Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

E-Commerce and e-Books Continue Market Share Growth

The following data was reported in Publisher's Weekly using Bowker’s PubTrack Consumer service.
  • Bookstore chains lost 3.6% market share down from 30.6% in  2Q 2010 to 27.3% 2Q 2011.  (Borders’s closing drove the decline in market share.
  • E-tailers grabbed 37.0% of all spending in the quarter, up from 35.3% in the first period and almost 10 percentage points higher than the 27.6% share e-tailers had in the second quarter of 2010.
  • Independent bookstores picked up half a percentage point between the second quarter of 2010 and 2011, although compared to the first quarter of 2011 their share fell from 6.2% to 5.0%.
  • e-books’ share of units rose from 3.2% to 13.7%.
  • Hardcover’s share of market share falling from 33.3% in last year’s second quarter to 28.6%, but holding even with this year’s first quarter.
This data should tell brick and mortar and book retailers that the battle for market share is on, if they did not know that already.  Online retailers are capturing sales, further emphasizing the importance of traditional booksellers to provide access to sales online.  Note too the fairly significant gain in ebook market share in the past year from 3.2% of units to 13.7% of units -- a significant jump in a short time period.  This may account for much of the gain in sales by e-tailers.  Interesting numbers to ponder -- and yet another example of why market share matters.

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