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Amazon Book Sales Are Not Random Purchases

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Here’s a hot tip from Suw Charman-Anderson in her post on Forbes this week:

“..this single statistic, that nearly half of Amazon’s book sales come from people who already know what they want and are simply using Amazon as a way to get it, has huge implications.

Amazon is a destination for purchase, the place you funnel your fans to, not a discovery mechanism in and of itself. People are simply not browsing for books based on Amazon’s recommendations, not in any significant numbers.”

library and information marketing

Amazon Book Sales Are Not Random Purchases

Let’s unpack her comments a little bit. Charman-Anderson is interpreting industry data that indicates book shoppers on Amazon are on the site with a clear idea of what they want to purchase, not simply browsing around as they might do in a brick-and-mortar book store.

That is a remarkable turn of events, because I am sure you have loved browsing bookshelves over the years, in libraries as well as book stores. It’s what readers do. But apparently it doesn’t translate completely to readers shopping on Amazon.

With this in mind, I am going to have to look closer at my own Amazon sales now. I’m not sure the data revealing that approximately half of Amazon book sales are pre-meditated has serious consequences for information marketers who are sending their customers to Amazon, as much as it might for booksellers in general. What do you think?

Charman-Anderson advises, “Self-published authors have limited resources for promotion and these figures show that you should focus not on trying to woo Amazon’s algorithm, but on building awareness outside of Amazon.”

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