You are a distributor with a low to medium need for e-commerce. The key for you is to be able to receive orders from your customers via e-commerce and supply invoices back to your customers, all at low cost. By using basic level services offered by the main e-commerce providers it should be simple for you to invest in the necessary technology, keep your trading partners happy and keep costs down. Later, as your business expands or you see other ways to reduce your costs you may want to upgrade to more sophisticated solutions offered by the e-commerce providers.

At present the available solutions fall into various types. All are online services for exchanging e-commerce messages such as Nielsen BookNet Web and Batch. PubEasy/Exchange offers a basic level service for smaller distributors and this enables smaller distributors to emulate large affiliate distributors on PubEasy.

You need to exchange the following messages Receive OrdersOrder Acks EDNs Invoices / Credit Notes ReturnsApprox Price 
NBN Web (PubMod 1)YESNONONONO£75 p.a.
NBN Web (PubMod 2)YESYESYESYESNO£500 p.a.
Batch BasicNOYESYESYESNO£120 p.a.
PubEasy / ExchangeYESNONONONOfrom £300 p.a. depending on the number of titles

Key: Order Acks are Order Acknowledgments, EDNs are electronic delivery notes, NBN stands for Nielsen BookNet

Please note that these prices are a meant as a guide only. They are shown to give you some idea of what each of these services may cost. Please clarify the exact price with the e-commerce service provider concerned.

Note that NBN Web Basic enables you to download your TeleOrders and NBNWeb PubMod 2 enables you to download your TeleOrders and EDI orders on the same web service and then send back order acknowledgements, EDNs and invoices. As your business grows you may find that using Nielsen BookNet PubMod 2 is too laborious for the larger volumes involved so you should talk to Nielsen BookNet and discuss your requirements. Don’t forget you will probably want to be able to receive TeleOrders and EDI orders, and send back EDI invoices. You should also ask about providing (daily) price and availability updates to Nielsen BookData via Nielsen BookNet’s services.

Note that PubEasy/Exchange also provides distributors with online enquiry services for use by their bookseller customers (could reduce demands on customer services) and additional facilities. For more information please contact PubEasy

It may be that you want to dip a toe into e-commerce to test the water rather than plunge in with a major investment. If a major trading partner is asking you to do e-commerce, e.g. to supply electronic invoices to major retailers or wholesalers, then you could try subscribing to the Batch Basic service. For only £120 p.a. you will be able to log into a web page and key in your invoices and Batch will then supply these to your trading partner via EDI. This effectively enables you to do EDI invoices at very low cost. If the volumes are bigger than you can cope with just keying in invoices there is an upload facility which enables you to upload a file of invoices. As your volumes grow you can upgrade to an EDI service from Batch.

When you’ve digested all the information in this section and you feel that you want to talk to one of the e-commerce service providers, their contact details are below:

E-commerce service BookNetPubEasy
Telephone020 7802 08020870 777 871001304 852177