People have always thought the library to be their one-stop shop for all kinds of books that they really didn’t want to buy but still read. A library is a curated collection of books that are made available to a population for borrowing or reference. Most of these libraries charge a membership fee per month. People of all ages, especially students, come and borrow the books they require for a period after which they have to return it to the library so that others can use the same. The library is helpful as people do not have to end up buying all the books they might have to refer to for the research they are doing.

The concept of libraries is a quite ancient practice, However, modernization has caused a shift in how people relate to this concept nowadays. Most people, especially the newer generation, kids and students, tend to find any of their answers online. They have become tech-savvy, more dependent on the ever-developing technologies. Millions of books are available in digital format. Some are free, and most of them must need buying. However, digital copies don’t have the same appeal as to that of a hard copy. Moreover, this is where online book rental businesses come into the picture.

Such businesses follow a similar model as that of any e-commerce website. A customer will have to pay a certain amount towards one-time registration fees accompanied by a monthly or annual subscription fee. Once that is done, depending upon the subscription, a customer would be eligible to rent a limited number of books for a particular amount of time. The books would be delivered to and picked up from the customer’s doorstep — this way, the need for going to a library physically to borrow books is eliminated. Also, customers can preorder books they require way ahead of time.

One of the critical concerns for the book rental business is that the readers sign-up for a month or two, and then they disappear. The book rental business owners seldom have a clue of what happened that made a reader sign-up and what made them quit the service. You might have a gut feel about the business churning, though you are never in control of this behavior unless you employ a data-driven methodology.

As every industry moves towards data-driven business excellence, so does the book rental business. Here are four specific AI and data-driven techniques that can help you retain more readers month on month.

Personalized Book Recommendations

Roughly every online business is now attempting to better understand their customers’ behavior online, during their phone call or chatbot conversations. Book rental business is well placed to identify what kind of content each reader is more inclined to consume. With advanced machine learning techniques, book rental companies are coming up with personalized recommendations for the readers as they reach out looking for the next book. AI would use subscriber’s profile data, reading habits, their wishlist, and other behavioral aspects such as their book browsing history, also their queries with customer service. The corollary of this use case is to recognize when they are using one subscription for other members of the family. The use case is evident when you can realize subscriber is adding books which are not her core areas of interest in the wishlist. E.g., your subscriber loves reading non-fiction stories and management books, is found to be adding children bed-time stories in her wish list, this could be a trigger to identify whether she wants to add her child as a member to her subscription for a minimal fee.

Learned Narratives Based on Book Reviews

Ardent readers love to share their views, takeaways about a book that they have just read. You can accept the review on customer service phone line, on the website, or an app. The idea here is to learn cumulative feedback from across different segments of readers and create a collective narrative about the book, as it comes from the readers directly. AI and machine learning with its capabilities in natural language processing are capable of doing this in a very effective way. People love a book either by its cover or by its summary or narrative. Basing the description on the other readers’ feedback makes it extremely relevant, helping subscribers choose the books effectively.

Personalized Offers

Based on each readers’ preferences, frequency of reading, and their profile such as single subscription, family/ group subscription, you can create customized offers. Some book rental businesses are already working on dynamic subscription pricing models linking the subscription fee directly to the reader’s book reading patterns using AI and machine learning. Dynamic subscription pricing offers are best for those book rental businesses that are online and have subscriber’s credit card linked to the account for direct payments. The personalized offers are a deal maker for callers who reach out to the churning readers in terms of achieving better retention rates using irresistible offers. The most important aspect of the personalized offers is that it balances customer interest with business profitability over some time.

Identifying and Engaging with Churning Readers

There are many leading indicators of a reader who is likely to turn their subscription off. Though these indicators are explicitly available in the data, it is humanly impossible to capture them and identify the churning customers without machine learning or advanced analytics due to the veracity of data-points. Therefore it is advisable to use AI to monitor which customers are likely to discontinue their subscription regularly. Data points required to assess reader churn are transaction history, wishlist data, customer complaints history, customer reviews. After identifying churning customers, it is vital to engage these customers on higher priority with personalized offers so that you can retain most of them.

While AI and machine learning and use of data-driven methodologies is undoubtedly a competitive advantage, many book rental business asks whether they can afford the data science projects and do they have enough data. Datoin has been debunking the myth of volumes of data and amount of money for AI with Datoin. Try Datoin for one month, get a data scientist to assess the worth of your data and experience the incremental business just using the data.