New-age digital technologies and digital marketing activities have become critical for enabling market competitiveness and survival. Digitally enabled eCommerce is gradually emerging as the platform of choice for shopping for consumers and reaching targeted customers by business owners. The COVID 19 pandemic has given a major impetus to eCommerce. Nations worldwide introduced stringent lockdowns to contain the virus which affected human movement and activity. Even the not-too-tech-savvy people were forced to upskill and take to eCommerce to make their purchases. Needless to say, the eCommerce market has witnessed exponential growth driven by the pandemic, and the increasing number of people voluntarily adopting online shopping for the convenience it provides through 24X7 shopping anytime and anywhere. Market research shows that retail eCommerce sales in 2021 amounted to about $4.9 trillion worldwide and is further predicted to grow by 50 percent over the next four years to reach about $7.4 trillion by 2025.
eCommerce has opened up floodgates of opportunity for businesses. In this article, we specifically look at how eCommerce is a growing revenue stream for publishers.
eBook platforms for better reach: With eCommerce, publishers can make the best of both worlds. They already have a loyal audience that swears by the print books. Thus, they enjoy a massive revenue stream in traditional publishing and distributing their books through bookstores and physical libraries. However, there is a new generation of readers, especially the millennial generation that prefers to consume their content on mobile devices. As a publisher, you can reach this new audience by selling your books through eBook platforms and eCommerce sites, such as Amazon. Then again, you can also launch your own website to sell your books. The third option is to use an LMS that not only allows you to digitally transform your assets but also allows you to create your dedicated eCommerce platform to sell your books. No matter which eCommerce platform you sell, the process remains the same – the readers make a purchase by browsing through the titles you offer, or a title they have in mind and make an online payment, after which the book is couriered to their address. This method works well for those who wish to read physical copies. On the other hand, you can also digitally transform your books into ebooks and sell them on eCommerce platforms such as Kindle, or as said above, through an LMS. In this case, once the readers make a purchase, you simply have to share a link and they can download the book on their device to read.
Customized digital solutions: Industry 4.0 has introduced a new range of exciting technologies that are showing more and more capabilities to replicate and support human decision-making. eCommerce sites are embracing technologies such as AI and Big Data for data mining and insights which publishers can employ to create more tailored offerings. For instance, these technologies can trace, monitor, and analyze reader behavior on the eCommerce platform. So as a publisher, you can gain insights into what titles are attracting the most interest based on the browsing patterns and the amount of time that readers spend on each page. Then again, AI is being leveraged to recommend related titles based on the readers’ interests and browsing history. To illustrate this with an example, if you watch a particular program on Netflix, the website will recommend more such titles from the genre. Then again, the platform asks readers to rate titles on whether they liked or disliked the program. AI and Big Data then analyze this data to recommend more such titles to the viewer. The same holds true for the eCommerce platform as it leverages these technologies to offer more recommendations tailored to the readers’ interests. Such offerings enable more sales, thus adding to the revenue.
Social media engagement: eCommerce platforms also provide means to engage with customers on social media, leading to what is known as social commerce. In this case, readers may post images of books they are reading on Instagram and Facebook, with links to the eCommerce platform to enable others to make a purchase. Similarly, they can also review the books and inspire others to buy. Besides, benefitting from more clients, publishers can also review and monitor the conversations around their offering. With this they can gain insights into what type of content is working with what type of audience, for instance, the more mature readers could prefer classics while the younger lot may be more inclined towards sci-fi. Social media engagement on eCommerce platforms is another means to woo your audience with custom recommendations for further purchases.
Benefit from video commerce: eCommerce is constantly evolving in tune with the evolving technologies. In fact, lately, video commerce is gaining ground and proving to be a formidable force in the online retail space. As a digital publisher, you can create marketing videos on your products and services, and share them on social media sites, such as Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, with links in captions or embedded in the videos themselves. Your audience can click on the links to visit your eCommerce page or website to make a purchase.
Add paywalls: Another way to increase your reach and consequently, add to your revenue is by implementing a paywall to your digital content. Several prominent newspapers and magazines have already implemented paywalls. In this case, you can create innovative social media posts and share links to your books to attract the reader. By clicking on the link, they can read an abstract or summary for free. If the summary catches their fancy they would then have to make a purchase to read the rest of the book.
eCommerce opens up several new opportunities for publishers to tap and increase their revenue. You can target a new audience that prefers to read their books online. Besides, some eCommerce platforms also use new-age technologies such as AI and Big Data that allow you to gain insights into your readers and provide tailored offerings. You can also fine tune your content to suit their tastes. Then again, social eCommerce is another crucial means to engage with your audience and understand what they like or dislike.
As a traditional publisher, you may be interested to make your presence in the online world. In this case, you may wish to consider KITABOO, an award-winning digital platform that not only allows you to digitally transform your physical assets but also an eCommerce store to sell your books online. You can white-label your eCommerce store to reflect your brand. Kitaboo also offers powerful data mining and analytical tools to provide customized offerings to your audience. With Kitaboo, you can grow your revenue manifold in the online world. To know more, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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