Tag Archives: Barnes & Noble

e-Book Reader Market Demand and Forecast

By Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts

The newest e-Book Readers from Amazon and Barnes & Noble have received many rave reviews, with some focused on the power button placement, others on the logo’s gleam. While these articles are interesting and timely, do they help an understanding of whether or not people will want to buy them; which ones they will buy; and then having them, whether they will they fully use them? Will they help anyone know if readers will instead choose a generic Tablet PC, Apple iPad, their Smartphone or Notebook, or some personal combination of devices?

To offer the customer’s own views to the dialog, I’m analyzing the survey results in the latest wave of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile (TUP). I’m reviewing current e-Book Reader customers, non-users, and those who read eBooks and ePeriodicals on other platforms for their behavior, attitudes, buying patterns, and other defining characteristics. My full analysis will be released later this month in the MefaFacts e-Book Readers Profile Report. This TUPdate gives a preview of the findings during this week of announcements.

MetaFacts predicts that one in six American adults will have an e-Book Reader by the middle of 2015, up from almost one in ten today.

Why does e-Book Reader adoption matter? e-Book Readers are at the center of changing consumer behavior that spans traditional publishing, retail distribution, paid content, media, new devices, and shifting payment models. Depending on consumer acceptance in the coming year, e-Book Readers may go the way of historical tech flashes such as the GridPad or Apple Newton, be relegated to niche status, or spur further changes in the combination of tech products that consumers use and how they use them.

eReader Market Segments in MetaFacts

Key e-Book Reader Market Segments

To develop a detailed profile and forecast of e-Book Reader users, I’ve focused on several pivotal questions.

Will consumers adopt the entire package offered by Amazon and Barnes & Noble? Will they see the newest Nook or Kindle e-Book Reader for what it looks like and its customized software, as a well-integrated and subsidized experience, or as a toll booth leading to a proprietary “media service”? Fickle consumers continue to dance between the desire for openness and flexibility vs. smoothness and vertical integration.

What mix of products will readers use to enjoy written content? Many people have already invested in a combination of devices which they enjoy for other activities. They may choose to simply add a reader app than juggle one more device. Right now, 20% of Smartphone users read a book on it and 25% read a magazine, newspaper, or other ePeriodical.

Will readers want their eBooks on one device and their ePeriodicals on another device? Or, will they demand that their content be synched everywhere? In that case, are they willing to pay for the service or the bandwidth, and willing to accept a different reading experience across different platforms? This raises questions about the consumer’s center of attention – the content, the experience, or the device?

When consumers choose between Nook or Kindle, will their shopping preferences and habits have a strong effect? To reach the many Americans who still prefer retail shopping over online, Barnes & Noble has recently expanded its Nook distribution with announced outlets widely spanning techie-havens Radio Shack and Fry’s Electronics, office supply retailer Office Max, electronics giant Best Buy, regionals Fred Meyer and hhgregg, to mass marketers Target, Sears, and Kmart. This will at least reach adults otherwise offline.

Furthermore, there are questions about whether there will be a net readership increase across all platforms. Will more readers leave print for eBooks or ePeriodicals, or will readers find their experience too disjointed, the paywalls too steep, or will inertia continue?

TUP survey respondents have addressed these questions through what they own and perceive, forming the foundation for a nuanced profile and market adoption forecast.

While there are many forecasting models and methodologies, one effective approach for tech products and services begins with the assumption that each potential buyer is an independent agent – making choices based on their individual conditions and perceptions. Arguments abound that buyers either follow a stochastic or a deterministic path; that they act randomly in response to stimulus or that their mindful behavior can be predicted given the correct explanatory factors.

Demographics may seem like a convenient forecast foundation, but in this case don’t provide enough statistical explanation. After multiple correlation and clustering analyses of e-Book Reader adoption using demographics – both personal and household-level socioeconomic profiling – the statistical relationship is low for most factors. It’s tempting to use one of the various geodemographic modeling systems. However, for many new tech products, these factors simply don’t deliver definitive results. Convenient information may actually be counterproductive, or at best useless.

Instead, I’ve started with a simplified agent prediction model. I’ve clustered the adult population into multiple subsegments across five broad segments using discrete combinations of behavioral and attitudinal factors.

  • Current e-Book Reader users – The first adopters in line will be current e-Book Reader owners. Many like what they have and want more of the same done better. As Amazon and Barnes & Noble continue to innovate, a large share of current e-Book Readers will want to upgrade to the newest offering. Others will switch between Nook & Kindle or stay with what they have. Yet others will drop away, shifting to another platform, and then donate their e-Book Reader, pile it in their personal tech landfill closet, give it to the kids, or recycle responsibly.
  • Stated e-Book Reader purchase intention – Another segment reported they had plans to purchase an e-Book Reader. From experience, I’ve seen many purchase plans turn out differently than consumers anticipate, as they see competitive offerings (such as a software reader on another platform), balk at the offering, or simply change their minds.
  • Readers on other platforms – With truly disruptive technology offerings, one of the historically richest adoption segments are current users of substitutes. People who are already reading eBooks or ePeriodicals on PCs, Smartphones, Tablets, or other platforms have already demonstrated that they like electronic content. Of these, those that already read across multiple platforms are likely to consider and adopt e-Book Readers.
  • Tablet PC users, Mobile PC planners, Early Adopters, Active shoppers/fun lovers – This broad segment has several subsegments not included in the other segments. Those already using Tablet PCs have relevant experience. This has been a quickly-growing group and one likely to include buyers who will consider an e-Book Reader as a substitute or compliment to their Tablet PC. Similarly, some percentage of those planning to purchase a notebook or netbook may also consider an eReader. Also, this broad segment includes the early adopters of PCs and Mobile Phones who don’t already have an e-Book Reader. Also in this segment are subsegments of people who use their PC online for the widest range of entertainment and shopping activities.
  • GUM (Great Unwashed Masses) – Not meant to be a derogatory term, this broad segment includes all other adults, some of whom are not even using a PC online. With somewhat limited, but stabilizing, web and email capability on newer e-Book Readers, some percentage of this group may consider an e-Book Reader as their portal to the Internet, just as they may alternatively consider Tablet PCs with specialized reader-oriented apps or general purpose browsers.

Based on the research results we have today, MetaFacts forecasts 31 million e-Book Readers to be in the hands of U.S. adults by the end of 2012. Of those, 23% will be in the hands of first-time users. This spells a healthy market, yet expanding relatively slowly. With the resulting 13% of American adults using an eBook Reader, the market will be larger than a niche, yet hardly as widespread as Smartphones.

Source & Methodology

The information in this MetaFacts TUPdate is based on the Technology User Profile service. The preliminary forecast included here is based on analysis of MetaFacts surveys and assumptions based on adoption patterns within each subsegment.  The analysis is based on what survey respondents have, what they do, where they shop, and how they adopt technology based on patterns tracked in Technology User Profile for the last 29 years.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities  – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals can license direct access to TUP.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing syndicated original research on the market shifts, trends and consumer profiles for eReaders, Smartphones, Mobile PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, and many other technology products and services. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption. Interested technology professionals can sign up at technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, Smartphones, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Sony mobile PC users shop at a broader selection of outlets

Sony’s mobile PC users are the most widely-shopping customers. They regularly visit more retail and online shopping outlets than any other brand’s customers, with an average of 8.1 outlets compared to the average of 6.4.

The top eight outlets for Sony customers in ranked order are Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, eBay, Walgreens, and Office Depot.

At the low end of the shopping spectrum are Acer and Gateway’s mobile PC users, who each visit the least number of outlets, at 5.6 each. Their top six outlets are the same to each other, if ranked slightly different: Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, Target, eBay, and Walgreens.

Outlets Visited Varies by Mobile PC Brand - Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

Outlets Visited Varies by Mobile PC Brand – Mobile PC Brand Profile Report

The Mobile PC Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com

Other findings in the Mobile PC Profile Report include:

Brand Shares of Mobile & Desktop PCs
Mobile PC Brands by Year Acquired
Market Segments and Mobile PC Brands
Operating Systems & Mobility
Operating Systems on Mobile PCs – Pre-installed or Aftermarket?
Operating Systems by Mobile PC Brand
User Age and Mobile Computing
User Age and Mobile PC Brand
User Gender and Mobile PC Brand
Age within Gender of Primary Computer User and Mobile PC Brand
Number of Locations by Gender and Age
Employment Status and Mobile Computing
Employment Status and Mobile PC Brands
Market Segment by Mobile PC Brand
Big & Small Companies and PC Mobility
Educational Level and Mobile PC Brand
Household Income by Mobile PC Brand
Age of Kids and Mobility of PC
Mobility Doesn’t Always Mean Mobile Use
Locations for Mobile PCs
Public PC Locations by Mobile PC Brand
Mobile PC Brand by Number of Locations Used
Mobile PC Users and the Total Number of PCs Used
Mobile PC Brand by Number of PCs Regularly Used
PC Purchase Year by Mobility
New versus Used/Refurbished by Mobile PC Brand
Hours of Use by Mobile PC Brand
Busy Mobile PCs and Mobile PC Brands
Activities and Mobility
Major Activities Point Out that Mobile PC Brands Vary
Tech Attitude Gap between Mobile PC and Desktop Users
Tech Attitudes by Mobile PC Brand
Brand Loyalty by Mobile PC Brand
Scanners by Mobile PC Brand
Docking Solutions by Mobile PC Brand
Firewire Usage by Mobile PC Brand
Sony Mobile PC Users Shop at a Broader Selection of Outlets
Which Mobile PC Users Frequent which Online and Retail Outlets
Retail Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand
Online Purchase Channels & Outlets by Mobile PC Brand

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

Apple’s retail footprint – success and failure

Apple’s own stores are heavily visited by its own Apple home PC customers. Of all the retail outlets that Apple households have recently shopped or purchased in, Apple’s retail stores rank #4. One-third (33%) of Apple households report recently shopping in or purchasing from an Apple retail store. When including Apple’s online store, this number rises to 43%, ranking it also fourth among most-frequented outlets.

Where else are you more likely to run into Apple-owning shoppers? They are more likely than non-Apple households to be found shopping in a Target store than a Wal-Mart store.

  •  Target – 49% of Apple households vs. 43% for non-Apple households
  •  Wal-Mart – 48% of Apple households vs. 62% for non-Apple households

They’re also more prevalent in book stores:

  • Barnes & Noble – 30% of Apple households vs. 21% for non-Apple households
  • Borders – 25% of Apple households vs. 14% for non-Apple households

Interestingly, although Apple households are active shoppers, tech-savvy, and very comfortable and facile online, they aren’t shopping at significantly more online outlets than non-Apple households. They do actively shop online, however. Nearly three-fourths (71%) of Apple households have recently shopped or purchased online, compared with nearly two-thirds (64%) of non-Apple Households. More of Apple’s shoppers frequent eBay than Apple’s own online store. The #2-ranked destination for Apple households is eBay, having recently attracted just over one-third (34%) of Apple households. Apple’s online store pulled in just under a quarter (24%) of these Apple owners.

Where Apple Households Shop - Apple Profile Report 2008

Where Apple Households Shop – Apple Profile Report 2008

Since non-Apple households outnumber Apple households 94% to 6%, if all else was equal, it could be expected that non-Apple shoppers would frequent Apple’s retail or online stores in similar ratios. That may be Apple’s grand desire, but at this time Apple’s customers have a significantly higher share of their ranks visiting Apple retail stores than their national shares might indicate. This could be looked at as a strong reflection of Apple’s customer loyalty and interest in special programs and services Apple offers in these stores. Alternatively, it could be looked at as some failing on Apple’s part to get wider distribution of its products.

Even more interesting, and positive for Apple, is the remarkably high share of non-Apple households that shop in and buy from Apple’s retail stores. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Apple’s retail shoppers do not have an Apple PC in their household. Also of interest: 4.6 million non-Apple households shop or buy on Apple’s online site, which is nearly identical to Apple’s entire Home PC customer base of 4.5 million households. This is a testament to Apple’s success in driving tire-kickers and concerned Windows XP users and Vista candidates into its stores, as well as customers for its non-PC products, the iPhone & iPod in particular. These high numbers are also a strong and positive indicator of future potential growth for Apple.

Apple/Non-Apple Shoppers in Apple Retail and Online - Apple Profile Report 2008

Apple/Non-Apple Shoppers in Apple Retail and Online – Apple Profile Report 2008

Beyond everyday consumables and consumer electronics, Apple owners are somewhat unique in where they buy PC-related products. Apple’s own stores are among the top 5 shopping choices among Apple owners, at 13 times the rate of non-Apple owners, even though Sony has a retail presence. Historically, IBM, Gateway, and even Dell have operated their own company-owned outlets and kiosks. These haven’t drawn anywhere near the dedicated attention Apple commands. This is due in part to Apple’s unique and proprietary products, so buyers benefit in being able to get otherwise hard-to-find products. Also, with Apple’s strong brand loyalty, Apple buyers have other reasons to frequent the stores, from their specialized Genius Bar support to Apple-specific training.

With the exception of Apple’s own stores, the top 5 types of outlets Apple households frequent are the same as those shopped by non-Apple households. There is a wide gap between Apple and non-Apple buyers among discount stores, notably Wal-Mart. For more than one reason, Wal-Mart is less frequented by the Apple crowd: the demographics skew in opposite directions, Wal-Mart doesn’t carry the wealth of Apple-specific products found in other outlets, and in many cases, Wal-Mart is located in other regions, states, and neighborhoods than Apple stores.

Where PC-Related Products are Purchased - Apple Profile Report 2008

Where PC-Related Products are Purchased – Apple Profile Report 2008

This information is released from the Apple Profile Report, a Technology User Profile solution from MetaFacts. It is based on recent survey-based research, reporting directly from a representative sample of actual users. The Apple Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com

Other findings in the Apple Profile Report include:

  • The life of the Apple computer, longer or shorter?
  • How Apple computers are used distinctly from Windows PCs
  • Apple’s retail footprint – success and failure
  • Apple users concentrated in few occupations
  • Apple as the second or third computer; this camel’s nose is sniffing around the tent’s edge
  • Why a cybercafé survey might fool you
  • Just how “different” and elite are Apple customers – socioeconomically, behaviorally, and attitudinally?
  • Apple loyalty – still faithful?
  • The halo effect – has the iPod changed Apple’s PC business?
  • Just how more creative are Apple’s users than the Windows crowd?
  • Apple’s most-connected – broadband households
  • Apple & the future digital home?
  • Apple’s future – who is Apple attracting?

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Broadband, Digital Imaging, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300 or www.metafacts.com

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2008

Where are the Circuit City shoppers?

Today, Circuit City formally announced bankruptcy restructuring under Chapter 11.

In this heaviest quarter for year-end consumer electronics holiday purchases, any change by a major retailer sets off a billard-ball type effect with competitors. As they ready their competitive responses, it’s most important to keep the eye on the customers.

As part of the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Outlets Profile Report, MetaFacts has found several very interesting tidbits in our consumer research.

Where else do Circuit City shoppers regularly shop and buy?

We asked 8,016 online households about their shopping behavior at 26 major retail and online outlets.

First, Circuit City shoppers are active shoppers – very active. On average, Circuit City shoppers shop at nearly three times as many outlets as online households that don’t shop at Circuit City. Regularly shopping and buying at 12.2 outlets means there is a lot of competition for these active buyers, and buyers already know the way elsewhere.

Where Else Circuit City Customers Shop

  • More than three-fourths (77%) of Circuit City’s customers also regularly shop at Best Buy, either at retail or online
    • This is an enormous overlap, given that only 37% of all online households regularly shop at Best Buy, either at retail or online
  • Just under two-thirds (65%) shop at Best Buy retail outlets
    • This is another large gap, as only 32% of all online households regularly shop at Best Buy retail
  • Less than a third (29%) shop at Best Buy online
    • The online gap is smaller, as 11% of all online households regularly shop at Best Buy online

For more information about the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Outlets Profile Report, or about Technology User Profile Reports, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, Market Research, Technology, TUP 2008

Retailer outlets and busy mobile PC users

The busiest mobile PC households shop similarly to the less-busy and less-mobile, but there are some differences. Five of the top six retail outlets where the Busiest Mobile PC Households have shopped are the same as other PC households. The differences are that Best Buy is ahead of Walgreens, and Office Depot ranks 6th among the busiest, and only 8th among the less-busy.

Where More of the Busiest Mobile PC Households Shop at Retail - Busy Mobiles Profile Report

Where More of the Busiest Mobile PC Households Shop at Retail – Busy Mobiles Profile Report

This information is released from the Busy Mobiles Profile Report, a Technology User Profile solution from MetaFacts. It is based on recent survey-based research, reporting directly from a representative sample of actual users. The Busy Mobiles Profile Report is available for immediate purchase through the online store at the MetaFacts website – MetaFacts.com

Other findings in the MetaFacts Busy Mobiles Profile Report include:

  • How many busy Mobiles?
  • Who are these busy users?
  • The Most Busy Mobile PC Users are in Certain Occupations
  • What keeps the busiest so busy?
  • Who Owns the Busiest Mobile PCs?
  • What are the Attitudes of the Busiest?
  • What Kinds of Mobile PCs are Used the Most?
  • Locations Where the Busiest Mobile PCs are Used
  • Where the Busiest Stop to Shop
  • Electronics Used by the Busiest Mobile PC Households
  • Shopping List of the Busy Mobile PC Household

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Broadband, Digital Imaging, and many other technology industry topics. These Profile Reports are in a series on specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption and use in American households and businesses. Interested technology professionals can sign up for complimentary TUPdates, periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary marketing resource for Fortune 1000 companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, peripherals, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300 or www.metafacts.com

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Filed under Consumer research, Households, TUP 2008