World of Books sell quality used books at competitive prices to millions of customers worldwide. Over the last decade, they have grown from a start-up into a leading global seller of quality used books and pioneers in e-use and recycling. Their inventory has grown to over 5 million in stock, and they sell a book somewhere in the world every two seconds.
Founded on an ethos to do good, to help charities and to make a positive impact, World of Books want to share the love of literature by rereading and reusing books.
Their objectives going into lockdown were to maintain a level of engagement with their existing customer base and to be as reactive as possible to adapt product messaging, whilst delivering a personalised experience to readers. All working towards their business goal of improving customer loyalty and lifetime value.
When the UK was forced into lockdown in March 2020 schools, colleges, and universities, along with non-essential retailers, were told to close for the foreseeable future. Empty classrooms and deserted high streets were about to result in e-commerce traders seeing some of the biggest growth in sales and revenue outside of peak.
For World of Books this meant a huge desire and need for books, DVDs and CDs as living rooms became classrooms overnight and people were seeking routes of escapism to distract, educate and entertain themselves.
With a captive audience at home the need for them to monitor customer behaviour became more important than ever if they were to keep their customer base engaged and converting online.
From home schooling to self-care and personal development, consumers have turned off the screen and instead turned a page to teach, as well as learn.
Quick to react to the announcement of school closures, World of Books began to include educational titles within their email campaigns, utilising transactional data and onsite browser behaviour to personalise content to the individual.
The typical peak period for these titles is August-September, however, having the data easily accessible to segment their customer base and personalise content meant the Marketing and CRM teams were able to react quickly.
During the first five weeks of lockdown and they saw a 72% increase in sales of educational titles, with math and science titles alone seeing a 50% week on week increase.
The World of Books team began to track changes in consumer sentiment through their social channels, alongside real time customer data to analyse engagement.
They also leveraged social listening tools and product review data, all of which was used to inspire and inform content within their email campaigns. Throughout the course of lockdown, a timeline of trends was to unfold…
Week 2: Stage to screen and TV adaptations saw an increase in popularity
Week 4: Baking and recipe books became popular amongst those having the time to learn a new practical skill
Week 5: Virtual tours of museums and art galleries, taking you to far corners of the world without stepping on an airplane
Week 5: Fitness fanatics began to seek ways to burn off the calories consumed when they purchased their new recipe books
Week 6: Romance novels and happily ever after endings was what the nation needed after 6 weeks of lockdown
Leveraging transactional data alongside recent on site browse behaviour, World of Books were able to target those browsing and purchasing from these categories with dynamic personalised content within their subject lines and email creative.
Open rates improved by 79.3% and unique click rates by 85.4%.
Ciaran Downes, CRM Manager
World of Books
increase in revenue year on year.
increase in engagement year on year.
increase in sales of educational titles during lockdown.
World of books have achieved a 315% year on year increase in revenue from email alone. Through using historical customer data to forecast the future as well as monitoring real time engagement, the team have successfully nurtured their customer base, kept them engaged and encouraged future customer loyalty.
World of Books’ consistent measurement of all their digital channels allowed them to make small changes often, reacting to the environment and retaining valuable customers, working towards their goal of continually improving their customer lifetime value.