It was interesting 20 minute conversation with an Web E-Commerce Platform a few minutes ago. A conversation I happened to have a few months back with another company.
Since 1998 when ADLE International was founded followed by our flagship website on books, Affordable Books on Line a lot of new inventions and integration has occurred both on the retail front and online bookselling.
As we finally pass our growing pains and slowly build our own branding websites, we try to partner also with emerging e-commerce retailers slowly taking a niche on book sales. Hence this was how this morning conversation came about. Two months ago, another bookseller and a book inventory platform reach out to me asking the best way to upload books on these emerging e-commerce retailers. They noticed we are in them and they are also familiar with the years we have desperately tried to deploy our online integrations.
Unfortunately, my answer was “it does not work” which they were amazed. The reality is that if you have the time and capability to manually list each book, enter the data, photos and or convert excel spreadsheets go ahead I continued. The reason behind is that these emerging known retailers are using Web E-Commerce solutions platform where the main goal is for you to open a website, they design, integrate and charge you monthly fees and commissions.
Every traditional bookstore and moreover new online booksellers uses third party book selling marketplaces to start selling. These is how they make themselves known by buyers and also get the experienced in selling books online. It is also a fact the main database uploads in the bookselling industry uses the mighty “Amazon” system which is totally different with these Web E-Commerce platforms being used by the said emerging known retailers going to selling books.
In my quest for the plight of booksellers, the call I just made was to reiterate the ongoing circumstances and once again to re-verify the facts. Parts of the answers the sales person I was talking to was that their systems are there permanently when integrated and books is one category they don’t cater as it’s too fast moving, you have do keep relisting and they are cheap. I was laughing in my brain as if he just quoted the mighty drop shippers whom everyday what they do is put the book prices lowest and sell to a $0.01 per book if they can. Well, this is another story we have to touch later.
So I then offered the said salesperson what about if we hire you for a service simply just converting the traditional amazon csv files to your said formats so they can be uploaded to these retailers websites. The reply was a reiteration we just do not touch on “books”.
So these blog is dedicated to those especially who had the same questions and those who had asked me recently about this topic. We have a long work still needed in advocacy and if you are part of the American Booksellers Association these is one of the topics we have to unite and address in our industry.
For now, we just have to hang in there, Summer is almost here as well as Going Back to School when we are going to be busy again.
For now, let’s stand united.