Ingram Marketing Group announced today that about half of respondents it surveyed are “open” to using e-catalogues instead of print catalogs. Kim Reynolds, v-p of Ingram Marketing Group, said there were “some significant surprises” in the survey results. Almost 60% of the 2,000 Ingram customers who responded to the survey reported that they have at some time recently reviewed book titles via an e-catalogue. More than 80% of the respondents were independent booksellers or librarians, and 49% of them said they would be willing to use e-catalogues, as long as the electronic versions were easy to use with “shopping list” functionality and POS download capabilities.

Survey respondents said the primary advantages of e-catalogues were environmental benefits and the reduction of clutter. The most common response to the question of why a recipient does not find e-catalogues appealing was “lack of time to sit at a computer and make selections,” followed by “like to make notes in printed catalogues.”

When asked how they had found the experience of reviewing e-catalogues, 82% of respondents who work at national chain bookstores said “good,” while only 35% of independent booksellers called their experience “good.”

Reynolds said, "The print vs. electronic discussion around catalogues has really peaked this past year. Most of us are making assumptions about what book buyers think based on anecdotal or outdated information. The survey was Ingram's way of capturing the real time opinions of Ingram's retail and library customers about their use of publishers' catalogs."

The full survey results are available here.