Merchandising is an art form and promoting your brand effectively in a retail environment leads to sales. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Sony all sell their devices in bookstores, big box stores and in different tech shops all over the world. Today, we take a walk around the world and see how different brands invest in retail visibility and laugh at some of the feeble attempts.
WH Smith in the UK got this in the post, it is a Kobo Display Stand. Its colorful and fits well in any aisle. Although, it is small and some people have said it looks cheap.
Barnes and Noble promotes their e-readers in stores in the USA, such as Best Buy. I have been in a few of these stores in the USA and their e-reader and tablet section looks sleek and has dedicated real estate.
During the holiday season in 2013, Amazon did a month long trial with a series of popup stores in the US. Their entire display stand is made with the same recycled cardboard as the products they ship via their website. This is a stunning design, with a store template that few can match.
Shop e-Readers has a series of display stands in major universities and college bookstores all over Canada. They have a few models in this shot with full specs written beside them. Takes up little real estate in a bookselling environment.
Some Indigo and Chapters bookstores have a really high end Indigo Tech areas, where everything is futuristic. The rest of Canada, you often have a single table with a few devices tethered down to it. Not very compelling.
At FNAC Bookstores in France, Kobo has an interesting template for their merchandizing. If you look closely at the backdrop, it is a Kobo e-Reader.
For awhile, the Kindle was on sale at Target Stores, until management decided “they did not want to be a showroom for Amazon.” With a display area under lock and key, I wonder if this location even sold any.
Here is an interesting agnostic display area at a small tech store in Japan. You can see that they have Kobo, Kindle and Sony e-readers for sale and various accessories.
Most Barnes and Noble locations have a plain table, with a sheet draping over it with a few units lying down. You can see this store is taking it to the next level, showing off everything B&N does. Video, Apps, Books, Magazines, and their entire product line to be played with. You can see the Television in the background, surrounded by a giant Nook tablet.
I think we are starting to see a trend in the way Target promotes e-readers. A big pile of them, behind a counter with sales people lingering around. Target, this is not the way you promote anything!
In Canada, the Sony e-Reader is still sold at Futureshop. Here is a dandy little display area that looks drab and lifeless. If a single picture killed the Sony Reader Store in North America, this picture personifies it.
Phuong Nam Cultural Joint Stock Corporation’s ebook store has opened in Saigon and is the first of its kind in that country. The company has opened a 500-square-meter store in floor B2 in the Vincom Shopping Mall in District 1, where it sells e-readers, tablets, ebooks, accessories, and apps.
Barnes and Noble still displays their Nook products in this fashion at many retail stores in the USA. You can see this abysmal area, barren, devoid of any creatively. Hello Black sheet and things just laying down on it. Also, it looks like all the tablets have died, due to the black screens.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.