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Serambi sees increased traffic and online sales after Google Books Integration


With a catalog of over 500 books in print and a distribution network of over 300 bookstores, Serambi is one of the largest book publishers and distributors in Indonesia. Serambi's sales have grown by an average 35% in the past ten years, leading it to become one of the 15 largest book resellers in Indonesia.

Serambi was one of the first publishers from Southeast Asia to join the Google Books Partner Program, a decision that Abdul Aziez Bahalwan, CEO of Serambi, took after seeing a Google Books presentation at a book fair in Jakarta. "We thought that Google Books would be a natural fit in Serambi's digital strategy which already included 2 blogs, a YouTube channel, a Facebook page, an RSS feed, and email and text message mailing lists to keep our customers informed of our newest offerings", explains Mr. Bahalwan.


Since joining the Partner program in early 2008, Serambi has submitted nearly 60% of their books for inclusion in Google Books, with near-immediate effects on traffic to Serambi's site. "We have seen a 15-20% growth in traffic to our site generated by the integration with Google Books", explains Mr. Bahalwan.

Serambi also implemented the Google Books API on their site, allowing users to search the full text and preview up to 20% of a book before making a purchase decision. According to Serambi's estimates, 10% of users who preview a book then make an online purchase. The search and preview experience on Serambi's site combined with traffic from Google Books generated a notable increase in online sales, which currently account for 7-10% of total sales (up from 3-6% prior to joining the program).

Inclusion in Google Books has also given Serambi's books international exposure beyond the Indonesian market, generating orders from unexpected places including Holland and the Phillipines.

Mr. Bahalwan says that Google Books is now “a core part of Serambi's digital strategy and the overall experience we offer our users.” Serambi plans to submit more titles for inclusion in the partner program and to continue to explore new ways to further it's partnership with Google.

About Google Books

Google Books enables publishers to promote their books on Google. Google scans the full text of participating publishers' titles so that Google users can see books that match the topics they are searching on. When users click on a book search result, they're taken to a Google-hosted web page displaying a scanned image of the relevant page from the book.

Each page also contains multiple "Buy this Book" links, which enable users to purchase the book from online retailers. Users may also see contextually targeted Google AdWords ads on these pages. Publishers will receive a share of the revenue generated from ads appearing on their content.

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