Like many other traditional retailers bookstores are beginning to feel the effects of online shopping as their sales continue to decline. In the past if you wanted a book there was a great chance that you would go to one of the many bookstores that are out there and pick up a hardcover or paper back copy of the book in question. Now though there are so many different options out there that it should come as no surprise that bookstores are struggling to keep the interest of consumers. Making matters worse is the fact that revenue continues to drop as costs rise which is pushing many bookstores to the edge.
eBooks Are A Major Threat To Physical Books
Perhaps the single biggest threat to bookstores are eBooks. With an eBook someone can go online and instantly buy and download the literature they are looking for. There’s no taking a trip to the bookstore, no waiting in line, and no dealing with out of stock issues. If the book is for sale you can bet that there will be an online venue that has it available. On top of the ease of getting the book of your choice there’s also a lot of convenience in being able to carry that book anywhere that they go. People can use a tablet, reader, or even a smart phone to read their books, so why would they want to carry around a thick book everywhere they want to go?
Online Shopping For Physical Books Is Growing In Popularity As Well
While eBooks are a major threat to bookstores there are still people out there that prefer to have a physical copy of a favorite book instead of one that is in electronic format. This would seem to play into the favor of bookstores, but once again online shopping and technology have cut into what should be a loyal portion of the market for them. With the busy lives we all live it’s no wonder that people turn to online shopping for literature. Instead of having to go out and get a book you can have it delivered to your doorstep, it really doesn’t get anymore convenient than that.
Can Bookstores Take Steps To Remain Relevant?
With technology seeming to work against them it may seem as if traditional bookstores will soon go the way of the dinosaur. But what if instead of fighting against technological progress traditional bookstores instead chose to embrace it? What if they used the same technology that is pushing them toward going out of business to attract new customers?
One great idea for bookstores would be to expand their online presence. It’s a given that many people prefer a hardcover or paper back instead of an electronic book so why shouldn’t bookstores start to fight for their own piece of the market? In fact bookstores could do something creative such as offering a free cup of coffee or pastry from their snack shop? That should certainly attract some new customers. Or what if they partnered with an eBook retailer to allow customers to download an electronic copy of their book while having a physical copy shipped to them? The point here is that instead of fighting against progress a smarter move would be for bookstores to embrace it.