A fraction of the whole

In the last post I presented some info on what books we have and what books we sell. In this post I want to talk about what we can learn from those numbers for our stock strategy.

The summary is this one bubble chart. Towards the top of the chart are books we sell more of. Towards the right hand side chart are books we have more of. And the bubble size is the total revenue we have made from that type of book since we started nearly a year ago.

The five coloured circles make up about 50 per cent of total revenue, so these are the ones I am most focused on.

  • In the top right the green and orange circles. These are literature (green) and genre fiction (orange). We have lots of them. They sell pretty well. Let's keep doing that.

  • Against the left-hand side, the two red-coloured dots are new arrivals (books that we sell from the front room before we get around to entering them in the computer) and books we put on display in the front room. We do not have many books in these categories, but they sell super well.

  • Interestingly, new arrivals is the larger dot, suggesting people like something about the new arrivals bookcases (which might be that customers can look at them without being visible from the counter, or that they like to fossick).

  • The grey dot down the bottom is our collectible stock. They sell slowly but they make up almost 10 per cent of our revenue because they have such high prices.

Above the line

You will see on the chart a blue line. Books above this line sell relatively well. Books below it sell relatively poorly.

Of course, there are lots of relevant factors apart from the book genre itself, like the quality of the book, its presentation and price, and broader factors like awareness of the store in general. But just focusing on sales and genres, I think we can say some useful things:

  • Genre fiction is a better seller than literature (it is further above the blue line). We could aim to reduce our literature stock or put books that sell better on the shelf, like classics (War and Peace FTW!).

  • The small blue dot towards the top middle of the chart is bargain books. They sell really well. We have quite a lot of them. But they generate little revenue. One strategy would be to put up our prices (the average bargain book is only a dollar). We have introduced clearance books to try to do this. They are $5 each or five for $10.

  • The two larger blue dots in the middle at the bottom of the chart are New Zealand books and Art books. We have a lot of both but they do not sell very quickly. We know that they attract higher prices than other books though. Thinking about ways to get them more attention would be worthwhile.

  • As noted above, our collectible books don't sell well at all. They are in the front room too (right beside the fast-selling red dots). Looks like there is work to do here as well.