Beginning March 1, IndieBound.org, the American Bookseller Association's consumer-facing online bookselling and marketing platform, will switch to using Bookshop.org to handle sales and fulfillment. All buy buttons on bookstores sites or affiliated sites using IndieBound links will switch to Bookshop.org links.
In a letter sent to publishers and other industry members, Bookshop.org founder and CEO Andy Hunter explained that the change over was meant to occur in spring 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic. "The shift to Bookshop.org buttons was meant to eliminate consumer confusion, improve data for the indie channel, convert more consumers, generate more revenue for booksellers due to a simpler purchase flow and higher conversion rate, and optimize the impact of Bookshop.org for independent bookstores. Now, beginning March 1st, all of this will be possible as IndieBound “buy” buttons will become Bookshop.org “buy” buttons with a new tagline emphasizing support for independent bookstores,' Hunter explained in the letter
IndieBound.org will continue to host an independent bookstore store finder, the indie bestseller list, the Indie Next list and Kids Next list, and information about other independent bookstore programs.
"We currently have 1,650 stores on Bookshop, which is about 70% of the ABA's membership," Hunter, told PW. He predicted that booksellers will likely see a significant increase in online sales, as the average conversion rate of Bookshop.org store pages is over 12% vs. 6% for other online bookselling platforms.
The ABA has provided a page explaining further details of the switch for booksellers and an online FAQ from Bookshop.org answers many of the questions booksellers may have about working with Bookshop and the conversion.
In his letter, Hunter said that since the launch of Bookshop.org in January 2020, U.S. independent bookstores have earned over $24.6 million on the platform and he estimated that the combined online sales of independent bookstores have grown over 500% since 2019.
In the FAQ, Bookshop.org offers a high level of optimism. "We believe that together, with the right strategies, cooperation, and execution, we can grow ecommerce revenue for independent bookstores by 500% in the next five years - substantially improving the viability and margins of the bookselling business."