E-books have become a potent force in the publishing market due to the advancement of technology and the numerous advantages they offer. They are easier for publishers to produce in significant quantities and for consumers to obtain and use. Amazon has contributed considerably to the trend by launching its Kindle product line, which disrupted the existing situation and made the technology more popular. Nevertheless, many people still prefer physical books, which the corporation also sells, for a variety of reasons. Despite the long history and numerous advantages of digital print, it does not dominate the market. This essay investigates the differences between the two categories of buyers using a customer-delivered value framework.
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The concept of customer-delivered value is frequently used to evaluate the popularity of a product with consumers. According to Ike (2018), it is the difference between the perceived worth of the offering to a prospective buyer and the costs associated with purchasing it. There are four definitions of value as seen by a person: low price, matching specific needs, the quality to cost relationship, and the overview of benefits gained compared to those given (Ike 2018). The analysis will examine the attitudes of consumers of both categories with regards to each of the metric and determine the factors that drive them to display their preferences.
E-books are convenient for portable electronic device owners, a category that encompasses most Amazon users. They are cheaper than physical books, a trait that can be seen in the statistics provided by Reddy and Reinartz (2017), where a higher number of digital books generated less sales revenue. The books match the need for easy and portable access as well as search and suggestions (Baye, Santos & Wildenbeest 2015), as smartphones, tablets, and other devices can open the files. Amazon E-books are well-formatted and contain the same information as physical versions would, delivering high value for the price. As such, they offer immediate access to information or entertainment without demanding that the customer pay a higher price or arrange transportation for the book.
Nevertheless, physical books have a considerable and dedicated audience of buyers. Gilbert (2015) notes that E-books are unlikely to affect sales of paperback equivalents. Physical books tend to be more expensive than digital ones due to the extra production costs, a disadvantage. However, according to Atasoy and Morewedge (2017), they fulfill a need for psychological ownership as opposed to the rental-like approach of online outlets. Physical books also have a decorative aspect that lends them additional quality in return for a higher price. As such, paperback consumers are willing to tolerate having to pay and wait for delivery or travel to a bookstore’s location to obtain their book since the benefits they get outweigh these costs.
E-books are cheaper than physical equivalents and contain the same information, making them the superior alternative in theory. They are also easy to acquire and highly portable, removing many of the complications of obtaining a paperback version and reading it. However, physical books remain popular regardless of the sales of E-books, as they offer a distinct set of benefits. The sense of ownership and the decorative value of physical books are among the most significant factors, as digital options are unable to fulfill either requirement. Many consumers are willing to tolerate the disadvantages associated with the purchase because they can afford them and believe that physical books are ultimately a higher-value product.
Atasoy, O & Morewedge, CK 2017, ‘Digital goods are valued less than physical goods’, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 44, no. 6, pp.1343-1357.
Baye, MR, Santos, BDL & Wildenbeest, MR 2015, ‘Searching for physical and digital media: The evolution of platforms for finding books’, in A Goldfarb, SM Greenstein & CE Tucker (eds), Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, pp. 137-165.
Gilbert, RJ 2015. ‘E-books: A tale of digital disruption’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 29, no. 3, pp.165-184.
Ike, L 2018, Marketing: Traditional, digital and integrated, Xlibris, Bloomington.
Reddy, SK & Reinartz, W 2017, ‘Digital transformation and value creation: Sea change ahead’, GfK Marketing Intelligence Review, vol. 9, no. 1, pp.10-17.