Booktopia has extended its range of offerings with the launch of an eBook subscription service. In conjunction with Rakuten, the online book retailer is offering more than 500,000 eBook titles for a monthly fee of $13.99.
The online book retail is extending its partnership with Rakuten Kobo, which has seen success in other markets including Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium. This comes off the back of the retailer’s co-branded Reading app, released in early 2020.
The launch of Kobo Plus is one of the many initiatives that Booktopia is rolling out ahead of a ‘bumper’ Christmas season, including the opening of a new stock warehouse in Strathfield. The warehouse and DC will open more capabilities for the business, allowing the retailer to improve delivery times and keep a larger quantity of the best selling titles in stock. This is expected to start operations ‘within days’, the business said.
“The next six weeks are the busiest time of the year for retail book sales, and with our new storage facility, combined with the improved efficiency we are achieving after our investments in automation, we are set to break all records,” said Tony Nash, the CEO of Booktopia.
Furthermore, Nash said that Boktopia is expecting to receive record sales this season, and is shaping up to be the ‘best in the company’s history’. This is likely due to higher consumer confidence levels, and an increase in stock availability and faster delivery times.
Booktopia is one of Australia’s largest locally owned book retailers by sales, and has an 8.47 percent share of the total market, up from six percent in FY20. The retailer currently has more than five million customers, of which 1.71 million are Active Customers.
Nash explained that not only do eBooks not generate additional logistics costs but that the average eBook subscription service last around two years. The current spending generates an average annual spend of $167.88. This is compared to Booktopia’s average customer FY21 spend of $126.85.
“An eBook subscription service is an easy and cost-effective way for people to read books, particularly those with a voracious appetite for reading,” he said. “It will take someone, even a passionate reader, a long time to get through more than half a million books!”
eBooks are a very popular choice for travellers, Nash continued. As travel begins to reemerge following the pandemic, Booktopia expects customers to ’embrace’ the new subscription service, especially those on the go. “eReaders are a very popular option for travellers, and with access to so many books for a single, low price, we would expect a healthy take-up of the subscription option as people begin to emerge from lockdowns and can once again explore their travel options,” Nash said.
Customers will be given access to a 30-day free trial and can continue their subscription for $13.99 a month. According to Rakuten Kobo CEO, Michael Tamblyn, digital reading is “only increasing in popularity”.
“It’s why we are so excited to introduce Kobo Plus, the next evolution in digital reading that enables our Australian customers to read more and discover new, exciting books that seamlessly integrate with their Kobo eReaders and apps, all for a low monthly price,” he said. “Our mission is straightforward: make a reader’s life better. By working with an incredible partner like Booktopia, we can reach more Australian readers than ever before.”
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