Better World Books has a unique mission, one that can impact people around the globe. Company officials collect and sell books online to donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide.
Social and environmental responsibility are at the core of the business.
Better World Books has a commitment to match every purchase on its website with a book donation to someone in need. All books are available with free shipping worldwide.
Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of more than 2,300 college campuses and partnerships with over 3,000 libraries nationwide.
Michael Kappes, Customer Care, Client Services, and Quality Assurance Manager for Better World Books, talked to Loyalty360 about the company’s unique customer engagement value proposition.
“Better World Books was founded in 2002 by three students from the University of Notre Dame,” Kappes explained. “After originally selling textbooks online, this evolved into a social enterprise with a mission to support worldwide literacy. We are a B-Corp that works with literacy partners (such as Books for Africa, Room to Read, and National Center for Family Literacy) to find homes for unwanted and discarded books. To date we have saved 293 million books from landfills and donated over 25 million books. We are driven to provide customers with a highly valued experience, and one that allows them to align their actions with their values. We want to be their favorite marketplace and their favorite partner, so we incorporate their input into everything we do.”
Kappes noted that the company’s customer experience is shaped around the mission of Better World Books.
“We provide alternative services that are sustainable and have an impact with purchase,” he said. “For every book purchased, we donate a book to someone in need through our Book for Book Program. As e-commerce grows, customers expect quicker turnaround times. We have improved our services to provide faster dispatch for orders and delivery windows to match the market expectation for delivery. All of this on top of our already speedy customer response time. Our customers share our passion for literacy. We are constantly making changes to to show the impact their purchase makes and have created a Better World Books Cares platform. Through this platform our customers can read about our book donations, literacy grants, volunteering initiatives, employee stories, and more!”
The biggest challenge for Better World Books is making people aware of the impact they make when shopping with the company.
“The literacy mission at Better World Books isn't something that’s tacked on—it’s always been part of our identity,” Kappes said. “Our latest developments on and through our Cares platform are directed toward accessibility for the impact our customers make with every purchase.”
Customers make an immediate impact after purchasing a book from Better World Books.
“You buy a book, we donate—it’s that simple,” Kappes explained. “We track the number of books you’ve donated through purchases on a customer account. Not only are you getting a great book at an affordable price, but you’re helping spread literacy through our nonprofit partners. All of this is in addition to over $26 million raised for literacy/libraries and 294 million books reused or recycled. Our Customer Care team is proud to be able to work with, and foster, passion for literacy with every order we assist with!”

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