Dear Austrian Bookstores, we need to talk!

Posted by Cristian Livadaru on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Since I’m doing a bit more reading and am finally reaching the end of the book I’m currently reading, I wanted to order something new but this time, stay away from amazon and do more local shopping. But where do I start? So let’s do an online search and I landed on the website of the “Main Association of Bookstores” which has plea to buy locally. I’m trying, I really am trying but it isn’t that simple.

Unterstützen Sie jetzt Ihre Buchhandlung im Onlineshop!
Trotz der momentanen Situation ist eine Versorgung mit Büchern aus österreichischen Buchhandlungen auch in dieser Zeit möglich. Die meisten Buchhandlungen verfügen über eigene Onlineshops. Das ist auch die beste Option, Ihre Lieblingsbuchhandlung und Ihr Lieblingsantiquariat in dieser schwierigen Ze

Unfortunately, there is no book search available, just a list of book stores, going through the list of all stores in Vienna I finally managed to find the Book I was looking for after the 13th book store. Some of the pages were not optimized for mobile and the looks of the pages … don’t get me started.

Do you see the problem? Meanwhile, on amazon, I would have checked out by now.

Everyone keeps saying “buy local” but just pushing the responsibility to consumers is not enough! Even if we as consumers are trying to do the right thing and not being lazy, you aren’t making things easy for us. There needs to be a central place where I can search for what I want to buy. Something similar to where I can search for computer hardware and household articles. Whenever I wanted to avoid amazon for computer parts I used geizhals, I eventually came across a shop that delivered fast, insanely fast and since then I just stuck with them. They are quick to respond, quick in delivering, and local. For other articles, the Austrian Post started, which I just found out also lists books and I would have found my book here. It’s a good start but there still is a lot of room for improvement. Having to click through 13 book stores to find a book isn’t helping. Having a central place to search for books, with one single login supporting login with Apple and other similar services and of course Apple Pay (and whatever is used in the Android world). I find Apple Pay amazingly simple, find the article, pay with Apple Pay and I’m done. No signup, no mail confirmation, no entering delivery address, no entering of credit card details no PayPal sign-in. Just one click and a confirmation of purchase and I’m done!It must be as simple as possible to search and buy what you want without jumping through hoops. Just telling consumers to buy local will not do the trick.