Making the Message GlobalCLC Digital
The Digital Age’ by Neil Wardrope
In 2003 I went to Romania and met a young man who claimed to have built a website. Not only that, he had integrated a point of sale and accounts package so that it all functioned seamlessly. I enquired where he had bought the system and he had to explain, repeatedly, that he had built it himself – until I finally got the message.
18 Countries / 8 Languages
It was my personal wakeup moment that we needed to grasp the opportunities and challenges of the digital age. The young Romanian — Cristi Cotovan — was encouraged to build a website platform, not only for Romania, but also for many CLC teams around the world. The outcome, to date, is a website that operates in 18 countries in 8 different languages, with the ability to share data between them. And four more sites are currently under development.
One Million People
Websites have an incredible power to reach people who are not customers in our bookshops. In 2015, the combined total of visits to all our websites was well in excess of one million people from all around the world. The sales generated through these channels account for around 5% of our global sales. In some countries the website is now the biggest shop.
The eBook Challenge
The next step is to take advantage of the eBook revolution that has surged in recent years. CLC USA Publications reported significant sales increases of their eBooks until 2015 when they appear to have reached a plateau.
Until relatively recently, none of us knew what an app was. Now they dominate much of our lives! Via my mobile phone, I can access my emails, read the news, check the weather, tune my guitar, stay connected on social media AND download eBooks to read on the CLC app! Currently available on Apple, the app will soon be launched for Android.
The first website www.clcebooks.com is already active and the intention is to make the same eBooks available on many of our existing websites. Customers will be able to see and buy eBooks in many different languages. Due to the nature of the internet, we can see that this really does enable us to ‘Make the Message Global’, thus helping us fulfil the Great Commission.