How To Make Your Small Bookstore Stand Out
Running a bookstore can be a tough task – especially if it’s an independent entity, standing up against the bigger giants, with multiple outlets scattered around almost every corner.
In such cases, you don’t have to stand up against them. You need to stand out from the crowd.
That idea might sound scary, maybe even impossible, but we’re here to tell you otherwise. Sometimes, the best way to ensure your own success is not by putting up a fight against competitors, but by making your own unique path.
Here are ways you can take your small bookstore to the next level:
Offer Something New
Bigger bookstore chains have the advantage of being well-known among people – so if you want your bookstore to stand out, you need to give something new.
By new, we mean something that even the giants don’t offer; for example, you could give away a complimentary bookmark with every purchase, or even include a mini-eatery right next to your shelves! The ideas are endless, so make sure you’re creative and practical. This kind of approach helps reel customers in with sheer fascination, which creates a lasting impression.
Build A Community
To have customers is one thing – but to garner an entire community with you is an entirely different thing.
In fact, it happens to be a lot more effective at establishing a strong, loyal following. And there are plenty of ways to accomplish that, all of them highlighting one principle: make people feel like they belong. After all, your customers are real, and they are a lot more than just walking talking wallets. They want their voices to be heard, and their feelings acknowledged.
Events are a great way to set up a community where customers get to interact with one another; public book launch parties, reading get-togethers, and even book clubs are great ways to make them feel like they’re not just in some average bookstore. Make sure to talk with your customers, and gauge their feedback. The more you have their voices heard, the more satisfied they will be, and the more memorable will your brand become.
Social media also poses a great way to interact with a greater audience, through groups, public discussions, giveaways and more. You can even hear their thoughts more personally by interacting with their via message or comments. The better your response rate, the more approachable your brand will appear.
Small, independent bookstores mostly suffer from low income-flow, which means slower development and even slower growth. Though it does not deal an immediate death-blow, it does make everything fall still.
The best solution to this is simple: invest smartly.
That doesn’t mean invest everywhere (or don’t invest at all!) – it simply means look for solutions that give you a lot in quite a little.
For example, you might be wanting to automate your inventory, while simultaneously looking for a good reporting system. Investing in two separate software might be the first thought in your mind, but it ends up becoming hard to collate everything – and even more expensive at that.
One smart investment like that is a point of sale system. There are lots of bookstore POS systems in Pakistan, and Oscar stands out for all the right reasons. It has multiple management systems for inventory, reporting, accounting, sales, purchasing, and much more. They’re all integrated within the same cloud-based platform, meaning all your data is secure, updated in real-time and easily accessible. Furthermore, you get all these benefits at a reasonable price, meaning your income flow can finally pick pace.
It’s pretty obvious that just because your bookstore is small, doesn’t mean it can’t stand out in its own unique way!