This summer has been rough to the book industry. After a two-year low in June and a slight recovery during July, the start of the school year is finally getting the category back to it’s normal levels. Although the 15% month over month (MoM) increase in traffic seems high, it still lower than last year’s 23% July to August MoM increase.
Although many may expect summer reading to be one of the biggest drivers, it doesn’t seem to have made that much of an impact. Barnesandnoble.com, the leader in the category, did see a 5.69% increase in unique visitors
(UVs), but that could also be because university students are using it as a starting point for their textbook search. Other sites that primarily sell books like books.google.com or abebooks.com only saw a negligible MoM change.
The biggest winners were definitely sites that focused on school textbooks, the site ranked the highest being bkstr.com, a site that focuses on renting college textbooks, selling used textbooks, and providing ebooks. Not only Bkstr’s MoM traffic increase at 118%, but they also seem to be gaining traction in the market – backed by the 8.8% YoY increase in traffic.
Other sites that focused on textbook sales were chegg.com with a 34.5% YoY increase and an overall upward trend in their two-year graph of UVs, and bncollege.com, a Barnes & Nobles property that is seeing similar growth as Bkstr.
As a senior at Northeastern University, Zach Eberhart is thrilled to join the Compete team as the new Social Media / Marketing Co-op. Majoring in marketing and management information systems, Zach loves everything marketing and technology and has experience in both the agency and startup world. If you like what you read, you can connect with him on Google+ or LinkedIn.