According to a Bowker report first published by Digital Book World, ebook sales overreaching print sales aren’t limited to digital consumers anymore. eBook retailers in 2012 made nearly half of all book purchases, beating out print retailers, at least in the US where almost 44% of all books sold through November of that year were purchased via an online retailer.
Jeremy Greenfield for DBW pointed out a phenomenon that some are calling the “Borders effect;” with the demise of one of the largest physical bookstore chains, consumers sought out other sources for their book purchases. For the sake of price and convenience, many of those customers turned to internet retailers rather than making the effort to travel to a physical bookstore other than Borders.
Interestingly, one of the noted discoveries in the report is that Amazon customers, at least those in the UK, are more likely to turn to the online retailer for their print book purchases after becoming seasoned digital customers. While relying on a favorite online retailer for ebooks is to be expected, especially if consumers use brand specific dedicated devices, it speaks more to the customer service experience that readers are likely to rely on specific retailers for other purchases.
“It is clear that the e-book format has really come of age in the US,” said Jo Henry, Director of Bowker Market Research, a service of ProQuest affiliate Bowker, in a press release. “E-books’ market share has seen steady growth since January 2009, with steep rises after each Christmas.”
The complete report by Greenfield on the news from Bowker can be found here.