Circle User Meeting 2012 at the NZ Booksellers conference

Posted by on Nov 24, 2012 in Tips tricks and ideas | No Comments

Present at this years meeting were:

Staff exchanges

Firstly all stores present at the user meeting were open to the idea of staff exchanges. This is particularly interesting given that exchanges between NZ and AU are possible.  The following Australian stores have also said that they are open to exploring the idea.

I think this can be both fun and hugely useful, your shops are all in lovely places to visit and are all doing something different and interesting. It could be as little as a visit for half a day while in town through to exchanging staff for a week. The next step is to chat to each other about it.

eBook options

This is a huge topic and has a separate blog post that looks at the the economics and customer process with Readcloud and Copia. Since writing this Booksellers in New Zealand have announced a deal with Cobo that is available to both independents and Paparplus.  I do not know anything about Cobo deal but they are a major player so I assume that it will at least work from a customers perspective even if shops make very little out of it.

Importing all titles available in NZ and AU directly into the community

Currently when you scan an isbn into load stock we automatically look up Neilsen Bookdata for any books that we can not find in the community. The proposal is to import everything available in NZ and AU into the community directly so that most things can be found without having to go out to Bookdata. The motivations behind this proposal are as follows;

  • To stop your customers getting an amazon habit
    The idea is to stop loyal customers going to Amazon when they can not find what they want. If we did this your customers would be able to search for and find any available title, not just the titles that you happen to have selected to put on your shelf.We have to balance this with the concept of the shop as a curator where you are sorting out the best from all available for your customers to sell in your shop. To maintain a curated shop and differences between shops we will only show the other available titles in the search. You will be able to search for a hot rod manual in the Women’s Bookshop but will not see it listed on the website.
  • Faster
    It is much faster for us to get titles from the community than to have to go out to Nielsen as you load titles.
  • The availability of titles can be automatically kept up to date
    The information would be refreshed on a daily basis which means that we can keep availability up to date. This will go a long way to stopping the problem of getting orders for items that you can not supply.

The Deal

For us this is a slightly scary departure in that we would have to pay Nielsen directly for this. As a rule we like to stick to the programming and let you manage the data and external services. However this is a very compelling idea and would have a number of benefits for all involved.

To recover the cost we would need to charge you. Very tentatively this is looking like something around $50 per month but Nielsen are protentially offering a discount on your existing Nielsen online subscription which gives access to all titles so it will most likely be cost neutral. If you thought you did not need all titles in Nielsen and could survive on the standard titles available in NZ and AU you could drop the bookdata online subscription and simply use the community.

If you do not currently subscribe to Nielsen and even at $50 a month this did not represent value to you then you could opt out. If you did this customer would not be able to see the additional titles when they searched your website and you also would not be able to access them in the backoffice.

3 wishes

This year we gave everyone 3 wishes. The following is what we got…

  • A major theme was a desire to get more support and ongoing training. The ideas were Integrated chat webinars, live chat and more local onsite support.
  • A slave for a day – where we put developers into a store for a day to get see what it is like from the other side.
  • Better history layout
  • A 3rd year on the monthly sales history
  • Fix the customer already taken issue (now fixed)
  • Look at Leading Edge integration
  • Update movers lay out
  • Show customers in the account sales section in the cashup
  • Stop deleted items showing in movers
  • List customers in alphabetical order in the POS
  • In the pos if you have an exact match on a customer search allow enter to select (done for v128 release)
  • Put stronger restrictions and guidelines around editing titles