Thursday, March 13, 2008

Selling a book by its cover

I read about this on Brandautopsy just now and thought it was a great example of making a very simple change how you market your goods that ends up resulting in unusually high gains.

As you have probably noticed, most book stores tend to stock most of their books in a "spine out" manner, with only the best sellers and heavily promoted titles being shown front on. This is of course perfectly logical and allows them to fit in more of the lesser known/demanded titles, while displaying the big sellers in the best possible way.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the worldwide bookstore chain "Borders" who have recently launched a new merchandising initiative that has seen more of the books be exposed "front out", with a reduction in the overall number of titles available on the shelves by between 5-10%. Although reduction of titles may appear bad it is not all that illogical considering some books will only be purchased once or twice a year.

Over the trial period of this new merchandising strategy sales rose by 9%, and as a result Borders are planning continuing this strategy in order to further increase sales levels. Borders undertook marketing research in the trial stores, and interestingly enough consumers believed that there were in fact MORE books in the store under the new configuration... Looks like they are onto a winner!


jedimasterbooboo said...

This may have something to do with the fact that people buy more when the shelves are less full. The flat books with less available seems to fit that criteria. Those studies were done when I was a kid, I remember that. If shelves are stocked completely full, people buy less.

ed said...

Yeh That could certainly be somethign to do with it. I think thogh that when you look at the picture of the display that it is the fac that the books have a much greater amount of space to advertise their book to you. The big difference that I can see is that you can use pictures instead of just a small amount of vertical text. I guess its why people advertise on billboards as opposed to up lamp posts!