The success of a bookstore's Web site is directly dependent on the bookseller's efforts to market it, stressed Len Vlahos, BookSense.com director. "In some ways, a storefront retailer's Web site functions as an extension of the store, and, in other ways, as an additional location," Vlahos said. "However you look at it, a Web site is only as effective as the effort devoted to it -- content needs to be freshened, inquiries need to be responded to in a timely manner, and, perhaps most importantly, the site can only be successful if it's marketed to customers and potential customers."
In an effort to help booksellers plan their Web site marketing efforts, this week, Vlahos sent to BookSense.com participants a "Web Site Marketing Checklist." Vlahos is urging booksellers to review the marketing checklist and implement as many of the items as possible. He added: "Doing so before the holiday season can help increase traffic to the site and to the store, increase online sales, and further help brand your store."
Below is a list of best marketing practices, all of which will help booksellers make their Web sites a success. Booksellers should review the list and check all that apply to their current marketing efforts with a view toward implementing as many others as possible. (To download the "Web Site Marketing Checklist" in PDF format, click here).
o The store's URL (Web site address) appears on the front door and/or front window.
o The store's URL appears on your printed and/or electronic newsletter.
and analyzed to ensure that you're providing the best value for the online shopping experience.
o Special online pricing (sales, discounted shipping) and/or limited run merchandise available only online (e.g., signed books) are routinely promoted through your newsletters.
o Book Sense Picks lists are inserted in all orders shipped from the store.
o All available co-op, including newsletter co-op, is being claimed.