Bookshop.org wants to compete with Amazon
Bookshop.org is a new initiative that wants to support local independent booksellers. After a successful launch in the US earlier this year, the platform has now launched in the United Kingdom.
Bookshop was founded by Andy Hunter, a writer himself. He wanted to help bookstores survive in a time where Amazon is eating up all the market share. The website first launched in the US in January.
During the first weeks, he and his team thought they were going to refine, improve, and make small changes to the ecommerce website for six months. But then Covid-19 hit and Bookshop was doing massive business, he tells The Guardian.
Partnership with over 130 British bookshops
Now, the online platform has launched in the United Kingdom. It went live in partnership with over 130 local independent book stores. The platform lets these bookshops create their own virtual shopfront on Bookshop.org and the store owners get the full profit margin, which is 30 percent of the cover price, from each sale. Meanwhile, Bookshop and its distribution partners handle all customer service and shipping.
Stores get the full profit margin from each sale.
In the US, bookshop started with selling 50,000 dollars worth of books in all of February, to selling the same amount a day in March and 150,000 a day in April. And by June, the ecommerce company sold 1 million dollars worth of books in a day.
“The whole time we were getting messages from stores saying, ‘Thank God you came along, you’ve paid our rent, you’ve paid our health insurance this year'”, Hunter explains. His company is now in the process of applying for B Corporation certification in the UK. One of the rules states that it can never be sold to a major US retailer, including Amazon.
Bookshop can never be sold to Amazon.