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Waterstones turns to data-driven technology to put the bookshop experience online

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In-store, Waterstones staff advise customers on books they might like to read. Now the bookseller is looking to recreate the experience online, with a website experience designed to feel like walking into a favourite bookshop.

“Waterstones is a much-loved brand, known by our loyal customers as one that stands for far more than simply a stockist of their favourite books,” said Waterstones ecommerce director Ed Armitage.

“We’re known for our expertise, customer service and a deep commitment to helping customers navigate quickly towards books that they’ll love. We now want to ensure that our in-store experience is seamlessly conveyed across our online operations.”

The retailer is using Qubit’s data-driven technology to track its customers’ online behaviour so that Waterstones can increase conversions and average order values by better understanding individual customers’ journey through the website, delivering personalised content to help them buy and browse books the way they want to.

Graham Cooke, founder and CEO of Qubit, said: “Waterstones faces a challenge that we’re seeing across many ecommerce verticals: how to drive a personalised digital experience for every customer without breaking the bank in terms of costs, knowledge and manpower.

“More and more, ecommerce businesses are realizing that the key to maintaining brand loyalty is to provide the most sophisticated online experience possible for shoppers, making them feel as if they are receiving the personal attention they would receive in a brick and mortar shop. Qubit’s platform provides these essential customisation features, while being easy to use for marketers with and without a data science background.”

The news comes as it emerges Cooke is travelling with David Cameron on a trade mission to South East Asia. He is one of about 31 business leaders taking part in the visit to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietname and Singapore. Cooke says his inclusion shows the growing importance of both ecommerce and customer experience technology to the UK economy.

Qubit CEO Graham Cooke said: “The UK’s population is already hugely digitally sophisticated and the internet is the most important asset we have in driving the economy forward. Elsewhere, economies depend on how well and how fast businesses keep up with customer expectations of a smooth, quick and personalised online experience. We now live in a global ‘expectation economy’ and businesses not set up to meet those expectations will struggle. The UK is maturer than most in this regard and should be exploiting its expertise internationally. “

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “British companies like Qubit are flying the flag and unlocking the economic potential of the fast growing economies of South East Asia. I’m delighted that they have joined me on my first trade mission of this government and I hope that we can work together to create jobs and growth for the UK.”


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