Chrislands Online Bookstores


chrslandslogoby Lance Christen

Is an online bookstore for you?

Have you ever considered setting-up a website to promote your bookselling?

Have you started building a website but found the task too time consuming?

If you have your own website, would you like to add the ability for your visitors to search, browse, and securely order books?

Do you want to build your online identity and your own base of customers?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then Chrisland.com may be able to help you.

Who is Chrislands.com ?

Chrislands.com is a builder of easy to maintain online bookstores. Chrislands.com designed their service so that a bookseller with no computer programming knowledge could easily update and maintain a bookstore. The key strength of Chrislands built bookstores is that Chrislands manages the technical aspects (e.g. maintaining a secure server, processing of inventory files) of maintaining a bookstore and provides the bookseller the flexibility to manage the business aspects (e.g. setting shipping fees, payment policy, refund policy) of an online bookstore.

What does Chrislands.com provide and what computer skills do I need to operate a Chrislands built bookstore?

Chrislands provides a total e-commerce solution for operating an online bookstore, everything from providing assistance with domain name registration through setting up a secure server for online order processing.

If you can upload your inventory of books to ABE.com* (or other listing service), then you have the computer skills necessary to operate a Chrislands built bookstore. Learning HTML or any other computer programming is not required to operate a Chrislands built bookstore.

When did Chrislands.com start building bookstores?

Chrislands started building online bookstores during the summer of 2001. Since 2001 Chrislands has continually strived to add new features, improvements and upgrade the stores it has built.

Where can pricing information about Chrislands.com be found?

Pricing information for Chrislands can be found on the Chrislands Pricing Page . The set-up for a Chrislands built bookstore is $99.99. Monthly fees range from $9.99 a month for stores with less than 2500 books up to $29.99 a month for stores with 30,000 books. The monthly fee for stores with more than 30,000 books is $29.99 plus an additional $5 per each increment of 10,000 books above 30,000 books.

Why should I have my own online bookstore?

If you want repeat customers and want to build your own base of customers, then you need to provide customers an easy way to find you. A bookseller once compared telling a customer “You can search my books at ABE.com” as being the equivalent of a customer asking a brick and mortar bookseller for a business card and the bookseller handing the customer a phone book and saying “I’m listed under books.”

How much customization is possible with a Chrislands built bookstore?

Operating a Chrislands built bookstore is similar to leasing a brick and mortar (B&M) bookstore. You can choose the color and provide the images for the online store (paint and add furnishings to a B&M store) but you can’t change the structure of the store. Items such as processing for searches, shopping cart, secure server (heating, cooling, and plumbing in a B&M store) can’t be modified. A sample of Chrislands built bookstores can be seen athttp://www.chrislands.com/shops/builtstores.php. Viewing a few of the listed stores will provide an idea of what can and can’t be modified.

The above paragraphs cover the “5 W’s and how” of Chrislands. Listed below are other frequently asked questions about Chrislands.

Q: If I have a bookstore, how do I get customers to order from me?

A: Bookstores with the most success look at marketing as a continual process. There are a number of low/no cost things you can do to market your bookstore on a continual basis.

1. You can “market” your bookstore by including your web address in bookmarks, business cards, flyers, email signature lines and other low cost methods. The key is to make it easy for your customers to find your web address.

2. Another method for independent booksellers is “cross-selling”. If someone orders a book from you through ABE.com*, then in your confirmation email to the customer you may want to recommend another book that might interest (same author, same subject, etc…) the buyer and provide them the web address to that book at your bookstore. For example a buyer may order a book about spices and in your follow up email you could state

“I have a great book on food and flavors listed for sale at

http://www.tarmans.com/?page=shop/item&si=9161

or you could say

“I have many great cook books. You might want to browse my other cookbooks at

http://www.tarmans.com/?page=shop/cname&cname=cook+books

Even if the buyer doesn’t buy the recommend books you have let the buyer know how to find your bookstore. Online consumers still fear fraud. After you have completed a sale to a buyer’s satisfaction, you have earned their trust. Customers are much more likely to buy from you a second time, because the fear of fraud is reduced or eliminated. The key is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to find you when they are ready to order more books.

3. Offering discount and coupons is a great incentive to get customers to order from your bookstore. You may want to advertise a 5% “first order” discount code on your bookstore homepage. When the customer checkouts they enter “firstorder” in the coupon code box and are rewarded with a 5% discount at checkout.

You can then follow up with a “second order” coupon to your customer. If you use delivery confirmation, then you know when the customer receives the book and you can follow up with a “Delivery Confirmation” email. In the “Delivery Confirmation” email you can tell the customer that the post office has confirmed delivery of the book and that you hope they are happy with the purchase. Additionally, you can add in the email that you are offering a 10% discount (coupon code = second) if the customer places a second order from your store.

Offering the coupon after delivery has been confirmed is the best time to offer the coupon because that is when the customer will be most satisfied with their purchase. The customer may still have some reservations about the purchase until the book has been delivered.

Q: I already have a website. Can I integrate Chrislands service into my current website.

A: No and Yes.

No. Chrislands cannot be inserted into your current website. Chrislands is a stand-alone system and you cannot modify the basic functioning of a Chrislands built bookstore.

Yes. You can integrate a Chrislands built bookstore by linking together your current website with a Chrislands built bookstore. The two URLs listed below show how the Chrislands portion of a bookstore can be seamlessly integrated into one web site.

http://www.AnglophileBooks.com

and

http://www.AnglophileBooks.net

AnglophileBooks already had a website she built and liked, but wanted to add a search and ordering capability to her site. She maintains her original site (anglophilebooks.com) but has added links to her “back end processing” (Anglophilebooks.net) that allows her customers to search her books and complete orders online.

Q: Is there a long-term commitment when signing up for a Chrislands built bookstore?

A: No. Chrislands works on the equivalent of a month-to-month lease.

Q: Can I upload my inventory to a Chrislands built bookstore just like I upload to the book listing services?

A: Yes. If you use BookRouter.com or BookTrakker, then there will be no additional work to upload to a Chrislands built bookstore. If you use another database program, then uploading to your bookstore will be the equivalent of uploading to another service.

You can learn more about Chrislands at the following web pages.

Chrislands Home Page

Benefits of Chrislands

Chrislands Frequently Asked Questions

Chrislands Pricing

You can contact Chrislands customer service with questions at info@chrislands.com

*ABE.com is the property of the Advanced Book Exchange Inc.

 

 

The Standard: The Journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association

Check out the Independent Online Booksellers Association Website