Folio has been a traditional publishing house based in Austria’s capital, Vienna and in the Italian capital of South Tyrol, Bozen since 1994.
The publishing house’s selection, which is comprised solely of books, includes a range of literature and non-fiction. The range of literature consists primarily of translations from Italian and South Eastern European languages, such as Croatian, Slovenian or Serbian. The selection of non-fiction, on the other hand, focuses mainly on South Tyrol and the Alpine region and adds travel guides, cookery books, art books and nonfiction to the titles on offer.
The aim is to use their inside knowledge to show readers the beauty of their homeland and let them enjoy it first-hand through unique adventures and experiences.
The publishing house’s chief objective, which is their daily motivation, is based on maintaining and preserving cultural exchanges.
Folio Verlag entered the field of online trading for the first time in 2002. Its website at that time was linked to an online shop. This almost antiquated and “hopelessly outdated” online shop was discontinued a few years ago, however, as it was no longer meeting the needs of the publishing house and the world of ecommerce, according to Hermann Gummerer, head of the publishing house and co-founder of Folio Verlag.
Since 2019, Folio has been selling not just over the counter in bookshops but also online again with its own online shop based on Shopware 6 and also on external marketplaces, such as Amazon.
VLB TIX offers a complete overview of the market of virtually all new German-language publications. Large marketplaces, the press & co. get all the information from there. The content is imported into Shopware from VLB TIX and is only modified slightly. This way, Folio does not have to maintain the data twice and can save considerable time and money.
LKG is one of the largest commission business and wholesale book trading organisations in the German-speaking world. All the publishing house’s books are sent out from there to bookshops and online shops. Folio Verlag’s books are also sent via LKG. The interface thereby automates communication between the shop and LKG. This means it is not just a payment interface but also covers shipping.
The author listings are very important for the publishing house, as the authors are the stars of their books. This function did not exist before and was adapted by teamblau for Folio Verlag. It is therefore now possible to tag two authors for each product, which was previously not possible with the standard shop’s manufacturer function.
The Shopware 6 Shopping Experiences have an important role to play in the online shop, so that the aim is to consistently seek future expansion and more extensive use. Emotional landing pages can therefore be created for targeted campaigns with the help of the Shopping Experiences: “If we want to create a campaign about Ötzi (the Iceman), our content manager is able to set this up simply by using the adapted modules. teamblau then just makes any finishing touches that may be required“, says Gummerer.
In the beginning, Folio was still having some difficulty implementing the Shopping Experiences, as they had already started to incorporate them in the BETA version. This has improved over time and is now even fun according to Gummerer. The publishing house will continue to actively use Shopping Experiences for campaigns, but also to present book series or similar.
The old website was technically out of date, the shop function deactivated. The publishing house opted for Shopware based on advice from teamblau, as despite well-founded scepticism, they wanted to prove that a relevant direct sale was possible from the publishing house in their case.
The book trade is organised extremely efficiently in German-speaking countries, so that bookshops are in a position to acquire a large part of their books within a single day. Alongside chemists, the book trade is therefore among the best-organised sectors as far as procurement of the relevant products (in this case books, for chemists medication) is concerned. Many bookshops also have well-functioning online shops, presided over by the industry giant Amazon that has developed its business model based on books.
“Our primary objective was to have a fully functioning website once again that serves first and foremost as a visually and technically attractive shop window for us. Of course, we also want to offer people – who have been made aware of our books through Shopping Experiences and in whom we have triggered the decision to buy – the direct option to purchase, without having to refer them to third parties”, Gummerer explains.
Shopware partner teamblau offered advice to Folio Verlag on content design, the interfaces and the like, right through to the online marketing concept. They also took over direct contact with the stakeholders, such as communicating with LKG, for example.
The project was well-structured from start to finish, even though there were initially a few uncertainties surrounding this, as it was teamblau’s first Shopware 6 project. Although the timetable was not always kept to as planned, as the Shopware partner had planned everything for Shopware 5, Folio Verlag did ultimately opt for Shopware 6 and in no way regrets that decision. “We are very happy with the decision, as the end product is what counts and that is a good fit”, is how Gummerer sums up the shop project.
Anna Stuefer, project manager at teamblau GmbH, is very positive about the Shopware 6 project: “An exciting project! We were able to bring the project efficiently to the desired conclusion.”
Optimising the Shopping Experiences, in particular, is on the to-do list for Folio Verlag, in order to generate more sales through emotional content.
The publicity for the shop is also to be developed, as the marketing until now has been more B2B, and the publishing house would now also like to try and reach its end customers.
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