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A specific feature of the book as a commodity is that it’s not an article of prime necessity, today it’s rather a commodity of impulse demand. That’s why merchandising in a bookstore and its techniques have become a foundation for increasing the volume of book sales.
Basic task of merchandising in a bookstore is to attract attention of potential buyers to products being promoted - books and related goods. By following principles of promoting goods an owner of an outlet will be able not only to display book products to buyers, but also will stimulate them to choose and actively make purchases. According to experts up to 80% of book sales take place due to a special impression that a bookstore makes on customers while their visit (and this purchase was never planned beforehand). Merchandising in a bookstore directly encourages to make a purchase subject to its competent implementation.
Consumer movement in a bookstore is organized in accord with general merchandising principles: a buyer should feel comfortable on a trading floor, not cramped and easy to navigate. A person should be able to freely make his way through to a desired department in order to select a publication of his interest. Streams of visitors bypassing sales area and moving towards cashier’s desk and the exit should not intersect. It is important to use clear, well-marked signs with department names. Merchandising in a bookstore in this case is similar to basic principles of consumer movement.
In modern bookstores one should endeavour to avoid long identical rows of bookcases/bookshelves, since sameliness of this kind can be depressing. The same signs, posters and other promotional materials are able to quash such a feeling.
General rules of zoning are applicable in a bookstore as well. There are designated areas for children's literature, educational materials and reference books, fiction and speculative fiction, poetry and so on. According to merchandising standards in bookstores all zones should have corresponding themings and be as isolated as possible.
Distinctiveness of a bookstore is also about the fact that buyers can spend quite a long time by the shelves/bookcases. That’s why racks and bookcases should be placed so as to create enough space for several visitors to linger around them without disturbing each other.
Merchandising in a bookstore attaches great importance to peculiarities of laying out. The purpose of laying out books as a commodity is to bring them as close as possible to customers, enable them to study, compare and choose. At the same time, books promoted the most should be given high priority in an overall layout.
Bestsellers and novelty books should be especially highlighted. In accordance with rules of effective merchandising in a bookstore, it is better to have them at the entrance or near checkout area. In this case they won’t be passed over and encourage visitors to make impulse purchases more often before leaving the store.
High-priced books should be demonstrated the most. Moreover, it is better to avoid monotony of any kind in layout: vibrant colored highlights have to be place here and there to attract customers’ attention.
In each area books should be arranged according to patterns familiar to customers - alphabetically, by authors and subject matter. On the shelves it is better to have books not only spines out, but also with covers facing customers. The best combination is when one copy is laid out with its cover facing customers, whereas others are arranged in usual sequence.
Merchandising in a bookstore has highest regard for equipment which goods are placed on. High racks are usually arranged around the perimeter of a sales area, whereas in the center they make use of equipment of a different type, such as display tables, raised floors, low showcases that enable customers to easily take any book that interest them. Equipment for laying out books has to be made with due account for anthropometric measures of an average person - eye height, average body height, etc.
The equipment used should make it possible to keep sufficient quantity of books on a trading floor, i.e. it has to be very capacious. The best option is to make use of special pedestals for laying out books that have additional places to keep stocks of book copies.
According to merchandising rules in a bookstore the quality of illumination is extremely crucial, chances of successful sales appear to be plummeting in a poor dim light. The light should be bright, yet soft, not blinding and distorting natural colors.
POS-materials have to be actively used in modern bookstores: it is bestsellers and books with growing popularity are usually highlighted with their help.
By studying merchandising rules for a bookstore an owner of an outlet will be able to increase sales volume and raise his business to a higher level.
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