What's the buzz
Updated: 2011-11-07 07:52
O2 Sun bookstore has recently closed its outlets in Beijing and Xiamen, illustrating the predicament faced by physical bookstores. Online bookstores such as Dangdang and Joyo, however, are enjoying good business as they provide bigger discounts. Do you have any suggestions for physical bookstores to survive in these tough times? China Daily mobile news readers share their views.
The impact of e-commerce on physical stores will become more obvious. Only by reducing costs can physical stores secure a foothold in the market. Apart from competing on price, book retailers can also negotiate with book copyright owners to obtain exclusive sales rights, which is a more powerful card to play.
JDBoy, Xi'an, Shaanxi province
The advantage of a physical bookstore is that it can provide a good reading environment, such as light music, soft drinks and deserts. What the store sells is not necessarily books alone since many customers like physical bookstores for their additional services.
Liu Kiguang, Shanghai
In my opinion, physical bookstores could learn from their online counterparts and also sell books on the Internet to broaden their marketing channel, while offering larger discounts to attract more customers. In addition, physical stores could order more books and launch promotions to attract customers such as the seniors and children who seldom buy books from online stores.
Niu Wang, Weifang, Shandong province
It is unnecessary for a physical bookstore to cover every category, instead it could target readers with certain reading preferences, organize regular readers' meetings or meet-and-greet events with authors of bestsellers to make the bookstore a public place for face-to-face communication between authors and readers. What makes physical stores special is that readers can share their reading experiences more directly and clearly.
People in big cities have a quicker life tempo and more choices for their leisure time. Together with the impact of electronic books, there are now fewer readers that prefer to buy books in a physical bookstore. However, people in medium-or small-sized cities enjoy a more traditional life with less pressure and prefer to buy and read books on paper. Perhaps it is a good idea for people dedicated to running physical bookstores to open them in small cities with historical tradition or development zones with more residents on the outskirts of big cities.
Li Dongya, Anyang, Henan province
The reason why online bookstores attract customers is the larger discounts and convenience they offer. Therefore, to attract more customers and avoid closing, physical bookstores should not only initiate more regular sales promotions, but also provide the same services such as phone purchasing and a home-delivery service that online bookstores provide.
Molan, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
Physical bookstores could expand book categories and also set up a reading section, adopting an electronic system to charge fees according to the length of time.
A reader, Jinan, Shandong province
Physical bookstores can make a bestseller list that covers all categories according to monthly sales to serve as a reference for customers. Once I saw a similar list with the relevant books piled alongside in a small shop in Wuhan railway station, I found the recommendations were good and I bought one.
Chen Peijun, Shanghai
(China Daily 11/07/2011 page9)