Strand Book Store
One Store, Unlimited Possibilities
There are few brands as quintessentially “New York” as Strand Book Store. Its familiar red oval logo with white text is like a beacon of all things Big Apple and their store, as much a melting pot as the city it resides in, has an atmosphere unmatched anywhere in the world. Tour buses even stop outside so travelers can grab a souvenir Strand tote bag. So how does a brand so known for its physical space and city truly reach a worldwide audience? Simple – take the store to the world.
Using the WebLinc eCommerce platform, Strand Book Store was able to effectively recreate the vigor and vitality of their Manhattan location for their customers online through leading-edge tech coupled with a bounty of creativity. In-store events such as book signings are associated with relevant products online and vice-versa. Users can even pre-order books online to be signed during these author events and either pick them up in the store or have them shipped out. Staff Picks offer suggestions from employees throughout the store’s departments along with and email address for each staff member if you like their suggestions and want more. WebLinc also developed the Strandomizer, a random title generator that provides the same sort of serendipitous discovery that happens so often as a customer peruses the stacks looking for something new to read. It’s through innovations like these that WebLinc has helped Strand Book Store to strengthen the core of its brand by underscoring the relationship between its legendary Manhattan mainstay roots as well as its status as a tech-forward online player.
WebLinc’s proficiency in utilizing our clients’ custom data feeds is unparalleled, but Strand’s situation is particularly noteworthy. The backend system manages hundreds of thousands of SKUs, constantly updating inventory for their online store against quantities on the shelves. This enables Strand to streamline their online revenue channel without any fulfillment headaches. Culling data straight from the shelves to a product detail page, the system is able to reflect in-store inventory online (and in most cases, the actual location of that book on the store shelves) – making sure inventory numbers are accurate for eCommerce purchases, in-store pick up, as well as acting as a map for their loyal local fans.
Once a customer has chosen their tote, looked through 18 miles of books and added something to their cart, they are presented with a completely customized shopping cart. This WebLinc-developed cart enables shoppers in the neighborhood, of which there are approximately 1,629,054, to pick up their purchase in the store or have their order shipped out. Customers are also able to pay online with their credit card as they would with any other order, or they can opt to pay in-person when they pick it up. In other words, it lets people who might otherwise be unable to be a part of the physical community become a part of it online – and those who are a part of the community to remain so with even more ease than before.
There is a lot of talk about the social web, but there’s more to it than having Facebook and Twitter links on your homepage. Strand, with the help of WebLinc, is taking their customer community, 80+ years in the making, and developing real shopping functionality around it. They are instilling the essence of what made their brick-and-mortar more than a bookstore and applying it to their site, making that more than just a bookstore. The whole of a community is more than the sum of its parts and with leading-edge, interactive shopping tools, a participatory and eager staff and a genuine love for the product you sell it’s easy to see Strand’s math adding up.
Visit the site: Strand Books