As we´ve looked at previously with Black Friday and Valentine´s Day, special dates generate unique behaviours . For booksellers, World Book Day is their Black Friday with huge selling and revenue potential as consumers rediscover their love for reading and books. Established by UNESCO, it´s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading around the world and the one-day festival is celebrated in over 100 countries, driving millions of buyers worldwide.
Bookstores have their own unique set of challenges and dynamics , and the way shoppers interact with their online store and products is different from other retailers. Whether an online shopper is searching for a specific title, wants to explore the most popular books, or is just looking for suggestions and inspiration, the online bookstore needs to be able to satisfy all these needs. And, this is especially important on a key date such as World Book Day.
Having recently worked with Casa del Libro, Spain´s leading bookstore with more than 40 physical stores and the largest online presence , to help re-design their site search, navigation and customer experience, we wanted to take a closer look at customer behaviours on this special date. We already knew, through working together, that visits using site search on casadellibro.com have a huge impact on conversion rates and global revenues with s earch representing 10% of site visits and 60% of revenue.
Furthermore, as part of World Book Day, the bookseller launched special campaigns throughout the whole of April with the promotions becoming more accentuated on the actual day. For example, a 5% discount was offered during the entire month but on 23rd April that discount increased to 10%, the only day in Spain when booksellers are able to offer more than a 5% discount, plus free shipping with no minimum order value.
Given these incentives and the day´s global awareness it´s perhaps not surprising that the site saw an increase in traffic, searches and sales volumes . However, the following dynamic diagram demonstrates the extent of the rise in query performance and volumes on World Book Day when compared to the days either side, revealing an enormous increase in site activity throughout the entire day , with peaks in the morning and evening.
Queries on World Book Day were in fact 114% higher compared with an average day, over 265% more than the previous day and the average queries by session also grew 7%. It´s also really interesting to see the top queries and what products people searched for, perhaps especially surprising that The Little Prince came in as the third most searched product, suggesting an inclination on Book Day towards the classics!
Additionally, by analyzing these queries and the searched terms across the whole of Spain we were able to get a good representation of the differences between each community and region in terms of both performance and preferences. The following diagram shows the increases in volumes per region based on the day before to take into account regional population sizes. Those in the lighter green came in below the national average for the increase in queries on World Book Day compared to the day before, such as Cataluna and Extramadura, whereas those in a darker green are above average. This shows that people in the regions of Galicia and La Rioja for example, are more influenced by World Book Day, which could be useful information for the bookseller. Understanding different behaviours and patterns on special dates and s earch performance can provide really useful information about the market, demand and trends helping retailers to anticipate and predict customer requirements and improve the online experience. It was also interesting to compare these figures to last year, with 2018´s new design and site enhancements seeing a 60% increase in sales year on year.
We can clearly see that World Book Day, unlike some other special dates, sees the primary focus of activity on the actual day itself with more site visits, searches and sales taking place on that day, rather than in the lead up. The Spanish are perhaps influenced by the promotions offered on that date and in the main don´t look to make purchases ahead of time for gifting purposes.
Furthermore, the day after World Book Day sees more sales than those proceeding the special date, indicating a long tail effect from the specific campaigns. Generally, searches were performed by entering book titles rather than author names, but in some special cases, especially with authors who publish frequently or are well known, the name of the author was more relevant than the book title.
By analysing and utilising search and browse data on special dates, online retailers like Casa del Libro can better anticipate demand and customer needs , making more informed decisions on what to suggest as part of the customer journey, and what to boost through knowledge of the most common queries and market trends as well as regional variations. Through a better understanding of data and customer behaviour, online stores can enrich user interactions, create longer session duration, improved findability and design more joyful, personalised and meaningful shopping experiences.