The world of virtual reality is about to get a little less crowded.
According to a new report from research firm NPD Group, virtual bookstores are on their way.
In addition to the already popular Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Target virtual bookshops, there are also some big name companies like Amazon, Google and Walmart who are all getting into the game.
NPD’s report, The Future of Bookshelf Virtualization, also found that virtual bookselling is growing in popularity, and that it’s still not entirely a mainstream business.
There are a number of factors that are making this a popular business model for young adults, including: · A lack of demand from traditional bookstores · Many people don’t have the time or money to attend a bookshop in person · The popularity of digital technology has made it easier for people to attend online events and online shopping events · Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for online access to books, especially in the digital age · It’s becoming increasingly difficult for publishers to stay afloat in a world of ever-growing digital competition.
That’s the takeaway from NPD analyst Robert Yip, who points out that bookselling isn’t just for the tech-savvy: the technology has the potential to bring new customers into the physical bookselling business.
“This is not a trend that has gone away, and it’s a trend we’re going to see to a certain extent in the near future,” Yip said.
While bookshoppers have long enjoyed being able to buy digital books for less than traditional book prices, Yip points out the demand is now so high that there’s more demand for virtual books.
“We’ve got a growing demand for these types of things and we’ve had a couple of big companies like Google and Amazon come in, and Amazon is really the king of this,” Yap said.
“They have a ton of stores in different cities and countries and they’re opening up new ones every week.”
“The trend of having people go online and buy books, and actually making them physically available for the consumer is really growing, and we’re seeing a lot of it coming from the digital space as well.”
NPD found that booksellers are selling more than 1.2 billion books in the U.S. in the past year, an increase of about 17% compared to 2015.
That figure includes 1.7 billion virtual books, or just over 1% of the books sold.
In addition to these online bookstores, retailers are also opening up online shopping and e-commerce to young people.
Nadeem Ali, senior director of digital for retail for NPD, says online book sales have grown in popularity because it’s easier for consumers to buy books online.
“People can now do that online, and you’re not necessarily limited to the store,” Ali said.
Naptime, an online bookseller, is one of those retailers that has been opening up more locations to make it easier to sell their books online to teens.
“The demand for books online is growing, which is a great thing for the future of books and for our business,” Naptimes co-founder and CEO Sarah Kann said.
The company’s e-store, Naptimess, has seen growth of about 100% over the past few years.
“We believe that the digital platform is a better solution to our need for sales for our digital customers,” Kann continued.
“So if we can take a digital platform and turn it into a physical one, that will help us meet that demand.”
Online bookselling has a lot to offer both for teens and for parents, as the demand for digital books has been growing in the last few years and has been making its way to the children’s book section of the bookstores.
“When we opened up Naptimer, we didn’t want to have kids come in with a physical book, so we created an online store to let them come in and buy a physical copy of the kids’ book,” Ali explained.
“I think a lot more parents have realized the importance of their kids’ books, so that’s been really helpful to us.”
With the growth of bookselling online, it’s easy to see why bookshoes like Amazon and Barnes & Nobles are opening up their stores to virtual bookselllers.
“You have to be careful about who you invite to the party,” said Ali.
“If it’s your kids, you can probably invite a friend.
If it’s someone who is a parent or a family member, you need to invite a trusted adult.
We’re seeing that trend more and more.”
In fact, a lot goes into choosing a virtual bookseller for your kid, according to Kann.
“In the end, the main thing is just the experience,” she said.
You want a company that you trust, so if it’s something that they have done before, it doesn’t