Online book seller and retail chain Dymocks has taken a leap into electronic publishing with the launch of Dymocks Digital, allowing customers to purchase audible and digital forms of the traditional paper book.
Taking a lengthy 30 months to complete the project, Dymocks now offers some 13,000 audible and 120,000 readable titles which can be accessed through the company's Web site or new touch screen kiosks at the main Sydney store.
In launching the new technology, Dymocks CEO Don Grover thanked the IT and Web site teams and said "you have done an absolutely amazing job".
"We believe this will be the future state of book selling around the world," Grover said. "This is the first time a bricks and mortar business has been able to display to customers how this new technology is going to work for them."
Over the past 12 months, Dymocks re-launched its Web site to enable it to bring digital products to market and "compete a lot more with the likes of Amazon".
Grover said the kiosk is a little larger than some others, but that's because the company wants them to be more educative about the new technology.
Dymocks partnered with eBooks.com and local publishers to better understand what is required for this type of venture.
"We don't believe the physical book market will change substantially over the coming years," Grover said. "The only way it will change is if customers believe there is a better way to read books [but] there is the convenience of digital products."
Dymocks plans to working on a print on-demand facility, but its next company-wide IT project will be the deployment of new POS systems across its stores to carry the same marketing messages as its kiosks and plasma screens.
Grover said the company will begin to integrate digital marketing channels so they become more seamless.
"It is a labour of love now as we are really excited about the future of book stores," he said.