How to Sell Books Online

How to Sell Books Online – The Best eCommerce Tips!

As you may know, International Book Day is celebrated this month (23rd April). So now is the time to kick off your Seasonal Marketing campaigns for this special date, especially if you sell books! Have you included Book Day in your marketing calendar?

Here are some important facts about the book industry that you need to know in order to create the best marketing strategy to sell online.

Your 3 Main Cornerstones

There are three things you have to keep in mind in any marketing strategy, whether you sell books, clothes, beauty products, or anything really. You should take into account:

  • SEO and SEM positioning.
  • Targeting: know your audience.
  • Branding: building brand awareness.

SEO + SEM Strategies

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): is the set of actions and techniques used to improve the search engine positioning (visibility) of a website on the Internet among the organic results of search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing): is the paid positioning method used to reach the top positions of search results faster. But although marketers use this concept to refer only to the paid method, it really encompasses much more: all those strategies that have to do with positioning in search engines, including SEO. However, in this article we are going to talk about SEM as search engine optimization through payment.

While SEO focuses on improving visibility at the organic level or naturally in search results, SEM relies on paid advertising campaigns in the result pages. 

As you see, paid results are displayed under the “Sponsored” or “Advertisement” tag.

Therefore, a good marketing strategy usually comes, among many other things – from a good combination of SEO + SEM.

Targeting: Know your audience

The target audience is the audience of interest to a company; the group of people who, due to socio-demographic, socio-economic, psychological, geographic, etc. criteria, become potential customers of a business. It is essential to take these criteria into account, as well as to be aware of the constant evolution of the market and consumer habits.

Identifying your target is essential, but it is also essential to do it very well and in a very specific way. Sometimes we think we know exactly who we are talking to, but we are not self-critical or being honest with ourselves in this regard.

Identifying your target (as the person in charge of marketing) will give you more opportunities to improve your strategies and later on, see your company grow because of your effort. You will attract only the right customers. Knowing exactly to whom and why you are selling, helps you to concentrate your efforts on what really matters.

Tips for identifying your target audience

  • Demographic patterns: age and sex.
  • Socio-cultural and psychological patterns: economics, educational level, languages, values and beliefs.
  • User and device profile: browsing frequency and network habits, access mode and frequency of visits as well as upload/download speed and device operating system.


It consists of building a brand in a digital environment. Using digital platforms as a more direct and instant communication channel with our customers. Knowing at the moment, what they want, what they think and what sensations – it makes them feel something.

The main objective of a branding campaign is the creation or restoration of a strong and lasting bond between the brand and the public. Every strategy tries to position the brand in the consumer’s mind as the first option to buy that product or service.

Get creative to rebuild your brand!

Main Traffic Sources

The first thing you should ask yourself is, “Do I know the different sources of traffic?” 

These are:

  • Organic traffic: we’ve talked about it before, it’s the one that comes from your SEO efforts.
  • Direct traffic: when people directly look for a specific website because they already know of it and they know what they want.
  • Referral traffic: talking about you and link “big names” to your website.
  • Paid traffic: we mentioned it before, SEM. Traffic from paid sources such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.
  • Social traffic: very simple, the one that comes from your social networks.

The data speaks for itself and the trend in terms of traffic sources in the book eCommerce sector is as follows: 

  • Organic traffic: 45.54%
  • Direct traffic: 39.40%
  • Referral traffic: 11.17%
  • Paid traffic: 3%
  • Social Traffic: 1.35%

With this data, you know where to push!


Although computer-based shopping continues to predominate, more and more people are using their smartphones to do their online shopping. Is your page responsive (mobile adapted) for your eCommerce website?

Things that work…

Other marketing actions you can’t forget are…

  • Trying to get reviews: users trust what other people say about the products they have already bought. Get good reviews and you will gain some ground.
  • CTA Buttons: the buttons known as “calls to action” are very important. Study your competitors’ well and go for it!
  • Graphics and creativity: you have an online bookstore – people who read will appreciate your creativity!
  • Link building: what we were saying about the referred traffic. This is VERY important for SEO. Work your link building strategy, the more people who speak well of you, the better domain authority you will have, and Google takes this into account for its website ranking.
  • Videos: author interviews, book club, etc… Make fun and entertaining content in video format and upload it to your website. As we said in the previous point, creativity matters!

Some data

Did you know that…?

  • “Data shows that the book consumption rate in the United States has fluctuated continually since 2011, with audiobooks growing in popularity while print book readership has waned. However, print books remain the most popular book format. In 2019, 65 percent of survey respondents stated they had read at least one print book in the past year, forty percent more than the share of adults who had read an e-book in the same period.”
  • “During a survey held in early 2019, it was found that 81 percent of adults aged between 18 and 29 years old had read a book in any format in the previous year. The survey results showed that adults within this age category were more likely than older respondents to have read a book within the last twelve months.”
  • “Results from a survey held in 2019 showed that 65 percent of Black respondents had read at least one book in the previous 12 months, whereas book consumption among Hispanic Americans was six percent lower. Non-Hispanic White adults were the most likely group to have read a print or digital book in the last year.”
  • “A survey held in early 2019 exploring the audiobook listening population in the United States showed that just eight percent of respondents aged 65 or above had listened to an audiobook in the last year, and were most popular with adults aged between 30 and 49 years old. Audiobook listenership also tends to be higher among women than men, and more popular with higher income families.”

Source: Statista

More used Claims

Let’s talk about CTA buttons… Which ones work best?

  • “The Best Price, Guaranteed!”
  • “New Collection!”
  • “SHOP NOW!”

We love infographics!

how to sell books online

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