Full steam ahead


selling books on bidorbuyHow bidorbuy, Shopify and uAfrica helped Bookdealers increase their online traffic and sales.

Bookdealers, based in Johannesburg, chose to use uAfrica’s Multichannel with Shopify and bidorbuy to triple their online traffic and increase sales seven fold.
Bookdealers were running a custom built website without built-in ecommerce functionality. This proved to be too time consuming for them and they finally made the move to Shopify. They were instantly impressed by how easy it was to build a site that looked good, was easy to put together and, most importantly, gave them the online presence they were looking for. Once they settled in with Shopify, they subscribed to uAfrica’s Multichannel service, started selling on bidorbuy and haven’t looked back.

A passion for books and a passion for collecting fine editions was the recipe that created the successful group of bookshops in Johannesburg called Bookdealers. The group started thirty years ago with one store in the quirky Johannesburg suburb of Yeoville and has grown through the years to a total of five shops, plus their Shopify store. Bookdealers is well-known for their collectable and used books. They also have a large variety of remaindered books sourced from around the world.
The need for an easy-to-use solution drove Bookdealers to Shopify.
Before Shopify, the team at Bookdealers were using a custom built website. However, they found this quite challenging and time consuming. On top of all of that, there was no ecommerce functionality; all payments took place offline, and as a result the whole process was fragmented and time consuming.
Penny Edwards, Internet Manager at Bookdealers, says: “The time came to decide whether to carry on updating our site from scratch or to move to a platform where it was much quicker to build something using an existing template”.

bookdealers logoBeing a non-techie team, they needed an easy-to-use solution so they could hit the ground running. They wanted a site that encouraged customers to browse, a site where books could be found easily and where the checkout functionality was simple and convenient for both themselves and their customers.

That’s where Shopify came in. A friend of one of their business partners recommended the platform, particularly praising Shopify’s user friendliness and ease of setting up.
Once the team were set up on Shopify, they quickly realised that they would need to sell on more than one channel to maximise online sales. They contacted uAfrica.com about the Multichannel offering which allows Shopify merchants to sell their products on bidorbuy.co.za. Within a few days, Bookdealers were up and running. There were a few small issues in the beginning around showcasing the books in their best light, but once that was sorted it was full steam ahead.
Penny explains: “The sync function with bidorbuy is now the most important feature for us. It has increased our sales as well as our online traffic. The best part is, we don’t need to load products onto two different sites.
“The online side of the business might not have been able to continue if it hadn’t been for the additional sales we got as a result of the bidorbuy connection. We need to have our own website in addition to selling on bidorbuy as it gives us that essential web presence. Being able to have both of those elements in one package is an excellent solution.”
By providing multiple channels for their operations, uAfrica, Shopify and bidorbuy have helped Bookdealers increase their online sales by 700% in the last two years, as well as triple the traffic to their own website.
The team at uAfrica is working to provide South African merchants with the best online experience and overall amazing business opportunities by collaborating with the best platforms available. Bookdealers is one of many success stories and are looking forward to adding more platforms onto our Multichannel offering in due course.
Interested in finding out more about Multichannel? Visit uAfrica’s Multichannel page now.