Digital Smiles logo

Digital Smiles

Thriving with Data: ThriftBooks' Ecommerce Success Story

How ThriftBooks Uses Data Insights, Loyalty, and Experience to Drive Ecommerce Sales

For technology-savvy business professionals

Books have a passionate following, and breaking through to book fans on digital channels requires data and a solid ecommerce strategy. ThriftBooks, an online bookseller, has perfected a data-driven approach to create relevant experiences for both casual book browsers and trend-setting readers in TikTok's "BookTok" community.

In 2023, ThriftBooks saw a 20% increase in sales during the holiday season, thanks to their year-round strategy and successful ecommerce holiday season. As a successful ecommerce brand, ThriftBooks sells new and used books on various platforms like Amazon and eBay. The company was established in 2003 as an Amazon seller and has since grown to sell over 250 million books.

Dig Deeper: 5 Black Friday Trends for Marketers to Act On

Value for Ecommerce Customers

ThriftBooks' ecommerce strategy is built on five pillars: price, book selection, product quality, customer service, and loyalty programs. The company uses proprietary in-house automation technology and Keep Book, a technology used by their processing centers to handle over 200,000 books per day.

"The holidays were a strong season for us," says Barbara Hagen, VP of Sales and Marketing at ThriftBooks. "Our core value proposition played a significant role in our success."

Hagen adds, "We didn't have any discounts over the holidays, and we still saw a 20% increase in sales. The combination of our five elements resonates with our customers, who can shop with confidence without worrying about upcoming sales."

Personalized Customer Experience and Service

When customers visit the ThriftBooks site, they can choose from a massive inventory of over 19 million books. Returning customers will see personalized recommendations, ensuring that their experience is optimized for their specific interests.

"Customers can see our prices and customer response, as well as interact with our customer service team if they have any questions about their orders," says Hagen.

New customers typically come to the site through social media buzz and community outreach or through the company's investment in search engine optimization.

"If you're looking for a particular title, you'll likely find us on Google with a great price," explains Hagen. "That's an excellent way to attract customers to our site, and once they're there, we make sure they have a fantastic experience."

The company also uses personalized recommendations and social media to inform book fans of upcoming releases and popular titles.

Additionally, ThriftBooks sends customized emails to customers based on their previous purchases. The company also stays updated on broader cultural topics, such as new movies and popular streaming series that are based on books, to recommend relevant titles to readers.

Site Search, Recommendations, and Integrated Data

The search bar on the ThriftBooks site is a crucial part of the customer experience, as it helps users find what they're looking for and encourages them to continue shopping after adding items to their cart.

"When people visit our site, they often have a specific book in mind," says Trevor Higbee, VP of Technology at ThriftBooks. "But when they see the search bar, they might wonder what else we have. So, we focus on optimizing search performance for both speed and relevance."

ThriftBooks uses search signal data from their site to build recommendations for users. The key is to integrate these valuable insights into all areas of the customer experience.

"We've built an ecosystem that gathers all the different data points that our customers interact with," explains Higbee. "We have a lot of customer outreach through email, and that information feeds back into our system, helping us improve our recommendations. We also analyze what people are searching for and browsing. Data from our customer service system also comes back to our central system, allowing us to make better recommendations. Our goal is to use all this data to create a personalized experience for our customers."

Take Martech's 2024 Salary and Career Survey

From AI to layoffs, this year has been eventful. We would like to know how it has been for you. Please take this short survey to provide your input on the state of martech salaries and careers.

Click here to take the survey

Experimenting with Large Language Models

Originally reported by Martech:
This article was written automatically by artificial intelligence. Please make us aware if you have any concerns about this automatically generated content.

Our content includes affiliate links. This means that we may receive a commission if you make a purchase through one of the links on our website. This will be at no cost to you and helps to fund the content creation work on our website.