Industry Insights E-commerce RISE Bookselling

Through RISE Bookselling, the three-year EU co-funded project run by EIBF, we have published a research paper that presents e-commerce platforms dedicated entirely to independent booksellers in three different countries: Libris in the Netherlands, Todostuslibros in Spain and IndieCommerce in the United States. This report is the third volume of a series of research papers called Industry Insights, investigating priority topics for the bookselling sector. 

Until recently, online sales only represented a moderate share of the revenues of many independent bookshops; the physical shop was still, uncontestably, the main outlet. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic, during which shops were forced to close and people to stay at home, provided a shrill wake-up call for many booksellers of the benefits of having an online shop. Moreover, the pandemic also made customers more aware of how their spending habits could actively support the local commerce. 

As a response, e-commerce platforms for independent bookshops experienced a surge of new bookshops signing on. Through these platforms, small, indie bookshops were able to access the online market space with relatively little means at a crucial time. Now, in post-pandemic times, customers have returned to their local brick-and-mortar shops, but online sales continue to make up a significant part of independent bookshops’ revenues. 

To showcase different approaches to e-commerce options for independent bookshops, this research paper spotlights three platforms from different countries: Libris in the Netherlands, Todostuslibros in Spain and IndieCommerce in the USA. Throughout the report, these platforms are analysed as case studies, providing valuable insights into existing online solutions for independent bookshops around the world.  

The Industry Insights on E-commerce platforms, as well as the two previous papers – on Returns and Culture vouchers – are available on the RISE Bookselling website


What are Industry Insights?  

RISE Industry Insights is a series of research papers that investigating priority topics for the bookselling sector. They give insights into key issues, policy reforms and other external initiatives that affect the bookselling sector. In addition, they provide network members with tools to engage with relevant political stakeholders, culture sector professionals and private sector representatives to ensure that their priorities are adequately upheld and supported.  

The Industry Insights are produced by Daniel Martín Brennan and Tora Åsling, Policy Advisor and Policy Officer respectively at the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF).  

What is RISE Bookselling?  

‘Resilience, Innovation and Sustainability for the Enhancement of Bookselling’, or RISE Bookselling in short, aims to upscale, reinforce and maximise the capacity and resilience of the European bookselling sector. The project helps bookshops innovate and stay up to date with new trends and technologies to ensure their long-term sustainability. This three-year programme is organised by EIBF and co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

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