E-commerce-Solution Shopping Made Easy
Last year, retail e-commerce totaled $88 billion, or 2.4 percent of total U.S. retail sales, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In the first quarter of this year, U.S. retail e-sales hit $25 billion—2.7 percent of total retail sales for the quarter ($906 billion). And based on the average annual growth rate (in the mid 20-percent range) of the last few years, 2006’s year-end e-commerce totals are likely to top $110 billion.
Book publishers in almost every market have launched e-commerce sites to tap the growing potential in e-sales. Major publishers such as Scholastic (ShopScholastic.com), Random House (RandomHouse.com), McGraw-Hill (Books.McGraw-Hill.com), Penguin Group (USA) (US.PenguinGroup.com), Lippincott Williams and Wilkins (LWW.com), O’Reilly (OReilly.com/store), NYU Press (NYUPress.org) and Oxmoor House (OxmoorHouse.com) sell their titles via e-commerce Web sites, as do smaller publishers.
Selling online can be simple, but there are a number of things that publishers should consider before investing in an e-commerce solution. Book Business asked two e-commerce solutions providers to share their insights to help you in your solution-evaluation process. Plus, take a look at some of the solutions for book publishers on the market.
Judy Lee, vice president of marketing and client support for The Media Services Group—whose clients include: Presbyterian Publishing, Gulf Publishing, M.E. Sharpe, Martha Stewart Living and Forbes—suggests publishers consider not only what services and features they currently require, but those they may grow into. She says asking the following questions can help publishers determine which solution will fill their short- and long-term needs:
1. What are my transaction parameters? How many orders do I expect to process per hour, per minute, per day?
2. Is this solution scalable?
3. Can this solution update order processing and inventory in real time?
4. What other interfaces are required?
5. What safeguards are in place so that if my Web site is down, I can still capture orders?
- Burke Publications
- CyberWolf Inc.
- Datasystem Solutions Inc.
- Digital River
- Dow Jones & Co. Inc.
- Global Turnkey Solutions
- Gulf Publishing Co.
- International Business Systems
- Klopotek International North America
- M.E. Sharpe
- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
- Morse Data Corp.
- NYU Press
- Overdrive Inc.
- Penguin Group (USA)
- Presbyterian Publishing
- RR Bowker
- Scholastic Inc.
- The Media Services Group Ltd.
- Trilogy Enterprise Systems
- Vista International
- Yankee Publishing