The number of independent bookstores grew by 40% between 2009 and 2018, and to date, there are 2,400 stores. This doesn’t include national chains and other retailers. The point is the growth in retail stores and books sales show people still like reading a physical book.
Reading to Kids
When it comes to parents reading to their children, it is almost unanimously the preferred way. According to a Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group survey, a whopping 98% use physical books to read to their children. And 83% of parents read to their children in the evening as part of their bedtime routine.
For small business booksellers, this data provides a great opportunity to market children’s books and the importance of reading to kids for parents.
In addition to providing a great bonding experience, reading to a child, toddlers on up, has many benefits.
The Importance of Reading to a Child
In the report, Kiddi Caru says reading a physical book offers a break from technology. While there are many benefits to introducing technology early, the amount of time kids spend on them is not recommended. Parents (86%) also believe children are not enjoying books as much because of entertainment on screens.
But keeping the tradition of bedtime stories can help the development of a child by offering a multitude of life lessons. In the survey, 25% of parents say they choose books that have morals.
However, 75% say they make the choice based on fun and bright illustrations. Even if the story is just fun and has great artwork, most if not all children’s stories teach some sort of a lesson. Additionally, reading to a child fuels imagination teaches focus, speech and language development.
For independent booksellers, these are marketing points which can be used to bring more customers into their doors. And although the task of competing with online retailers seems insurmountable, it is possible.
Competing with Online Retailers
Amazon started out selling books, so the company is known for the huge volumes it has in its inventory. This includes physical and digital editions. But the company has started moving to the physical space with retail book stores. It now has 17 stores, with plans for more.
Why is Amazon moving to this space and independent bookseller growing? Because the online version can only sell the book and not the experience of shopping in a retail store. And when it comes to kids and books, a physical store can offer much more than a website.
For small book store owners, the tactile experience of a physical store provides great opportunities and more ways to compete. Weekly readings, book theme events, games, and multi-generational storytime are some of the things you can do.
If you market each event properly through your website, social media and other small businesses around you, you can make your book store thrive.