For those who don’t know it, Antoine Online is the e-commerce website of Antoine Bookstores.
Antoine Online aims to be the local Amazon.com.
We have a wide variety of publications, from literature, history, politics, and business to art, design, and culture.
I am going to explain taking into account who we are, what is the best way to relate to the people and communicate in such a business.
We are proud to say that we can get you any book from around the world at a fair price and in a short time. Even if a book is not referenced on the website, we can order it for you.Today we have 1.5 M references in 6 languages: Arabic, French, English, Spanish, Italian and German. Our target is to reach 8 M references by the end of the year.
We sell books, but we also have dvds for documentaries and films. We are also collaborating with artists to cell their CDs.Soon, a ticketing service will be launched to sell tickets for cultural events.In fact, we are interested to sell any culture related product.
We are doing client servicing through twitter and facebook. We are encouraging people to send us their questions and requests. We hope to be very accessible through social media.When we launched the beta version of the website, we asked for user testing feedback and took their suggestions into consideration.We are also very supportive of the online community. We supported twestival Beirut and artists like Nadine Feghaly (Viola postcards), JoumanaMedlej (through selling Malaak online), In addition to Samandal Comics and Maya Zankoul of course.
We want to make books accessible and easy to get. Today we spend a lot of time online, we are exchanging a huge amount of information and interaction has become very easy. Social media is a constant flow of information. We can benefit from this information and the people around in our ecosystem to have easier access to the books/cultural products we are interested in.
We have already established many collaborations in that sense. I am gonna talk about 4 of our collaborations that shows that buying a product can be the extension of an online activity, related to a specific content.
Maya Zankoul books Amalgam and Amalgam 2 were an extension of her blog. Maya was involved in the creation of the slider we put on antoine online and in the online promotion of the offer.
WalidNahas is a great composer and pianist from Lebanon. We supported his work online. If you go check walid’s website walidsolopiano.com, you can buy his CD online via Antoine Online website.
We also supported ZeinaDaccache in her amazing project of filming with the Lebanese prisoners in Roumieh.
Metropolis Cinema created a space in their cinema theater to display a selection of books related to movies or cinema related themes. We (as keeward) are now in the process of creating the website of Metropolis Cinema where this selection will be also available online allowing their followers to experience the same interaction online.
What we did was essentially building a platform that let us sell and ship any books from any country to anywherefor Librairie Antoine and other professionnals or readers in the world. Librairie Antoine is one of our selling interfaces. We are also relying on other Web sites,bookstores andmarketplaces (such as amazon) to propose and sell the book. We intend to do that in order to facilitate the act of purchasing a book online, even if this is a foreign book. Today we are selling 2,500 books per day on all our channels.Buy without Bother came out as a a joke related to the name of our American company called Books without Borders.
The request behind this initiative is to give people the right book at the right time. It is to make the book even more accessible. Why? Because books are generic products. There are millions of books. For each interest, you can find 100,00 books.
How do you pick your book? The best criteria would be a recommendation from a friend, a bookseller. Today the desire to buy a book can be born from a content you read online. Our added value would be to create a content around the book or the product that you can’t find elsewhere. And who can create the best content? The author, the reader, the expert who is passionate about the book, about the topic.
To do that, we need to recruit online booksellers, to partner with. We will empower them to sell anywhere in the world.And use wherever media you want. It can be through a blog, twitter or facebook.
Our challenge today is to find those content creators, those experts who are passionate about culture and are willing to share their knowledge.
Who are they and how are we gonna do it?
It’s very easy to start with the online community. Today there are many bloggers who are reviewing books, there are authors and artists who arebuilding a presence online to promote their work.We also have an online book club, The Cube, which I am personally part of.Those people can be the advocate when it comes to giving a recommendation.
If you have a blog, or if you are active on social media and you are passionate about culture and books, we are empowering you as a bookseller. It could be as simple as getting a referral or adding a widget if you already have a blog.
The problem is not in the offer but in the recommendation. How to get to a good recommendation? Amazon suggestions are based on sales criteria.Today, Goodreads is developing a recommendation engine based on an algorithm that categorizes your reviews and ratings of books and is largely based on what’s on a reader’s bookshelf and what other readers with similar bookshelves have enjoyed reading. We are proposing the opposite: a personalized, content but also people-oriented approach. Content creators are the experts. They know what they are talking about, they have an established community of readers.
So basically, we are creating a network of booksellers, whether they are amateurs or professionals, they can use our platform for shipping or buying books and our online tools for selling to their own audience, putting their content and expertise on top.Whether its on twitter, from their blog, on Facebook, in a specialized website or in their shop, what matters is the knowledge and bond that a person can build with his audience. The better the content, the stronger the relationship is with the audience. The quality of the advice and the strength of the bond are the key to creating value in a similar ecosystem.
Antoine online - Buy without Bother
Antoine Online<br />The Lebanese Amazon.com that embraced engagement strategy<br />Social Media Week Beirut<br />23.09.2011<br />1<br />
Today: <br />Antoine Online, the e-commerce website of Antoine Bookstores, is the local Amazon.com alternative.<br />2<br />
1. Who?<br />Anyone who talks about books online: Bloggers, Authors, Online Book Clubs…<br />21<br />
2. How?<br />Become an Antoine Online affiliate.<br />Add a link or widget to your website.<br />22<br />
3. Why?<br />Who is the best person for selling a very specific book? <br />A specialized bookseller in his shop.<br />A friend who already read the book.<br />Someone who knows and loves a specific subject and has read and analyzed all the relevant books.<br />23<br />
Conclusion<br />The bookseller is no longer in a bookstore, he’s next to you through social media.<br />24<br />