2020, an atypical year, did not end with a repeat. But a year that will especially increase online sales for bookstores. ” In 2021, Librest facilities have crossed the symbolic limit of 10% of e-commerce traffic », Says Renny Aupetit, the founder Word counteriLetter counter . “ Which simply means that we are no longer in a position vis-à-vis online sales, but in reality.»
The study, conducted within the twelve institutions of the network, corrects everything. Ten years ago, when Librest was launched on the web, the idea was above all. “do not let Amazon go alone, and therefore invest in this retail space, without the goal of profitability in the early years “, Continues the bookseller. Fad, a gadget, at that time the contradictory was a legion.
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Except that thanks to the closure and other restrictions, Librest bookstores had tools “particularly flexible, whereclick and collect, which was discovered in France, has been among our offers for ten years. And we had enough time to break it.Customer habits are already busy, so they will only be confirmed.
“We will no longer go below 10%. The whole issue, for business leaders, lies in pedagogy and training, internally“, Insists the manager. “Integrating practices that are no longer new but established becomes crucial when one order of 10 comes from the internet. A big paradigm shift, since ten years ago 100% of sales took place in bookstores. “And these 10% alone represent growth three times higher than what we achieved in 2019.»Today, the turnover of online sales is between 1.8 and 2 million € for the entire network.
Shipping costs, customer relations, association
In the details of the study, we note that the Culture Pass, contrary to assumptions, has not yet reached its full potential. Integrated during 2021, it accounts for 10% of digital sales and should continue to grow in 2022.
Another important fact is that 95% of e-commerce takes place in stores. “Customers order online and pick up at our bookstores. In other words, only 5% of e-commerce sales are sent by mail.»
Enough to put a good liter of Evian in the red ball of the defender of the law on shipping costs. “This – at least for the Librest network – does not have the scope we have given it. On the one hand, we will allow Amazon better profitability. On the other hand, we rarely meet customers who want postal items. Shipping costs are not the lifeblood of the war: they are rather because of the better relationship between theme-commerceand the notion of proximity. Bookstores will not be better off with this new regulation.»
Moreover, Librest notes that: all bookstores that communicate on this service see the results of improving online sales more than on their own brand. “For us bookstores, we need to communicate on a multitude of networks. Let customers know that there are different ways to access books. In addition, collective brands, such as Librest, have more power than their own store identities, despite their sales location.»
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The principle of association is specific to Librest bookstores, but which would certainly be confirmed at the national level. Would regional portals, which bring together independent bookstores and give them greater visibility, be more efficient? “It does not seem to make sense to promote a particular site, on behalf of its library, but the whole structure of which it is part. »
That remains, but only in 2022 will it be possible to measure the real impact, to define whether online trade brings growth to bookstores or goes hand in hand with increasing traffic. “On this issue, we lack a retrospective“, Recognizes Renny Aupetit.
photo credits: ActuaLitté, CC BY SA 2.0