A Single Example which Explains Price Strategies of Amazon vs. Barnes & Noble
April 23, 2012 | 9:35 am
I track ebook daily deals from Kindle Store and Nook Store pretty long. And I’ve waited pretty long to get the example like that. Same book was featured the same day both as Kindle Daily Deal and Nook Daily Find. It perfectly describes different approaches Amazon and B&N have not only to daily deals but to pricing in general.
The book to analyze is Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann. It was featured on both daily deals on April 9. Here are the price details claimed by both ebookstores.
Deal Price: $1.99
Deal Price: $2.99
As you see, the Kindle deal was cheaper by one dollar, but the discount was similar (80% vs. 78%). It’s because the ebookstores use different prices as their reference.
Amazon is referring to the regular price of the Kindle edition – which is usually lower than the list price. Barnes & Noble sets a discount from a list price of the book, in order to display larger savings.
The list price of Rock Paper Tiger is $14.00 and it’s stated in both ebookstores. I’ve checked the prices at the time of writing this post. The book costs $9.99 in the Kindle Store. It’s not $14.00 in the Nook Store, no. It’s $10.99 - only a dollar more than in Amazon.
It’s the key to understand different price policies.
Ebook daily deals are not meant to sell discounted books, but to drive traffic to the ebookstore. They are also a strong way to shape the perception of prices among customers. $0.99 deal is a rule in the Kindle Store, and it’s an exception in the Barnes & Noble. But what matters more is the level of the regular price, the one before the discount.
Amazon wants us to believe, that they are the cheapest place to buy ebooks. They wisely choose books for the Kindle Daily Deal, as a part of this strategy. Very rarely books priced much more than $10 were featured. Just the opposite, you can often see books which normally cost $2.99 – and you are still able to get 67% discount.
Barnes & Noble is on the other side of the ring. It’s already in the name of the daily deal. Nook Daily Find is not about the bargain, but about discovering something special. The deal prices are usually between $2 an $4. Discount levels are similar to Amazon, but it’s because the books selected for the deal have usually a double-digit price. Something Amazon wouldn’t like to do.
Having daily deal as an entry point to the ebookstore you can quickly come to the conclusion that ebooks costs from $0 to $10, if you shop in the Kindle Store – or $10 to $20, if you shop in the Nook Store.
Amazon wants to be extremely affordable in our eyes. Barnes & Noble doesn’t. But the real difference is not that big as we’re told.
One more thing about Amazon. When I was preparing a list of top self-published books in Kindle Store in March, I was struck by one discovery. I’ve never seen in Top 100 so many books priced above $10 since I prepare the monthly reports. First thing is that Amazon’s ebookstore is not only about books which cost $9.99 or less. Secondly, and this is more important, Kindle users are apparently not that price sensitive as Amazon thinks.
I tend to explain it with the big number of new Kindle owners, not heavy users, but occasional buyers, who have got their ereaders in the recent months. What they are looking for is print bestsellers in an ebook format, and what they are still referring to is prices of print books.
(Via Ebook Friendly » Tips & More.)