Tip of the Week June 4, 2012
Volume: 2 | Issue: 22

WebStore update – Stock Sharing easier to view!

When you are logged in on your own WebStore, the PubStock link now has the ability to automatically show what peer booksellers have in stock and on order for the given title.

Stock Sharing is not new to BookManager stores. Many stores may not have realized that this option was available to them. To view the information you had to click the Stores button after clicking the PubStock link. Now, once you click the checkbox to view peer stock, the information will be shown automatically when you click the PubStock link.

A quick refresher on Store Stock Sharing: These settings allow you to share your stock information with other booksellers that send inventory data to BookManager. Stores cannot see your information unless they have allowed you to see theirs. Once sharing is enabled, to view shared information, click the PubStock button for a particular title and then click Stores. When you change a sharing option you must wait one hour before making further changes. This is done to deter booksellers from temporarily enabling sharing their data, which would defeat the purpose of sharing data. Stores that appear in grey are not currently sharing information with you (or perhaps everyone, or they are only sharing with a few select stores). If you have the "Share with everyone" filter rule selected, the checkboxes beside each store do not affect anything. They are just there in case you later select a different filter rule.

Almost half of the stores who participate by submitting daily inventory levels have enabled stock sharing with their peers. That also means that more than half of you already submitting information have yet to discover how peer sharing can influence your buying (and return) decisions or locate hard to find titles.

The link to enable or adjust sharing is provided when you click PubStock. Although there are options provided to limit how much information you share (and as a result, how much you see), we urge everyone to start with the maximum visibility and then decide later on if concerns arise. For example, if you sensitive to sharing with nearby competition then you can select to share with everyone except certain stores.

WebStore update – New Marketing and Product Page tabs on full book displays!

When you click on an image to see the larger image and accompanying annotations, a Product Page will appear if the publisher provided us with a link to further content. Note that there is also a Marketing tab that was also recently added that appears when we have been supplied with similar marketing information intended for bookstore buyers.

The Product Page is actually displaying what would be shown if you clicked the link under Publisher's Links in the Marketing tab. The difference is that the information they provided will be shown inside of the Product Page tab rather than as a separate tab in your browser (or separate browser window). Pretttaaaaaaay slick huh?

We are experimenting with design concepts that we hope will make the art (task) of browsing catalogues online faster, easier and better. Normally, each time you click a link a new browser tab or window is opened, and this can create quite a mess on your computer after a while. It also requires more clicking and closing, which tends to discourage using the links at all. The Product Page tab is designed to keep the information in line with each title as you browse.

Unfortunately, each browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari) seems to handle certain links poorly when they are shown inside the Product Page tab.

Very few publishers are providing us with product links. This is frustrating because many publishers are dropping their print catalogues, which is leaving us with a cover image (if we wait long enough!) and perhaps some scan text about the book. However, at least we now have something to show more detailed and rich information once publishers start doing their part.

BookManager is not as well known in the publishing industry for our catalogues system, as say either Edelweiss (US) or CataList (Canada) who provide similar services. They will eventually catch on, and our booksellers can be the squeaky wheel to encourage them to do it sooner than later. E-catalogues are NOT a great replacement for paper versions, but we need to make e-catalogues work BEFORE they force us to go cold turkey.