Research addressing the critical success factor of books and how people choose them is scarce. This study examines the factors that influence consumers when purchasing fictional books and explores whether there are differences between purchasing books for personal use or as gifts. Furthermore, it also studies impulsiveness regarding the purchase. A quantitative empirical analysis was conducted based on 487 valid responses obtained through an online questionnaire.The results of this study show that approximately one third of books are purchased as gifts, women buy and read more books than men and higher educated and older consumers tend to read and buy more books. The purchase is less impulsive when the book is a gift and women are more impulsive, when buying for themselves.In the decision-making process, the features most valued in a book are: the "Title”, "Synopsis”, “Subject covered in book”, “Recommendation of family and friends” and “Books with discount/on sale”. Twenty-four items were considered based on these features and the same factor structure was found for both buying books for personal use and as gifts. Consumers tend to value more the “Recommendation of family and friends” when buying a book for themselves rather than as a gift. However, “Author and book recognition” is more important to the consumer when the book is purchased as a gift.The findings of this study provide important insights regarding consumer preferences, which will be useful for marketers to define strategies. Moreover, by comparing the factors that influence people to buy books for themselves as opposed to buying them as gifts, bookstores can strive to satisfy consumer demands, by conceiving and implementing new ideas in order to increase their book sales.
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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