6 Marketing Secrets that Make Book Depository Successful

Do you run your own online store? Are you in a business that is dramatically changing? In this article, we analyze The Book Depository, and how they are thriving in the days of upset for many booksellers.

We will take a look at how they are successfully using online marketing tactics, and how you can apply these too. About The Book Depository The Book Depository is the UK’s largest dedicated online bookseller, offering the largest range of titles in the world, available for dispatch within 48 hours. Founded in 2004 to make ‘All Books available to All’, they focus on selling ‘less of more’ rather than ‘more of less’, differentiating themselves from other retailers who increasingly focus on best sellers. Currently, The Book Depository is able to ship over eight million unique titles, within 48 hours. This figure is increasing every day. Apart from publishers, distributors and wholesalers, they even list and supply books from other retailers. As an international bookseller they ship books free of charge, worldwide, to over 100 countries. 6 marketing tactics of The Book Depository you can apply as well: Website 1. Highlight product values through website 2. Create a referral program to increase the number of customers 3. Publish reviews from your customers to influence consumers’ decisions Blog 4. Promote contests on different channels to generate more participants Twitter 5. Use Twitter as a customer service platform to solve problems fast Pinterest 6. Create catalogues to bring in sales & to attract users across all your target markets   Website 1. Highlight product values The Book Depository launches their books with informative descriptions including the content of the book and information about the author to highlight its values for customers.

Example of the Book: “How to create the perfect wife”

They included a separate tab on their website called “Book of the Week” where they highlight a specific book every week. Furthermore, they offer a special discount for it. The Book Depository also post the “Book of the Week” on their Facebook Page. This makes it more shareable which can lead to more viral views of the books, and increased sales. Customers are on different social sites. Make sure they can see the value of the product wherever the like to be online. They may not visit your website daily, but surf through social media channels every day.

What can retailers learn from this?
  • Tell your consumers that you have a love for your products.
  • Give your customers an idea about a product they could buy as a present for a birthday, wedding or farewell. It gives value to your customers.
  • Having a product suggestion with a special discount every week or month is a great way to push that product.
2. Create a referral program to increase the number of customers The Book Depository created an Affiliate program which enables people to earn a commission from products purchased by people they send to their website. People can refer clients to The Book Depository in a number of ways, including: links in their e-mails, links on their blog, Twitter accounts or via banners and buttons they add to their site. The affiliates will earn 5% in commissions that will be paid via Paypal, but only once their balance has reached £25. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Merchants have a wider environment generating more products and services signifying more sales.
  • No additional time is spent in marketing with merchants and you can obtain more customers this way too.
  • To entice more customers, promote your referral program information on all of your social media channels.
3. Publish reviews from your customers to influence consumers’ decisions The website of The Book Depository includes a tab with “Book Reviews” where customers publish personal opinions and facts about a book they’ve read. How much does a review affect your customers’ buying habits? How important are customer reviews? 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy, July 2009) Reviews are a major influence on people’s decisions, provides a company with constructive criticism and is a competitive advantage. Online reviews on a company’s website or on another site, increase confidence in your product or service and ultimately will lead to more sales. Additionally, if you start to receive poor reviews, your company can change what needs to be changed. In this example: People have various tastes and not everyone likes the same kind of books. There is no need to take the negative criticized books out of the online store. Someone will like and purchase the book. It is better to know that your customers aren’t happy rather than have someone telling everyone else other than your company that they are not happy. However, the online review system can be criticized because potential customers have to find your content and then read the reviews. It would be better to create a social media referral/review network on Facebook, Twitter, etc. because people ask their community and are referred to a website based on the recommendations of the social media community. This increases brand awareness. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Each reviews posted online by a customer is a form of advertising for your business. Let your customers write online reviews to influence your customers decisions and increase confidence in your product.
  • Not every company is doing online reviews. If your competitors aren’t doing them yet, then you have a great opportunity to increase your business.
  • Social Media is influential for people who are looking to make a purchase in the future.
  • Online reviews gives you the chance to develop a closer relationship with your customers.
  • Consumers trust recommendations more than they trust advertising.
Blog 4. Promote contests on different channels to generate more participants Creating contests and sweepstakes are one of the absolute best ways to engage your online community. The Book Depository launches almost every week limited time contest to quickly immerse their fanbase over social media and gain new customers. Their contests information is posted on their own blog and other social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. To win the specific prize, users have to answer questions which are related to the winning product.

Blog Post of the contest


Facebook Post of the contest

 Pinterest Board with all the contests

Posting on different channels, they generate engagement and drive traffic to the other channels. Brilliantly, they offer products from their online store as the prize. They also share the winner of the contests every time to present themselves more transparently. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Use your products as the prize. When showcased well, contests generate excitement for your product.
  • Promote your contest on multiple social platforms. Use one hashtag, to create a clear community for your contest across all platforms.
  • Did we mention: Wishpond has created many easy to use contest apps, such as photo caption contests, photo contests and sweepstakes. All you have to do is add your branded marketing smarts!
Twitter 5. Twitter – Use it as a customer service platform to solve problems fast The Book Depository uses Twitter as an excellent platform to carry out interactive customer support services with their consumers. They handle all complaints and questions very professionally which marks them as a positive brand on Twitter and brings them followers and observers who could purchase their products for a future need of their own. Their keys to excellent customer service on Twitter are definitely the speed, quality and transparency of their response. They show the public that they are addressing all issues so that they are seen as a transparent and reliable company. If you are watching conversations on Twitter it gives you a good idea of your brand’s reputation but it is a passive approach. Great customer service is active. The Book Depository makes customers aware of their presence.They placed a Twitter button on their website and advertise that they are trying to solve customers problems via social media. They not only answer to complaints and questions but also comment on other tweets. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Positive Branding! When problems are solved quickly, consumers begin to trust in the brand itself and may even become more interactive participants on your Twitter account .
  • Customer service via Twitter eliminates some of the costs for email or phone customer service staff in a call enter
  • Problem resolution: While phone conversations can help solve problems, wait times do not. Twitter is a fast platform that can help solve problems quickly. For a more complex problem, the brand can initiate a deeper conversation with the customer.
  • Make your Twitter presence known. Customer Service on Twitter won’t work if no one knows where to find you.
Pinterest 6. Create catalogues to bring in sales & to attract users across all your target markets Pinterest is one of the hottest social media sites at the moment. Studies show, how Pinterest has been bringing in more traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube put together. Brands are benefiting with Pinterest in generating traffic and sales. So does The Book Depository. They created catalogues for different categories like “Craft & Hobbies”, “Kid’s Room”, “Home & Design”, etc. to showcase specifically their various products and to attract users different interests. Every Pin has a short description of the content of the book. All pins of their books links back to The Book Depository online store, on the landing page for purchasing that particular item. The interested consumer is well within the sales funnel, with just a few simple clicks to finalize the sale.  

Book Covers are very visual. Thats why it is very smart of the Book Depository to bond the book covers on Pinterest. What can retailers learn from this?
  • Categorize each Pinboard specifically and uniquely. It’s important to appeal to a wide range of target audience and to generate more customers.
  • Creating catalogs on Pinterest can be a very effective way to drive traffic to your website and increase sales.
  • Did we mention: Wishpond has created a Pinterest Tab to showcase your boards & pins on your Facebook Page and website. Cross-promote your products to drive new sales through more channels. Install the Pinterest Tab for FREE!

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About the Author:

Nick is the Director of Marketing at Wishpond.

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