Bowker charts rise in e-retailer market share

Bowker charts rise in e-retailer market share

The rise in e-book reading in the US and UK over the past three years has driven market share gains for e-retailers, according to research to be released this month by Bowker Market Research.

In the US, e-retailers accounted for 44% of book purchases in 2012, up from 25% in 2010. In the UK, book sales through e-retailers rose to 38% in January-November 2012, up from 25% in the same period in 2010.

E-retailer market share increases have come at the expense of chain booksellers in the US, where market share has dropped from 32% to 19% of volume. This sector has been more resilient in the UK, Bowker Market Research found, falling from 43% in January to November 2010 to 37% in the equivalent months in 2012.

In November 2012, 28% of all book purchases in the US were in e-book format, up from 6% in November 2010. In the UK, e-book market share reached a peak of 13% in July 2012—the height of the Fifty Shades phenomenon—before falling back to about 9% in November 2012.

Full year data on the UK consumer book market will be presented at Bowker's Book & Consumers conference on Wednesday (20th March).