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How to start an online bookselling business

By Tanvir Singh 29th December 2020

Did you know that the global book publishing industry is valued at more than €122 billion? This comes as no surprise since bookworms keep the industry growing at a steady rate. The smell of crisp pages and the reading experience physical books offer are things an e-book doesn’t offer. Although there are various online platforms to read books like Kindle and Scribd, the market for e-books is relatively dormant. 

This opens up new avenues for online bookstores to leverage this trend and offer book lovers a marketplace to fulfill their reading needs. So, whether you’re a fellow book nerd, or are someone just looking to start a profitable marketplace, online bookselling can be a great business idea to work with. Plus, it’s easy and avoids any complicated brick and mortar operations a physical bookstore comes with. In this blog, we’ll share a checklist and some tips to look into before you launch an online bookstore of your own. Let’s get right into it!

How to start an online bookselling business

Know what you’re getting into

If you’re new to the industry, you will need to spend some time getting to know the nitty-gritty of the market. Get to know the present online bookstores and their offerings. Are they into a specific genre? Or do they sell with compelling offering readers can’t refuse? Understanding what the market is already offering to the readers will help you craft your proposition.

Another important you will need to know is the source you’ll buy your books from. Your source will differ based on the kind of books you sell – new or old/used. It will also be easier to strike a deal with a reliable wholesaler, who can sell you books at a discounted rate. Acquaint yourself with different distributors and publishers in the market, who can help you network and connect to a trustworthy wholesaler.

Create a rough business sketch

Having a business plan before you launch is fundamental to a successful online bookstore. This will not only help you if you lack the technical know-how, but also smoothen any operational roadblocks you might encounter in the future. This will include your short and long-term goals, investments, and plans for the future. 

You will also need to define your customer segment. Who do you want to sell to? Your target audience will depend on the genres you cater to. For example, contemporary novels probably are a good fit for young adults, whereas philosophy as a genre will attract academicians. 

Tip: Launch a few types of books first to see if they perform well. Avoid launching head-first, run a trial to test your best-selling genres.

Build your online store

Build your online store

Now, that your business sketch is in place, it is time to design your book marketplace! While Amazon and eBay offer a platform to list your books as a seller, your marketplace will come with its perks. With an initial investment, your profit-margin will be higher as you skip paying a commission to these online aggregators. 

Readers are smart people, who appreciate the professionalism and an integrated offering. Designing a marketplace from scratch can be time-consuming, expensive, and might not yield the desired results if you lack the technical dexterity.

Whereas, a marketplace builder like Yelo offers an end-to-end solution that can get you started with your online bookstore in minutes!

Design your marketing strategy

It’s time to get the word out. Once your domain and marketplace are set up, you will need to get noticed by your audience. There are a few ways you can effectively do it –

  • Optimize your website. An SEO-friendly website ensures you get to see the desired online footfall to your store. Research and employ suitable SEO strategies to increase organic traffic in your marketplace.
  • Ramp up your social media efforts. It goes without saying that social media influences people’s buying decisions in no other way. Set up your business profiles on all major social networking platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Invest in paid ads if you can. PPC ads can go a long way in reaching your target audience.
  • Keep up with the trend. Know what your customers are into these days. Create eye-catching content and disperse it on your social media handles.
  • Partner up with influencers on Instagram. Influencer marketing can be a great way to increase brand exposure for your marketplace.
Yelo makes starting your online bookstore a breeze!

Yelo makes starting your online bookstore a breeze!

Remember we mentioned that Yelo offers everything you will ever need to start your online bookselling business? You read that right. With compelling and completely customizable themes to robust customer and vendor side apps, you can build a comprehensive bookstore in a few clicks.

Yelo comes incorporated with easy plug-and-play features so that you don’t have to overspend on resources to create a professional-looking bookstore.

Your bibliophile customers can easily place their orders on your website and pay the payment gateway of their choice. Apart from seamless payment options, Yelo offers hundreds of integrations to make your online bookstore the go-to place for users to buy books.

What’s more in store?

Yelo also takes care of the fulfillment of your orders with integrated delivery management software. With timely notifications, real-time tracking, and optimized routes, you can sit back and let Yelo take off the load of all admin tasks from your shoulders! You don’t need any prior coding knowledge to create a marketplace on Yelo either.

Sign up with us and avail your 14-day free trial and kickstart your online bookstore now!

If you enjoyed reading this, we’re sure you will also love checking out what we have in store on our Youtube channel. You can also head to our home page for more information!

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