Were e-books really the death of Dead Tree books or are we always going to crave the sensation of turning a real page and hearing the sound of the paper rustle?
And consequently, are brick-and-mortar booksellers dying, unable to provide the immediate gratification of buying an e-book online?
We've used our panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards in the U.S. to track spending on Amazon Kindle vs. Barnes & Noble.
In 2016, Amazon Kindle (books, newspapers/magazines and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions combined) showed substantially more transactions than Barnes & Noble did:
The seamlessness of making a purchase on the Kindle seems to contribute to more frequent purchases. That said, Barnes & Noble offsets that frequency with an average transaction size that's 3 times larger:
This results in a cumulative spend at Barnes & Noble that was more than twice as much as on Amazon Kindle:
If bookstores are dying, it hasn't happened yet and we can think of one reason why.
When we view spend by month between 12/2015 and 12/2016, Barnes & Noble shows huge peaks around the Holiday season - physical books are a great gift! Kindle shows no peak at all during the holidays.
Until people feel the same joy about giving and receiving e-books as gifts, their paper siblings will be just fine.
Learn more about consumer spending analytics with TXN.