On Thursday, February 27, the American Booksellers Association presented a Marketing Meetup on Edelweiss360, a new service that helps booksellers efficiently craft and send store-branded, personalized emails to customers based on individual purchase behavior and staff knowledge of customers. It also aims to expand a store’s online ordering and pre-ordering capabilities to better compete with large online retailers.
Booksellers should visit the Education Resources Page on Bookweb.org to view a recording of the session; a BookWeb login is required.
During the session, attendees heard from Edelweiss CEO and New Product Development Director John Rubin.
Here are some of the key points from the session:
- Edelweiss360 is the first product focused primarily on helping independent bookstores increase revenue through targeted email marketing, loyalty program management, a curated online store, and more. Rather than marketing to potential customers, the service targets existing customers. The service is still in beta, but it will be available to all Treeline Analytics subscribers.
- The service was first discussed at the 2019 Winter Institute in Albuquerque. That spring, the idea and initial prototypes were presented to assorted ABA bookseller groups. The initial development focused on tools to create targeted campaigns, including POS interfaces. Beta testing of target email campaign creation began in late October and is continuing now.
- The service will have two primary components: a system to build targeted emails and a corresponding mobile experience. The company aims to roll out the service by BookExpo 2020 (May 27–29).
It focuses on targeted emails because they are more effective than blasts. Booksellers will be able to choose to send customers title lists, event information, and book collections, and customers can be selected individually to receive this information, by tags, by purchases, or by events attended.
- Edelweiss360 tracks open and click rates as well as conversions, if customers are signed up with a store loyalty program.
- There will be no limit on emails sent using the service.
- Publishers will also be able to compensate indies for a “showroom” function that works similarly to co-op. If booksellers promote a specific title, they can receive a special offer or marketing dollars.
- Northshire Bookstore tested Edelweiss360 before the holidays and generated 124 conversions. The store also generated halos, which are additional items purchased with a conversion, of 498 units. Northshire sent out four campaigns total, featuring newly arrived history books; top 10 New York Times picks; holiday staff picks; and signed editions of Becoming.
Bookstores interested in participating in the beta version of Edelweiss360 can text 22828 to get started.
A recording of this Marketing Meetup, which features a live demo of the service and more information about what it will offer, can be viewed on the Education Resources page on BookWeb.org.
ABA offers a twice-monthly Marketing Meetup and a monthly Technology Meetup. All member booksellers are invited to participate in these online discussions; subscribe to the Meetup mailing list here to receive invitations for the Technology Meetups, Marketing Meetups, or both.