This has happened to me many times in past 3 years -I visit a local bookstore, I scan through the titles of my interest, pick a title, look at the price tag, note the title, and then put it back on the shelf.
I do that because of the price tag. No local bookstore offers more than 10-15% discount on the cover price.
That is incomparable with what online bookshops such as Flipkart and Amazon offer. If you search for the same title that you noted from your local bookshop in either of these marketplaces, you’ll find much competent offer. In some cases up to 30% off on the cover price.
You order your preferred title there and get it shipped mostly within a couple of days. And did I mention that for most orders, shipping is free?
The business model of the local bookshops, the way I see it, is dependent on a lack of knowledge of the people. As soon as people would come to know about the difference, they will start buying via online marketplaces.
Earlier, the lack of knowledge was an opportunity for businesses. That is not the case anymore. Knowledge is just a Google search away. People will get it sooner than later.
The only differentiator is the value you add by either providing an incomparable experience or being the most competitive in the market, and I’m not sure if later one works in the long-term.
Question – As a Local BookShop Owner, what experience you can offer that online marketplaces cannot?