Christian Retailing

NEWS Industry News Parable discontinues e-book sales
Parable discontinues e-book sales PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 05:01 PM EST

Parable.com, the online presence for The Parable Group family of independently owned retail partner stores, has discontinued its e-book sales.

Sally Ross, Parable Group’s marketing and communications strategist, indicated that consumers were not significantly interested in buying e-books from parable.com.

“In response to lack of consumer demand for eBooks on parable.com and to better serve our partner retailers, we made the decision to discontinue selling eBooks on Oct. 1,” Ross told Christian Retailing.

Parable’s e-book customers were alerted via two email communications and were given adequate time to download any digital books they had not yet accessed.

Ross noted that Parable Group has observed a shift in consumer behavior.

“We’ve seen consumer demand shift to physical books ordered on parable.com to ‘pick-up in-store,’ ” she said. “This online feature has seen significant double-digit year-over-year growth and has become a successful traffic-driving tool for our brick-and-mortar partners.”

Consumers do have other store options for Christian e-books, however. LifeWay Christian Stores and Covenant Group stores are among them.

“The demand for eBooks is based on a number of variables, including author and genre, but is generally still growing at LifeWay Christian Stores,” LifeWay spokesman Marty King told Christian Retailing. “However, eBook growth is slower than projected by most in publishing and retail just a year or two ago. Demand for print books, of course, is still very strong, so the industry is trying to understand the relationship between print and digital.”

Innovative Inc. continues to sell e-books on the websites the company provides for more than 300 retailers and ministries.

“We give the buyer the option to purchase the product on the website, in the store (generally at the same promotional discount as online) and the eBook or audiobook,” said Larry Haege, Innovative president.

“Physical retailers in general and Christian retailers specifically are experiencing very limited eBook sales,” said Haege, who also noted the benefit to the retailer who doesn’t have to send the customer elsewhere to purchase e-books. —Johnson

 

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