: This program offers service typically in the $70-$100 per month range for most organizations.

With the professionally backed platform choices Booksellers have, now is the time to seize the initiative and launch a professional, functional, and profitable bookstore onto the Internet.

About Deeper Calling Media
Deeper Calling Media is the world's largest supplier of turnkey full service internet web stores for booksellers in the ABA, CBA, Church & ministry markets. Visit for more information regarding the company. Those wishing more details about the fully customizable bookstores, online stores, and drop ship programs should see,

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Joe Kerr
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