Bookstores Survey: Few Frequent Traditional Book Sellers

Bookstores have struggled in recent years, due mainly to an influx in online ordering and e-books. But nationwide chain Barnes and Noble hasn’t given up yet. The store also sells e-readers and other digital products in addition to books, and shares recently jumped after a major investment offer. How many people still shop at bookstores like Barnes and Noble? And how much has technology really impacted sales?



In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, just 10% of respondents said they frequent brick and mortar bookstores such as Barnes and Noble. 32% said they sometimes shop at traditional bookstores. 29% said they rarely shop at bookstores. And 30% said they never do.

Online bookstores, particularly Amazon, have definitely had an impact on the way people buy books. 19% of respondents said they often buy books from Amazon or other online retailers. 33% said they sometimes buy books online. 22% said they rarely buy books online. And 27% said they never do.


The other major factor that’s impacted bookstores like Barnes and Noble is the growing market for e-books. Currently, 34% of respondents said they own an e-reader. But some traditional bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, do sell e-readers and e-books. 31% of those who currently own an e-reader said they bought it in a store like Barnes and Noble. 58% said they purchased their e-reader online. And 12% said they got their e-reader as a gift or in another way.


So it’s clear that technology has changed the way people purchase and read books. But do consumers think these new book-buying methods have actually impacted their own personal shopping habits? 17% of respondents said that e-readers and online stores like Amazon have had a large impact on how often they patronize traditional bookstores. 23% said that technology has somewhat impacted their book-buying habits. 28% said they don’t think technology has had much of an impact on how often they shop at traditional bookstores. And 32% said that technology hasn’t had any impact whatsoever on how they purchase books.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: barnes nobles from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on February 21 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.