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Sorry if someone has already posted this, but different time zones sometimes make it difficult to track what is happening on this board (ie everything happens very quickly).

What Dan's Amazon data would suggest is that the low-priced shopping cohort is a herd that responds quickly. When Amazon announced their Sunshine promotion, the most avid low-price buyers shopped it immediately and made their purchases. That created the spike in low-priced bestsellers which we acknowledged in our prior post.

But in the second week, with the same selection of books in the Sunshine promotion, that effect virtually disappeared. The low-price shoppers had done their purchasing from that selection. The normal buying patterns on the site reasserted themselves on the list. What one can see from Dan's data is that the highest-priced band of ebooks took a real hit in ranking during the first week of the Sunshine promotion but in the second week the impact was much reduced and the lowest-priced books were apparently taking share only from the next band up. The highest-priced band had totally regained its pre-promotion share of the list.

Dan always reminds me that "ranking" and "sales" are not the same thing. It is possible that the Sunshine promotion elevated the spotlighted inexpensive books without reducing the sales of the books knocked down or off the list. In fact, I am one who believes that the purchasers of low-priced books are really a different group of people, for the most part, than those who buy the higher-priced books.

But since those bestsellers definitely lost the discoverability created by their presence on or high up on the list, it would open up a whole new set of questions if they got the same sales without what most of us assume is the important lift to discovery provided by bestseller ranking.

The ebook world is rapidly shifting and changing. With the pool of ebook consumers continuing to grow quickly, the buying patterns are bound to be temporary. The next batch of ebook customers might be more price-sensitive or less; they might respond to a price promotion as quickly as the Kindle customers did to Sunshine in the future or they might get slower. But what Dan Lubart is making clear is that the impact of price promotion is visible, if you have the right tools to look.

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