The Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) decision to add e-books to the UK inflation basket marks another significant landmark for e-commerce, reflecting the rapid change in consumer behaviour as a result of rapidly developing technology. The ONS basket contains approximately 700 items and is used by the treasury as a gauge to calculate the rate of inflation and present an accurate picture on the changing cost of living.
As one of the fastest growing business sectors in the UK, the government’s acknowledgement of the successful e-book market is a reflection of how e-commerce is revolutionising every market. Recent data sourced from Nielsen and Kantar Worldpanel suggests that e-books accounted for 12-13% of ALL book sales in the UK in 2012. On a personal note, having recently acquired a kindle myself, I can now see why they are so popular. Example 1- I no longer have to fear the Scottish weather destroying a paperback during my daily commute!
The prospect of working with book vendors is something that has been discussed with interest at Seller Dynamics HQ. The astonishing growth rate of the e-book market provides so much potential for a new client to start selling on our partner marketplaces, and that thought alone is hugely exciting.
If you look on any marketplace from Amazon, eBay, Play.com to Fnac, you’ll see books and e-books advertised at the forefront of each home page. Although the Amazon Kindle is the current market leader in e-book devices, this domain is not exclusive to Amazon with many other marketplaces and leading UK bookstores now offering e-books in addition to their regular stock of paperbacks and hardbacks.
The ONS’ new basket of goods will be used for the next 12 months before being reassessed based on consumer purchasing habits – taking into account both what they’ve been buying and what they’ve been shunning. It would be a fair assessment to say that e-books will most likely remain in that basket for a good time to come although with blog history being relatively easy to track, I will not make a foregone assumption on that in the off chance that things may change dramatically!