From Digital Book World:
Do you still shop at your local bookstore? I typically go once, maybe twice a year, and the last time for me was December 2015. This weekend, though, I made a rare summer visit to my local Barnes & Noble in search of books for my almost six-month-old grandson, Jasper. No matter how good Amazon makes its “Look Inside” feature, it will never replace the experience of flipping through a children’s book, especially those with pop-ups, pull-tabs and other fun elements you find in so many children’s titles.
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and there were at most 10-15 other shoppers in the entire store. That got me thinking: what are the compelling reasons to shop at a physical bookstore? The “buy local” movement is a nice, feel-good incentive for consumers, but it’s not a viable long-term strategy for brick-and-mortar stores.
Despite my love/hate relationship with Amazon over the years, I admit that I currently buy almost all my books there. Thanks to Prime, my wife and I spend a lot on plenty of other Amazon products every month, too. That’s the beast we consumers created, and it simply replaced another beast that preceded it: the formerly powerful combo of B&N and Borders superstores.
It’s sad to watch B&N shift square footage from books to seemingly anything other than books. I understand that the company needs to find a new path forward, but I’m amazed at the many book discovery and sales opportunities it has ignored or overlooked.
This particular B&N had been completely remodeled since I last visited it in 2015. Despite all the signage, it took far too long for me to locate the two sections I wanted to visit after finding my Jasper books. Why isn’t there an in-store mobile app designed to quickly help me find my way—sort of a virtual replacement for all the in-store personnel that used to assist you at every turn? GPS and in-store sensors are more than good enough to help consumers navigate a superstore. Plus, there’s a data collection opportunity these stores are missing out on; publishers would likely pay big bucks for reports quantifying consumer time spent in front over various promotional campaign types (e.g., end-cap vs. front-of-store vs. free-standing displays).
Link to the rest at Digital Book World