In the UK, more than 500 independent bookstores have closed in the last 10 years due to competition with supermarkets, ebooks and online megastores such as Amazon. We recently saw the indies of NYC fighting back with CityShelf — a co-operative platform which, collectively, aims to give Amazon and Barnes and Noble a run for their money. Now, a chrome extension called Bookindy could get customers back into the UK’s independent bookstores too, by hijacking Amazon’s own site and letting browsing customers know their best price from bookstores close to them.
Bookindy was founded by William Cookson in an attempt to encourage book buyers to shop local, by making the experience just as convenient as using the e-commerce giant. The plugin is powered by Hive an online retailer that already collates over hundreds of independent UK bookstores on one site. To use, customers simply download Bookindy and allow it to use their location. The next time they are browsing Amazon an additional option will appear beside Amazon’s prices, showing the best deal locally. Users can then choose to have their book delivered to their home by Hive or collect it from the shop. It mimics the convenience of Amazon while bringing customers to small, local business.
Could other small businesses take on the corporate giants in their sector with a similar model?