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Case Study: How to Sell Direct to Consumers

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

How the University Press of Mississippi increased its sales by over 1000%

Whether in addition to your existing sales channels or in place of those channels, what do you stand to gain from moving to a Direct to Consumer (D2C) business model? At Digital Book World 2023, the University Press of Mississippi presented on the success of its 2019 D2C project – which saw the Press replacing its legacy systems, database and website with BiblioSuite publishing software and a Readerbound ecommerce website – and the outcome speaks for itself:

“The end result has just been staggering. In the first year of our new website we had a 300% increase in online sales and I’m happy to report that this past year we achieved over a 1000% increase in website sales when compared to the very best number we ever had on our old website.” – Kristin Kirkpatrick, Electronic and Direct-to-Consumer Sales Manager, University Press of Mississippi

If you’re considering moving to a D2C model, here’s what you need to consider for success:

1) Select effective data workflows

  • Dramatically reduce data entry (and re-entry), save time and eliminate duplication of effort by choosing a publishing system that enables you to synchronize, manage and store all your data for any product type (including eBooks, audiobooks, packs, journals, merchandise and more) in a single location – thereby increasing access to, and visibility of, your most up-to-date metadata company-wide.

  • Manage all your editions and formats under a single Work – enabling both your team (and subsequently your customers) to see all the versions available for a single IP – and increase your productivity by updating a single Work and synchronizing the changes made to all other editions using BiblioSuite’s Group and Batch tools; saving you both time and resources, and reducing human error.

  • Automate and streamline the population of your website using your ONIX feed to ease administrative burden (eliminating what is often described as a laborious, wholly manual and time-consuming task).

  • Control how frequently the data on your website is refreshed, and ensure that every part of the data record is used to populate your site – fully utilizing both your ONIX feed (to showcase your entire catalog) and your past and ongoing marketing campaigns (giving your readers all the information they need) in order to boost sales.

2) Keep your readership in mind

  • Use identifiers (such as ISBNs, DOIs, SKUs, ORCIDs, ISNIs and proprietary IDs) or subject categorization codes (including BISAC, BIC and Thema) to build dedicated special interest pages and marketing campaigns on your website. For example, your internal identifiers could be used to populate a webpage on titles local to your location; ORCIDs or ISNIs could be used to effortlessly compile your “About this Author” pages; or a batch of ISBNs could be used to set up and implement your annual sale campaign.

  • Showcase supporting material for every product on your website (from contributors and translators, to extended descriptive text, reviews, awards information, excerpts, and table of contents) – all compiled directly from your ONIX feed – which will help to drive engagement on your website, prolong user journeys and build your online community.

  • Create customized dashboards using BiblioSuite to visualize the data being sent to your website, with a view to making it as easy and pleasant as possible for customers to buy from you – building not only your sales figures but a readership of customers who will return to your site time and again (and recommend it to others).

  • Support advance sales, leveraging information from your ONIX feed including Publication Status, Publication Date, etc. so that every forthcoming product is automatically made available for advance sale – stretching out the sales window, allowing your authors and stakeholders to get involved in the promotion of the product, and boosting its visibility as early as possible.

3) Create smarter, more targeted campaigns

  • Curate, run, track and report on your marketing and publicity campaigns from a single system that records and stores all your metadata and campaign data, and integrates with your website to display this information to your readership – granting your staff access to, and visibility of, the latest marketing and awards information, and enabling your marketers to get as creative as they like, without limitations.

  • Create recipient profiles for trading partners, based on their individual requirements, to determine which metadata set, ONIX version, assets and marketing information each recipient should receive, and when and in what format the information is sent – giving your publishing house the flexibility it needs to meet multiple partners’ expectations with minimal effort. NB: the profiles need only be set up once, saving staff time whilst also enhancing your business relationships.

4) Choose a system designed for publishers

  • Select reliable and responsive business partners who are experts in the book industry to work with you on the implementation of your digital workflows to ensure that your project utilizes the most up-to-date, cutting edge technology available to your business. BiblioSuite is the most advanced suite of publishing software for optimizing workflows, and our best of class, web-based technology, rapid development cycle of new functionality and close working relationships with our customers help to ensure that client publishers are able to manage and adapt to the industry's challenges more efficiently, now and in the future. BiblioSuite which actively facilitates customization and personalization in order to meet your individual business needs; enables publishers to review and validate their data before it’s disseminated; and make the necessary changes in Biblio and push those changes live to your website in real-time.

If you would like to find out more about how BiblioSuite can help you to automate your website and better your product and metadata workflows, get in touch to speak with one of our consultants.

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