The neighborhood bookstore’s unlikely ally_ the internet – the new york times

But owners like Mr. Tomato pasta sauce using passata Makin are finding ways to gain customer loyalty with the aid of technology. Homemade pasta sauce healthy He knew he could not compete with Amazon on price, but he believed that online buyers would flock to Brilliant Books if they experienced the same customer service that shoppers in his physical store do.

He began offering free shipping anywhere in the United States and hired a full-time social media manager, who promotes the store and has used Twitter and Facebook to talk to readers who would never find themselves near Traverse City.

One of his most successful ways of getting repeat business is his store’s version of a book-of-the-month program, which makes personalized recommendations for each of its nearly 2,000 subscribers every 30 days. Homemade tomato spaghetti sauce fresh tomatoes Rather than use an online form to track preferences, Brilliant sends each new subscriber a customer card to fill out by hand and mail back.

Employees then scan the card into the system so that when it is book-selection time, they can see what the customers said they liked and how they said it.

“How we might write something might show an entirely different taste in books,” Mr. Best homemade pasta sauce fresh tomatoes Malkin said. Easy homemade spaghetti sauce recipe “People scribble things out. Easy homemade white sauce for pasta They draw arrows. How to make homemade sauce for pasta We get a feel for who they are.”

Individually selecting titles for nearly 2,000 people can be time-consuming. Pasta sauce homemade “An awfully long time,” Mr. Sauce for pasta with chicken Makin said, laughing. Recipe for homemade pasta sauce “But the technology allows us to make this happen.”

Once the selections are made, the back-end system orders books from the publishers and prints postage and address labels. Homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch with fresh tomatoes After the books arrive, the staff mails personalized packages.

The investment is paying off: Sales are up 14 percent this year, and Mr. Homemade fresh tomato pasta sauce Makin anticipates that 30 percent of Brilliant’s sales will come from online orders — doubling last year’s total. Best homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch Facebook customers buy more nonfiction titles, while Twitter conversations generate more sales of young adult and children’s books.

“We’re in the 21st century and we’re a 21st century book store,” said Aimee Jodoin, Brilliant’s social media manager. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe to can “Shop small is the way to beat Amazon. Sauce for pasta and sausage People are going to shop online, so we have an online presence.”

“The one thing small business has over big boxes is that they can get to know every customer, but they have been hesitant to engage online,” said Peter Shankman, a social media strategist and the author of “Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.” “They heard about needing followers but didn’t see any returns. Making homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch When they realized that by making it personal, they could get return shoppers, it changed.”

The online model is attracting customers even to unlikely places, like The Last Bookstore, which opened in 2009 in what was then a skid row location in downtown Los Angeles. Homemade tomato basil pasta sauce Now the area is gentrifying, and more people are finding the store and posting photos of its unusual interior. Homemade tomato pasta sauce The 22,000-square-foot shop is inside a former bank building and has quirky décor. Best homemade spaghetti sauce recipe for canning Its science fiction collection, for example, is in an old vault. Tomato pasta sauce with cream cheese Photo

“We’re part of a downtown that is booming and gentrifying, so we’ve had a lot of attention to our geography,” said the store manager, Katie Orphan. Homemade pasta sauce to freeze “We didn’t expect that it would lead to the Instagram attention that we have had.”

Some stores’ experiments haven’t always yielded success. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe paula deen Bookcourt, a stalwart in south Brooklyn, tried streaming its events and offering a podcast of its author interviews. Homemade tomato and basil pasta sauce Both have been discontinued because the staff time required to produce them did not justify the demand.

Instead, the store communicates with its customers via social media and an email newsletter, where the most-read stories are about events and staff picks.

Still, he hopes to find a way in the future to promote the store’s deep trove of audio interviews of popular talks by notable people like Garrison Keillor and Oliver Stone.

“Small business, when it comes to something like this, it’s hard to find someone with enough time to really dedicate themselves to it, but we hope to,” Mr. Homemade spaghetti sauce from ketchup Unger said.

Booksellers have also found themselves accidentally creating successful online characters. Best homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes The customers of the Wild Fig Books and Coffee in Lexington, Ky., avidly follow the store on Instagram, looking for the antics of the store’s Barista Barbie. Making pasta sauce from scratch with tomatoes Ron Davis, an owner of the store and a visual artist, created the character as a lark, posting photos featuring the Barbie doll reading books, enjoying coffee and offering sassy commentary.