Church launches new online bookstore

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Church launches new online bookstore
“Our new vendor puts us in a position to work …much more closely with their customer service team to make sure that everyone’s happy,” says Alicia Brown, the church’s communications manager. Photo: Contributed

New e-store expected to mean better service for Canadian Anglicans

The Anglican Church of Canada has a new online bookstore—and ordering books and other resources should be faster and easier as a result, the church staffer tasked with managing the switch to the new e-store says.

On Aug. 4, the church switched from its previous distributor, Paris, Ont.-based Parasource, to a new partner, Gilmore Global, based in Kanata, Ont.

The church’s arrangement with Gilmore will see it more involved in customer service than it was with Parasource— which should mean a more seamless ordering experience, says Alicia Brown, communications manager for the Anglican Church of Canada.

“Our new vendor puts us in a position to work … much more closely with their customer service team to make sure that everyone’s happy,” she says. “General Synod will have the opportunity to directly reach out to Anglicans who have purchased resources on a regular basis to just check in and see that everything’s going OK, whereas we didn’t have access to do that before.

“We’re just trying to be a little bit closer in resourcing Anglicans effectively, having that direct communication with them,” she says. “I think that was sort of a disconnect for us in the past.”

The church’s switch to Gilmore should also mean that people receive their orders faster, Brown says, because the company will print materials in addition to distributing them.

“Turnaround times are a little bit quicker for getting something from inventory if they just have to push it across their warehouse, from the printing side to the distributor side” rather than having these materials first shipped to them from a third-party printer, she says.

Having a printer and distributor in one, Brown adds, will also allow more flexibility in the size of print jobs—something like a print-on-demand model—and therefore less waste.

“When we have a new resource … we just give it to this printer, and if they have an order for 10 or if they have an order for 100, they’ll just print what they need,” she says.

Anglicans may also appreciate the fact that with Gilmore handling its e-store, the Anglican Church of Canada now has a website dedicated to Anglican resources, so that they don’t have to search the site of an online retailer offering a wide range of products intended for many different Christian denominations.

“We now have a website that is dedicated only to our resources, and we can put front and centre the materials that Anglicans are looking for,” she says. “I’m really excited about that.”

The church began looking into switching distributors in 2018 in response to feedback from Canadian Anglicans, Brown says.

The Anglican Book Centre, the former brick-and-mortar book retailer to the church, closed its doors a few years ago after more than a century in operation.

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Tali Folkins
Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the <em>Law Times</em> and the <em>New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal</em>. His writing has appeared in <em>The Globe and Mail</em> and <em>The United Church Observer</em>.

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