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Running a successful bookstore requires more than just stocking your shelves with the latest bestsellers. With the rise of e-books and online retailers, independent bookstores need to be creative, innovative, and tech-savvy to thrive in today’s market. In this article, we’ll explore six bookstore management strategies to help you attract customers, increase sales and build a loyal following.
Be creative when running promotions
Promotions are an effective way to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Book bundles, gift sets, and seasonal offers are some popular ways to encourage customers to visit your store. You can also promote gift vouchers at the counter and create a display of your best-selling categories that features a “top 5 books of the month” or similar.
Consider offering customers an easy way to exchange titles bought at your store if they already own them. Gift bundles are a clever way to move stock by pairing a strong-selling title with a slower-moving book. And seasonal promotions or offers are a tried-and-tested way to boost sales around special occasions like Easter and Christmas.
Stock a range of non-book materials
Selling non-book materials can be an effective way to increase your revenue and attract customers. Consider offering related products like movies or soundtracks associated with a book that’s also on-screen. You can also help customers create a tranquil reading nook with add-ons like meditation cushions, candles, teas, incense, handmade mugs, and more. Impulse purchases displayed at the register will help you increase the average customer spend – consider bookmarks, board games, journals and notebooks, and travel-sized or on-the-go reading accessories.
Consider adding a bookstore cafe
Adding a coffee shop to your bookstore is a smart way to attract new customers and encourage readers to stay in your store for longer. Most people love to read with a coffee or tea in hand, so having a cafe allows your customers to catch up on the latest titles while enjoying a hot drink that someone else has made for them.
A bookstore cafe can also boost revenue, attract a broader customer base, and build loyalty with existing customers. Consider offering a variety of drinks and snacks to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences.
Hire knowledgeable and passionate staff
Your employees should be passionate about reading and able to recommend new releases and historical titles to suit customers’ interests. They should also be knowledgeable about books in general and deeply understand a handful of categories.
Consider creating an “our favorites” section or stand that showcases the titles your staff is reading and encourages customers to chat with them about these books and similar titles. Having knowledgeable and passionate staff can help personalize the shopping experience for customers and create a welcoming environment in your store.
Host book signings and events
Hosting book signings and events can create a buzz, encourage word-of-mouth promotion, and build a sense of community around your bookstore. Consider inviting authors to speak to an audience and sign their books to draw a crowd, sell lots of books, and position your bookstore as a compelling place to visit. You can also host book clubs or literary events to engage your customers and create a community of book lovers.
Use Bookstore-Specific POS Software
Investing in the best small business POS that’s designed specifically for bookstores can streamline your operations and help you make informed decisions. Bookstore POS systems should integrate with your online inventory management system, offer detailed reporting, and provide secure payment options.
Hana Retail is a comprehensive bookstore retail POS software designed for independent and small chain retailers to simplify the way you work and give you more time with your customers. Plus, the user-friendly interface makes it easy to train your staff and streamline your operations. Sign up for free today!