U.K. Study Reveals That Bundling Print and Digital Drives Textbook Sales
John Smith & Son, an academic and professional book-selling chain in the United Kingdom, released results of an e-textbook study it conducted. According to the retailer, the study showed that when e-textbooks and print textbooks were bundled together, sales grew 25 percent. The study also showed that when textbooks were available digitally, used textbook sales of their printed counterparts decreased by as much as 68 percent in a year-to-year comparison.
E-textbooks were sold using various sales models, with bundled print and e-textbooks proving more successful than e-textbooks sold as a discounted, point-of-sale add-on or as a single, full-price product.
“[Our] e-textbook program is a major component of a series of initiatives John Smith’s is undertaking as we adapt to meet the rapidly changing textbook market,” says Tony Newson, digital and online manager, John Smith & Son. “With an increase in e-textbook sales over 20 times last year’s units, we anticipate that the program will grow for the 2009 autumn semester as publishers recognize that offering rights-protected, digital content is a powerful means of driving revenue growth, while also enriching the learning experience.”