Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Why doesn't Waterstones (UK BookStore) also upsell kindle books?

Today I bought a book for my Mum in an local Waterstones and they didn’t even have the option or service to upsell a digital copy of that book!

If they had an offer like “25% extra and you also get a kindle version” I would had bought, because I also want to read that book (and they sell Kindle’s in that store!!!).

No wonder they are struggling (see Waterstones boss pledges to revive company's fortunes after a £37m loss  ), and although Waterstone’s management wants to blame Amazon (see Amazon is 'destroying Britain's book industry', claims Waterstones chief), they keep failing to adapt to the new digital world.

For example, why can’t I:
  • Find out what books are currently in the store I’m in? (and maybe even remotely from any internet device?),
    • is it THAT hard to have a customer in-store search?
  • Get personalized recommendations based on past purchases (my kids have bought tons of books in there, and there are new releases that I might be interested in),
  • Find out what other readers (with similar tastes) in my area are buying?
  • Use Watersontes to buy and deliver (to my house) books that I want (instead of going to Amazon), ideally from in-store stations, or in a 20s workflow (vs the current ‘book ordering service’ which takes far too long)
  • Buy physical copies of digital books I have already bough at a discount (the opposite of this post’s title)
  • Be known by the staff of my local Waterstones store
  • Pay the book to ‘walking staff’ with payment devices like the ones the Apple Store employees have
  • Give them the books that I don’t want anymore (so that they can put it on eBay or Amazon (it’s ok to only pay me when those books are sold))
Basically companies like Waterstones need to make the most of the current technologies and provide personalized services that take advantage of the key asset/compettitive-advantage they (still) have: a big store on the high road.