Sunday, February 20, 2011

The new way to buy

This is how I bought books prior to 1997:
1) enter bookstore and browse until I find a compelling book
2) purchase it at the register

Since 1997:
1) browse on Amazon (I also tried Barnes and Noble once)
2) read reviews, read the free excerpts, decide on a book
3) purchase it, (or increasingly the Kindle version) through
  Amazon checkout; since 2003 I usually then order it

The moral of the story for rural entrepreneurs is:
 - If you want to operate a bookstore, you better be selling more
   than just books (like overpriced coffee via alluring store
 - You don't need to live in an urban environment to sell; your
    book/music CD/revolutionary garden tool can be shipped
    from any post office (this is good news for you)

Intimately connected to the "new way to buy" is the "new way to sell."

The retail industry is offering less and less variety. If you had watched over the past 10 years, you would have noticed. Wholesalers offer such impressive statistical analysis explaining what most people buy, and retailers use that intell to cut inventory times (by not ordering slow-selling items). But variety is actually increasing, because you can order anything you want, in any size and color you want, from any place on the planet. More good news for you: you can do what the Sears Roebuck catalog did (for rural America) in 1897. 

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