A Christmas Story

The Wall Street Journal reported on a press release that Comscore, a company that tracks just about everything online, released. Comscore has forcasted flat growth for the 2008 holiday e-commerce spending. They report an unprecedented 4-Percent decline during the first 23 days of November vs. corresponding shopping days in 2007.

What I found interesting in the WSJ article was a comment at the bottom by someone lamenting the demise of the shopping experience in shopping malls. The author of the comment was lamenting the fact that their bricks and mortar experience was no longer what it once was, plastic santas and non-traditional holiday music and a noticable lack of tinsel in the parking lot has made the Holiday season just another generic shopping experience.

This comment along with the report by Comscore made me think that perhaps there is a hidden opportunity here for booksellers. Local bookstores can easily capitaize on the fact that people aren’t shopping online. The credit crunch is most obvious on your credit card statement. So a nostalgic walk down main street finds a customer wandering into your store. They are naturally drawn to your store because you are piping through some kick ass Christmas tunes and offering egg nog with every purchase!

Thanks to The 26th Story blog, you have learned about the research that OgilvyAction conducted which concludes that:

* 29% of U.S. shoppers impulsively buy from categories they didn’t plan to when they entered the store. Of that group, 24% said they were influenced by secondary displays (away from the product’s usual aisle), 18% by in-store demonstrations, and only 17% by price promotion.

* 39% of U.S. shoppers have a category in mind but pick their brand in store, and of those, 31% were influenced by in-store demonstrationsmore than the 28% by price promotion and the 27% influenced by some other form of consumer promotion.

You have your store displays set up according to the BookNet Holiday Shift research (available to all BNC eNews subscribers) that shows there is a ‘holiday shopping basket’ for categories. You realize, ‘hey it isn’t all about Price and Discount’ it is about service and community. But you also know that there is no better way for someone to spend their hard earned cash then on an excellent, quality read. Books are a highly charged gift item for just about anyone because they are personal in a way that giving someone a Blackberry isn’t. We live and breath stories! So let stories live and breath this holiday. Do everything you can to help people make an intimate connection with the specialness of the holidays and use your business intelligence to make sure they walk out of your store with a basket full of stories and information.