January 28, 2011, 11:35 AM

Shop at work and create a better world

BetterWorldBooks.com encourages shopping on work time in a week-long promotion.

Lead Photo

A tongue-in-cheek promotion encourages shopping at work.

Everybody’s heard stats about online shopping and wasted productivity at the office. In a sales promotion starting next Tuesday, BetterWorldBooks.com aims to inflate those stats.

The book e-retailer, No. 293 on Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, is hosting “Shop from Work Week” to encourage office drones to shop at the office. John Ujda, BetterWorldBooks.com’s vice president of marketing describes it as a tongue-in-cheek promotion, but also says he hopes it will boost sales during a traditionally slow sales time. 

“Everybody shops from work on Cyber Monday,” he says, referring to the Monday after Thanksgiving, “but that’s not when I need to drive volume like in February when there aren’t any holidays that really drive book sales. So we figured, why not make our own? Clearly people don’t shop from work enough. As a consumer culture we’re not shopping every minute we should!” he jokes.

The sale gives shoppers a bigger total discount the more books they buy. For example, a shopper buying one book gets a 3% discount. If he buys two books he gets 6% off the price of both. The discount increases 3% for each book added to the order and caps out at 30% off a total purchase for 10 books or more. The sale applies to BetterWorldBook.com’s inventory of used books.

The e-retailer also seeks to help keep office drones from incurring their boss’ wrath while they shop at the office. After all, shopping on the company’s dime is frowned upon at most firms. A big “Boss Button” will appear on the site that, when clicked, immediately changes the screen to show a spreadsheet filled with boss-friendly information that’ll convey just how studious the shopper is about his work.

The e-retailer will take the joke a step further, too, by asking consumers to abide by an “honor code” to not shop the sale while not at work. “All our promos are tongue-in-cheek. It fits right in with that, and we think our customers will like it,” Ujda says.

The e-retailer, a for-profit company that donates a portion of sale proceeds to literacy programs and libraries around the world, will promote the sale via e-mails to its customer database and through Facebook and Twitter. Ujda says he expects the promotion will double sales next week compared with a non-sale week.

 

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