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Monday, November 14, 2005

Let's Sell Some Books!

Okay folks, we are getting close to a big time of the year for online booksellers. Both Christmas and Spring semester textbook sales represent an important period for us. The time also marks an important period for website marketers to expand their customer base. Because their marketing is our marketing, I will make an attempt to learn how each site will be marketing itself during this crucial period.

Specifically regarding textbook sales, though, I believe it is important to hit the students early. A great ad campaign, run say during college basketball or football Bowl games, encouraging students to look at their booklists for the semester and begin buying now to save money. After all, nearly all students would buy their books online if time was not a concern. The problem is most college students are lazy - they need a push or a reminder.

Only 10-20% of students buy their books online (depending on the study)! That's pathetic, we need to get that number way up. Perhaps, on a larger scale, a program with schools/states to publish booklists early and make books easily purchasable would help. Although many official bookstores have a lock on these lists, some states have passed laws mandating the lists be available to the public as soon as they become available. This type of project, even for a few dozen schools, would be a great expansion possibility for any site (perhaps especially so for someone like Bookfinder). If a metaseach/price comparison site could implement something, it'd be a big boost for all book websites. Imagine if students could purchase all of their books at the cheapest internet price by only visiting one site! This is a huge opportunity that demands attention, even if solid results have proven elusive in the past.