Members of the American Booksellers Association have the opportunity to talk in-person with IndieCommerce staff on a regular basis during one-on-one meetings at ABA events, including Winter Institute, Children’s Institute, BookExpo, and at the upcoming fall regional trade shows.
ABA’s state-of-the-art e-commerce platform enables members to create unique, content-rich, easy-to-operate, and fully transactional and customizable e-commerce websites on the IndieCommerce or IndieLite platforms. The IndieCommerce database consists of more than 10 million in-print titles and more than four million e-books and audiobooks. The entire system is supported by ABA’s experienced development and customer support team.
“IndieCommerce one-on-ones offer booksellers an excellent opportunity to meet with the IndieCommerce team in person to discuss their website, ask questions, or even just put a face to the names they encounter when corresponding with staff,” said IndieCommerce Senior Manager Geetha Nathan.
Meetings can be made by appointment during ABA events, and walk-ins are also welcome; meetings are typically 45 minutes in length. Booksellers who make an appointment can submit questions and topics ahead of time, and the appropriate staff members are assigned by topic.
The IndieCommerce team can also conduct a site review, during which they review a bookstore’s entire website before the meeting and provide recommendations or suggestions.
Casey Gerken of Innisfree Bookshop in Meredith, New Hampshire, told Bookselling This Week that she’s attended IndieCommerce one-on-ones at multiple industry events. The first time she encountered the IndieCommerce staff, she said, was at a session that introduced booksellers to ABA’s e-commerce team, who discussed the different website options available for booksellers. Following that session, she’s made an effort to attend one-on-one meetings wherever possible.
“[IndieCommerce is] always upgrading and finding ways for our websites to keep up with the things that ABA is working on, and there’s always something new that I can add or do on the website that they’ve developed in between sessions,” said Gerken. “I also find myself with little pockets of time when I dive into the website and start messing around. Sometimes I get stuck and need to e-mail support, and they are always right there with an answer. Or, the next time I have a one-on-one, they tell me they’ve customized something for my website because I asked a question. They really are amazing!”
“You can show up to a one-on-one no matter what level you are engaging your website at and each time you go you learn a little more,” she added. “I think one-on-ones are the best way to get the most out of the money paid for an IndieCommerce site. The bonus is that all of the members of the IndieCommerce team really seem to love what they are doing, which is helping independent booksellers put their best foot forward when it comes to a website experience for their customers.”
Lesley Rains of City of Asylum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, told Bookselling This Week that she’s also attended multiple IndieCommerce one-on-ones to talk about best practices, specific questions regarding website design, and how to build a subscription service.
“I got a lot of helpful and specific instructions on how to implement the changes I needed to make,” said Rains. “It was especially helpful that after BookExpo, [IndieCommerce Specialist Chanthee Keokhaw] sent me a recap of our meeting with her suggestions. It reminded me of what we discussed and helped to implement the changes.”
Booksellers who have specific questions about their websites should try to make an appointment for a one-on-one at an upcoming ABA event, Rains added. “IndieCommerce meetings are a quick and easy way to get your problems solved,” she said. “The IndieCommerce staff are kind and generous with their time and expertise.”
The IndieCommerce team will be holding one-on-one sessions at many of this fall’s regional trade shows; signup for one-on-ones will open in August. For more information about ABA’s e-commerce services, visit BookWeb.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.