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Product Assessment

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Product Assessment:
Is Bookstores History?
Eric Webb
Professor Donna Manley
MKT 100
October 28, 2012

Is Bookstores History?
Well everyone knows what a book is and how much information you can get from a book but, are bookstores becoming a thing of the past as technology advances and we have e-readers and online stores like Amazon who sell book at bargain prices (Bosker, 2010). E-readers are now replacing bookstores so you no longer have to travel to a bookstore to wait for your books. E-reader might cost a hefty penny at first but it saves space and you can have multiply books at once without worrying about having a bookstore in your house. So the question is are bookstores becoming obsolete and if so what countries would benefits from having bookstores instead of e-readers.
The current target market and demographics for bookstores would be readers of all ages and sex as they use bookstore to purchase all types of books; for their personal enjoyment or research. Bookstores are declining in popularity because technology is making it possible for consumers to read book on their e-readers and laptop computers. While technology is taking over this generation people are becoming more concise of the environment and being green. When readers are into green products they realize e-readers are more useful then book and going to a book store. Also when you have places like Starbucks and Panera Bread that give you that bookstore feel you no longer are in need of a bookstore.
Readers are able to purchases books online, which save them, time and money and not having to worry how many copies the bookstore is carrying. With bookstores declining in popularity they are closing left and right as people are realizing there is no need for a bookstore. Many readers in the United States are living a component lifestyle which people are choosing different products and services like e-readers for their everyday life over bookstores because they know they have a constant service of books with their e-reader (Lamb 2013). Bookstores could no longer have social marketing as their target audience desires changed and bookstores could keep up with technology and easy access readers were able to get books (Weinreich, 2006). The Demographics is getting vital information of your target audience on what their age, sex, race, ethnicity and location (Lamb 2013). Once you have collected the information on your target market you would know where to open a bookstore but the demographics have changed, as the new generations are more into technology. The ethnic market is making sure you are marketing to minority like the Hispanic Americans, Asians Americans, and African Americans as the ethnic market grows so does the way you market your products like bookstores would have to advertises to all ethnic groups but they do different advertisements for different ethnicity (Lamb 2013). The reason bookstores were going out of business is not only because of e-readers but the economic factors, which are consumers’ income, inflation, and recession (Lamb 2013). Consumers’ income is disposable money that consumers would used to buy nice things like an iPad or e-reader instead of going to the bookstore to purchase the book. Disposable income means living like the Jones and having the new hot ticket item (Lamb 2013). Inflations is what decreases the value of money and with bookstores were charging more for the books and the prices were going up but buyers were not going to end up paying more for a product then it is worth (Lamb 2013). The recession was an economic time of negative growth that reduces the demand of products and services so bookstores that didn’t change towards the technology aspect of e-readers like Barnes and Noble they would most likely be shutting down shop.
The Technological factors all starts with research, and there are two types of research. The first is basic research that aims to confirm existing theories or to learn more about a concept. The second, is applied research is to attempt to develops new or improved products (Lamb 2013). With companies becoming more innovative by taking different approaches like giving their employees more freedom to be creative instead of so strict. It is important for companies to stay current in new technology as it may render existing products to become obsolete (Lamb 2013).
Businesses also have rules they need to follow, and government regulations but the government helps protect companies from each other and protect the consumer. With the rules businesses have to follow there are different regulations which are federal legislation, state laws, and regulatory agencies. The federal legislation are federal laws that affect marketing in business but the federal laws fall into many categories such as competitive environment pricing, advertising, promotion, and consumer privacy (Lamb 2013). With federal legislation it make different Acts to protect business from each other like the Sherman Act of 1890 (Lamb 2013). With state laws the legislation varies as each state has their own guidelines under the federal legislation. With state legislation states are making laws for themselves like some states have banned smoking in bars and restaurants. Regulatory Agencies are federal agencies that the government put together to protect the consumers and making sure business follow certain guidelines in making sure they are not selling anything hazardous to consumers (Lamb 2013). A competitive factor is the competitiveness that covers the number of competitors a firm must face and the size of the competitors, there are two types of competitiveness competition for market share and profits and global competition (Lamb 2013). With competition for market share and profits bookstore like Barns and Noble are able to market share and profits with Starbucks as they are able to brew their coffee. This helps Barns and Noble bring in customer that love Starbucks coffee and Starbucks makes a profit when readers are at the bookstore. The global competition is when you are now targeting audiences throughout the world for your product. As other countries would love a bookstore to be able have a place where they can relax, read a book, drink coffee and purchase a book if they would like.
Barns and Noble is one of the biggest bookstores out there and they are doing many thing to try to stay relevant in keep consumers coming to their bookstore like having the nook e-reader to keep those customer who converted to the technology. Well one of the recommendations I would address for the bookstore declining appeal to consumers would be to have a restaurant that serves food and drinks. The second thing I would do to help bookstores declining appeal to consumer would be to allow the customers to come for an open mic night to read their poetry or tell a story the reader wrote. The third thing I would recommend to help the bookstores is to have the local community to donate book and for every book they donate they get five dollars off on their next purchase.
South Africa would be the best foreign country to market bookstores as school life expectancy is 13 years of age since 2004 (CIA fact book). In South Africa people whom are15 and over can read and write would be able to enjoy the bookstore and what it have to offer. The economy in South Africa is middle-income so the residents would be able to have a bookstore and purchase books without worrying if they could afford to buy a book (CIA fact book).
The segmentation strategy I would use for the bookstore would be to market the store like a department store giving people access to not only books, but also other stores that offer items that relate to books. For instances, have an area where people could create gift baskets for themselves or others to buy their favorite book and wine to a relaxing romantic book but also for other genres. If bookstores are bringing in more technology like Wi-Fi, computers, and printers this will make them more hip. Another thing bookstore could do is have all types of e-reader displayed for sale so customers could know what kind of e-reader they would want. These ideas would be new and different to South Africa that it wouldn’t be a typical bookstore here in America. So when the bookstores debut Americas would want to travel just to see this new bookstore.
Bookstores are not going to be obsolete anytime soon in the United States, but with the use of technology, websites, and department stores that are offering books at a discount price are giving bookstores a run for their money. As we see bookstores are wonderful to be able to look for books an enjoy a cup of coffee, but the bookstore would be better off in other countries who use less technology.

Reference:

Bosker, B. (December 22, 2010). You’re Out: 20 Things that became obsolete this Decade. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com.
Central Intelligence Agency. CIA fact book. Retrieved from www.cia.gov.
Lamb. Hair. McDaniel (2013). MKTG6 (6th ed.). Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.
Weinreich, N. (2006). What is Social Marketing. Weinreich Communications. Retrieved from www.social-marketing.com

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