Diamond Comic Distributors announced they will be making a huge change to how customers interact with their local comic shops. They recently announced a brand new software application called Pullbox.
The goal of Pullbox is to “create an easy way to funnel orders to local comic book shops and make the preorder process a much more viable and vital process for the entire comics industry.”
Pullbox will be run through Diamond’s website Previewsworld.com. Customers will be able to place orders with their local comic book shop including comic subscriptions, preorders for upcoming titles and products, as well as special orders.
Not only is it aimed at making it easier for customers to order from their local comic shop, it’s also supposed to provide back-end tools for comic shop retailers to manage their pull-and-hold customer base.
“We’re excited about the potential of PULLBOX to help comic shops and their customers,” said VP-Retailer Services, Chris Powell. “We want to make ordering from a comic shop as easy as possible for customers, and in turn, further improve our retailers ordering efficiency.”
Here’s what Pullbox can do:
Manage Preorders. Add titles to your monthly pull-and-hold list, order additional titles and products from that month’s PREVIEWS preorder catalog.
Synch with Your Participating Local Comic Shop. Powered by comicshoplocator.com, customers can choose a local participating comic shop and synch with them to send their monthly preorders, special orders, and more.
Place Special Orders or Keep a Wishlist. Forgot to order a title or saw something new coming in to comic shops that you want to purchase? Customers can use PULLBOX to place a special order with their comic book shop to purchase. They can also keep a Wishlist of other items and then send it to their retailer to see if they have any items in their store.
Enhanced Search and Ordering. Customers will be able to access a more advanced search at PREVIEWSworld.com that allows them to search the complete database of items offered by Diamond and place orders with their local comic shop.
Track Your Weekly Purchases. Customers will get additional tools to track which titles and products they ordered are releasing that week to stores, see future week’s orders, and more.
Retail Functions. Retailers will be get a full suite of functions available from the Diamond Retailer Services website: Back-end approval of new PULLBOX Customers, Alerts to new orders, Set ordering dates, and Upload your own ordering requirements and guidelines. Retailers can synch orders with their initial orders online, or export orders into ComicSuite or other POS software.
Comic-Suite Integration. Seamlessly integrate PULLBOX Pull List, Subscription and Special Orders directly into ComicSuite for approval and ordering, manage new pull-and hold customers, synch customer data and individual orders.
The software platform is expected to be released sometime this Spring. Diamond will be giving demos of the platform at their Diamond Retailer Summit from April 4-6 in Chicago.
The current Diamond pre-order system is archaic. Comic book retailers use a variety of ways to track their customer’s orders from old school paper systems to email. Some larger retailers have even created their own online pull systems from scratch. It can make it difficult for new readers to figure it out, especially if they are use to just purchasing books straight from a book store or ordering online.
Not only is it difficult for customers, but given the tedious way many retailers handle the pre-orders it’s a pain for them as well.
Diamond did not give any details on how much this service will cost retailers, but it will be free for customers.
It’s taken awhile, but hopefully this new software truly helps redefine the industry and allows more people to get into comics!