E-reading habits drive growth for e-retailers, says study

Share this on social media:

The rise in e-book reading in the USA and UK over the last three years has been a key driver in the market share gains of e-retailers, according to research being released this month by Bowker Market Research.

The study found that, in the USA, e-retailers accounted for 44 per cent of book purchases by volume in 2012, up from 25 per cent in 2010. In the UK the rise has been somewhat less dramatic but still significant, up from 25 percent in January-November 2010, to 38 per cent in the same period in 2012.

However, e-retailers' increases come at the expense of chain booksellers. In the USA their market share dropped from 32 per cent to 19 per cent of volume. This sector has proved more resilient in the UK, but even there the bookshop share as a whole fell from 43 per cent during January-November 2010 to 37 percent in the equivalent months in 2012, according to Bowker.

E-books played a big role in this growth, the study found. In November 2012, 28 per cent of all book purchases in the USA were in e-book format, a dramatic rise from six per cent in November 2010. In the UK, the e-book share of the market reached a peak of 13 per cent in July 2012, at the height of the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' phenomenon, but fell back to about nine per cent in November 2012.