Saturday, March 15, 2008

Merchandising "Proper" books

Just a quick follow up to the piece on book merchandising at Borders.
I was chatting online recently to my friend Ben who studies English in college. It was his opinion that this merchandising would only work on "novelty" books that were gimmicky, and no-one who was looking for a "proper" book (by which I presume he meant art/literature etc) would be swayed by such techniques. I did a little research on this because I had a pretty strong feeling that he was right to a certain extent, BUT that sales of "proper" books was so minimal that not being able to sway those intending to buy these books wouldn't be a huge issue.

Unfortunately the latest figures I could get were book sales in the US from all those years ago in 2000, but I would imagine that trends in booksales do not shift in a dramatic fashion.
In descending order, the most bought categories are...
  1. Cooking - 10% of sales

  2. Religion - 9.3%

  3. General Non-fiction - 7.8%

  4. Business - 6.2%

  5. Scientific - 5.8%

  6. Psychology - 5.2%

  7. Biographies - 3.7%

  8. Art/Literature/Poetry - 3.3%

  9. Reference - 2.2%

  10. Travel - 1.3%

So out of the top 10 categories, I would be of the opinion that attractive merchandising, as in ANY shop that regular customers shop in, would influence peoples likihood to purchase.

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