Digital publishing news and views from the Firsty Group


October 8th, 2015

Train to Gain

Selling direct to consumers has been one of the most significant shifts in publishers’ activities of the last few years. But are we all doing enough to understand those consumers and maximise our sales?

A show of hands at the IPG’s recent Digital and Marketing Quarterly event suggested that a third of all publishers are now selling direct, and many more will be thinking about doing so. This has been a massive cultural change for publishers who until recently had no retail experience, and we have been delighted to help some of them rise to the challenge.

The work isn’t done yet, though. Now publishers must turn themselves into true retail experts, able to maximise the return on the investments they have made. Anyone who goes to the trouble and expense of building an eCommerce website owes it to themselves and their customers to make the most of it.

Of course, it is not surprising that many publishers are still getting to grips with this job. Few came into publishing to be a bookseller—but D2C opens up superb new sales opportunities and is something that should be positively embraced.

The good news is that direct selling and marketing is not rocket science. With some thought and strategic planning everyone can do it well, and it all starts with good analytics. There has been a lot of talk about big data in publishing lately, and this can appear a daunting subject—but all it really means is generating simple but robust analysis of the numbers publishers already have at their fingertips.

Sharpening up D2C skills doesn’t have to be expensive either. A relatively small investment in time and training can really pay off in sales. At Firsty we’ll be doing our bit to help out by offering a mix of training workshops tailored to your needs in the shape of both webinars and classes.  Our programme of hands-on workshops will start in November and December.  We hope these sessions will equip industry professionals with the know-how to be great booksellers as well as publishers.

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