Until recently, I never really gave it much thought, but I now have some data which suggests that buyers do make their purchase decisions with some preference to the name of the bookseller's business. Of course, when I came up with a name for my own bookselling business, I immediately discarded the idea of using my own name because I could see buyer's cringing at the thought of buying from "Mould Books," but beyond that I really did not think the name of my business would matter much if any.
Recently, I set up a relationship with a number of other booksellers to allow them to sell my paperback book on any marketplace they wanted to list it, and when they made a sale, they could buy it from me wholesale and have me drop ship it to their customers.
Since there are about eight of them selling it on one marketplace, all at the same price, I would expect something of an even distribution of sales by each given that most have about the same seller rating.
This has not been the case, in fact, 95% of the sales have been made by three of the eight sellers, and the top two have sold over 75% of the copies sold. In fact, one of the top two sellers has a less than stellar rating because they are new to online bookselling and have received one bad feedback rating from one customer and they only have a few total ratings.
Both of these figures exclude the sales that I have made because some buyers do read the book description and opt to buy from the author.
Now, some of you may wonder if the buyers are choosing a particular seller because the marketplace is presenting the buyers in an alphabetical order by seller name, but this is not the case. The marketplace that all of these sellers are listing my book does not present the options to the buyers in any particular order. In fact, the marketplace will present the seller's offerings in random order for all copies offered at the same price. So the notion that the buyers are picking from the top of the list, or a seller with a name starting with an "A" because of an alphabetical order is not a reason for these buyers selling more copies than other buyers.
So, why do such a large proportion of the actual sales go to only three of the eight booksellers that sell my book? The one thing that stands out - to me - is that these three booksellers use catchy or cute names rather than conventional, and perhaps conservative names that one might expect on a brick and mortar bookstore.
There has always been a tendency for buyers to seek an online bookseller with a good seller rating and/or good customer feedback, but with this being very similar between most of the eight sellers that list my book, and a buyer trend that suggests a catchy name is preferred, there is good reason to believe that some thought should go into choosing your bookseller name too.
So, before you launch your online bookselling business and choose a bookseller name for your marketplace account, it might be a good idea to take a look at one of the online bookselling marketplaces and see what kinds of names that other booksellers chose. You can do this by picking a popular title and seeing the various seller offerings. Look at the names and see if one of the booksellers listing that book is using a business name that sounds particularly appealing to you. Then use this type of logic and appeal to come up with a name for your own bookselling business.
The online bookselling business is competitive and buyers often make their purchasing decision based on a difference in price offerings of only a few cents. If you are able to come up with a bookseller name that gives you even a marginal advantage by appealing to the buyers, it might make the difference between you getting the sale or not, use this to your advantage if it helps in the slightest.