Buy more! Now!

I have been on a training course about retail. I thought it would be about how we can use ideas and successful practices in retail to promote and improve our library services. It was about the actual stuff we sell: rubbers, pencils, mugs, tea towels, and such.

I believe the course would have been better if our library services (such as learning sessions, book stock, online resources,…) had been taken into consideration properly.

I have still taken a few things away from the session:

  • Sight is the most important sense when entering an environment (75%).
  • A place needs to be clean. We spend far too much on cleaning and it’s still not clean.
  • You can only really effectively concentrate on two main audiences, unless you are a large branch.
  • Silent selling means grouping things together thematically.
  • Layout, good staff and relevance of the product are key.
  • We see the world as we are.
  • A SMART objective for our information department.
  • “Hell is other people” 😉

I enjoyed reading Christie Koontz’s article “Retail Interior Layout for Libraries“. Do you have any retail tips that can be used to promote stock in a reference library better?

Added: Further reading

Libraries – a little bit like supermarkets really

Passion, Persuasion and Persistence

What can libraries learn from retail?

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4 Responses to Buy more! Now!

  1. Jo Alcock says:

    Interesting post, it’s something I am fascinated by and would love to do more research into. I recommend reading Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping – really great book about observational research into consumer behaviour. I wrote up some of the points from the book which stood out for me and how libraries could learn from this on my blog: http://www.joeyanne.co.uk/2009/10/20/learning-from-retail/

    • bumsonseats says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jo. Just read your post (and then noticed you had already left a comment ) and there are a few things I can immediately take from that, like having more face-on book displays and looking at our seating arrangements. I am hoping to revamp our info department soon, and I can already start by changing our display areas and weeding stock on the open shelves. Baby steps.

      • Jo Alcock says:

        Great stuff! It would be really interesting to observe/monitor behaviour using current layout and then make minor alterations (probably changing just one variable each time) and seeing if it makes a difference to behaviour. Would face on books lead to more /browsingborrowing? Would providing bags lead to more browsing/borrowing? Would changing the location of displays lead to more enquiries about them or more people taking leaflets? So much I’d love to try!

  2. bumsonseats says:

    Yes, you have some great ideas there! I’ll try some and let you know what we come up with at the end. Of course all providing we are allowed to do it.

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