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Why Kobo's Business Model is so successful?

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Kobo’s Company Overview

Kobo Inc., a subsidiary of the Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten, is a Canadian company that specializes in e-books, audiobooks, e-readers, and tablet computers. Founded in 2009, Kobo has grown to become a global leader in digital reading, offering a world-class platform for readers across 190 countries. Their mission is to empower booklovers to read more by offering a personalized and convenient experience. Kobo's e-reading services include a variety of digital reading content, an e-reading app for Apple, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows platforms, and several e-readers. Kobo's business model is centered around providing a seamless digital reading experience through its e-reading device and a vast library of digital content. The company sells e-readers and tablets, and it also offers free e-reading applications for most popular platforms. Kobo's digital content library includes millions of e-books and audiobooks, which users can purchase and download through the Kobo store. As for their revenue model, Kobo primarily generates income through the sale of e-readers, tablets, e-books, and audiobooks. The company offers a wide range of e-books and audiobooks for purchase, from bestsellers to indie titles, which users can buy individually. Kobo also offers a subscription service, Kobo Plus, where users pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to a select library of e-books and audiobooks. Additionally, Kobo earns revenue through partnerships with retailers and other businesses, offering a platform for self-publishing authors and a service for libraries to lend out e-books and audiobooks.

Country: Ontario

Foundations date: 2009

Type: Subsidiary

Sector: Technology

Categories: eCommerce

Kobo’s Customer Needs

Social impact:

Life changing: affiliation/belonging

Emotional: design/aesthetics, fun/entertainment, provides access

Functional: connects, informs, variety, quality

Kobo’s Related Competitors

Kobo’s Business Operations

Customer loyalty:

Customer loyalty is a very successful business strategy. It entails giving consumers value that extends beyond the product or service itself. It is often provided through incentive-based programs such as member discounts, coupons, birthday discounts, and points. Today, most businesses have some kind of incentive-based programs, such as American Airlines, which rewards customers with points for each trip they take with them.

Customer relationship:

Due to the high cost of client acquisition, acquiring a sizable wallet share, economies of scale are crucial. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technique for dealing with a business's interactions with current and prospective customers that aims to analyze data about customers' interactions with a company to improve business relationships with customers, with a particular emphasis on retention, and ultimately to drive sales growth.


A digital strategy is a strategic management and a business reaction or solution to a digital issue, which is often best handled as part of a broader company plan. A digital strategy is frequently defined by the application of new technologies to existing business activities and a focus on enabling new digital skills for their company (such as those formed by the Information Age and frequently as a result of advances in digital technologies such as computers, data, telecommunication services, and the World wide web, to name a few).


Electronic commerce, or e-commerce (alternatively spelled eCommerce), is a business model, or a subset of a larger business model, that allows a company or person to do business via an electronic network, usually the internet. As a result, customers gain from increased accessibility and convenience, while the business benefits from integrating sales and distribution with other internal operations. Electronic commerce is prevalent throughout all four main market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business. Ecommerce may be used to sell almost any goods or service, from books and music to financial services and airline tickets.

Niche retail:

A marketing strategy for a product or service includes characteristics that appeal to a particular minority market segment. A typical niche product will be distinguishable from other goods and manufactured and sold for specialized purposes within its associated niche market. Niche retail has focused on direct-to-consumer and direct-to-business internet sales channels. The slogan for niche retail is Everything except the brand.

Online marketplace:

An online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a kind of e-commerce website in which product or service information is supplied by various third parties or, in some instances, the brand itself, while the marketplace operator handles transactions. Additionally, this pattern encompasses peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce between businesses or people. By and large, since marketplaces aggregate goods from a diverse range of suppliers, the variety and availability are typically greater than in vendor-specific online retail shops. Additionally, pricing might be more competitive.


Subscription business models are built on the concept of providing a product or service in exchange for recurring subscription income on a monthly or annual basis. As a result, they place a higher premium on client retention than on customer acquisition. Subscription business models, in essence, concentrate on revenue generation in such a manner that a single client makes repeated payments for extended access to a product or service. Cable television, internet providers, software suppliers, websites (e.g., blogs), business solutions providers, and financial services companies utilize this approach, as do conventional newspapers, periodicals, and academic publications.

White label:

The term white label refers to a product or service bought by a reseller who rebrands it to show that the new owner developed it. Frequently, white-label goods are mass manufactured. Thus, white-label goods are produced by one firm and sold by another under their brand and model number. For instance, most Dell computer screens are created by third-party manufacturers yet have the Dell brand and model number.

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