What do we look at when we enter a bookstore?

What is the first thing you notice when you walk into a bookstore? It seems like an easy question but it really isn't.

09 July 2022 Saturday 06:03
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What do we look at when we enter a bookstore?

What is the first thing you notice when you walk into a bookstore? It seems like an easy question but it really isn't. The book offer? The kindness of the bookseller? The order? The truth is that there are many factors that can affect the perception of the customer to decide whether or not he would return to that place to buy what will probably be his reading this summer, but to date it was something difficult to measure, because it was not had analyzed in depth. For this reason, taking advantage of the fact that a few days ago the XXV Congress of Bookshops was held in Madrid, the Spanish Confederation of Guilds and Associations of Booksellers (CEGAL) commissioned what is to date the first quality study of customer service in bookstores Spanish independents.

Nathaly Cano, from Qualimetrie, the consultancy that has carried out this analysis, has spoken with La Vanguardia to explain first-hand both the methodology used and the conclusions reached. “One of CEGAL's concerns was to have this first diagnosis of the customer experience in bookstores. They provided us with a first sample of 25 points of sale with which we began to work and we sent what we qualified as mystery customers to each of these places on two occasions, during the Christmas holidays, that is, with high affluence, and then in a time of lower influx.

Although the attention was better in the quieter periods, it can be said that it was always approved with a mark”. So much so that, according to the study, the average score obtained by Spanish independent bookstores is 74.5 out of 100. The results, Cano anticipates, are positive. The bookstores have “a mark or better” in order, cleanliness and friendliness. This last aspect is present both in person and on the web or by telephone”. Thus, it can be deduced that 81% of customers recommend a certain bookstore for its friendly treatment and that 60% prefer not to recommend certain establishments due to a lack of clarity in the return policy.

As an aspect to improve, it indicates two points to take into account. One of them is "the lack of advice, since the client does not have to be the one who goes to look for the seller". On the other hand, there is the complementary sale and, the expert points out, “it is not common for the seller to offer you a second book, whether or not it has similar characteristics. Normally, you go, ask for the book, they look for it and you go to the checkout. It would be interesting to take care of this aspect since the buyer who is used to going to bookstores often ends up being interested in other readings”. It ends with the checkout, where "gift receipts are not always offered, a customer file is made or the sending of the invoice by email is offered". Overall, however, only 16% of bookstores received a negative rating.

Looking to the future, Cano points out that “it would be interesting to continue with the study and expand the sample to more bookstores, both to confirm this trend and to analyze whether these aspects are improving. For now, at the congress we gave this information to the booksellers so that they could take it into account and apply it in their businesses and, if they consider it appropriate, train their new staff. It's a win-win for everyone,” he concludes.

From CEGAL, the spokesperson Álvaro Manso anticipates that "there is an intention to continue with more studies to improve these aspects and thus achieve excellent globally". Bookstores are spaces for conversation and closeness, everything that is to improve is something that we will always be in favor of”.



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