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« The next seminar (a fundraiser) | Main | The needle in a haystack problem »

"Do you have" vs. "Do you want"

John Moore talks about Borders Reducing its Borders.

It turns out that cutting inventory by 10% and facing books out (instead of just showing spines) increased their sales by 9%. This is counter to Long Tail thinking, which says that more choices and more inventory tend to increase sales.

The distinction is worth noting, because there are two valid strategies.

You can stock everything, so that the answer to the question, "do you have" is yes.

Or, you can market and sell, not just take orders, so instead of answering that question, you're asking, "do you want?"

Do you want this cool new cookbook about Spain? It's right next to that amazing new novel about food in Spain...

Bookstores that follow this strategy need to be pickier about what they carry, organized differently (alphabetical order again!) and staffed differently as well. Don't put all the cookbooks in a little corner. Instead, put books for me (whether they are cookbooks or computer books) together and make me delighted I found you.

This kind of bookstore needs to sell and merchandise and promote and tickle and promise and tantalize and thrill.

Hey, that might work for your business, too.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Do you have" vs. "Do you want":

» Selling Books from Business Opportunities And Ideas
Brand Autopsy reports that Borders is changing the way it stocks books. Instead of having the books on a shelf, spine out (like books and bookshelves are designed to be) theyre going to start stocking them cover out (see picture). Apparently wh... [Read More]

» Borders Showing More Covers Face-Out *UPDATED from Books Covered by Tobias
In what can only be considered good news for cover designers, Borders, the mega-bookstore chain, has implemented a new policy of showing more books face-out. According to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg's article, this is the brainchild of the new CEO. Taking [Read More]

» Borders--Thinking Outside the Box from Mine Your Own Business
John Moore comments at Brand Autopsy on a new display strategy being tested by Borders Book Stores. As you probably know, book stores normally display their books with the edge facing the customer. ||||||The obvious reason for this is you [Read More]

» The Long Tail vs. The Paradox of Choice from Background Noise
I was catching up on some blog posts after returning from vacation, and was intrigued by Chris Webb's take on Borders' decision to display more book covers in their stores, which in turn will reduce a typical store's inventory by [Read More]

» The single best way to get more sales (Guide to Small Business Ecommerce Strategy) from thinks
Can making more sales online really be as simple as a single step? Read on and find out. ... [Read More]

» Transitions: Thoughts on the new Borders.com from a thousand cuts
On Memorial Day, 2008, with little fanfare, Borders Group, Inc. embarked on a new chapter novel in the history of the company. And it was most certainly, memorable. With a few final technical switches thrown, Borders transitioned the outsourcing of t... [Read More]

« The next seminar (a fundraiser) | Main | The needle in a haystack problem »