Amazon vs Barnes and Noble

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Amazon verses Barnes and Noble
Grant Edwards
North Greenville University
Marketing Management – MRKT 5310
Dr. Ed Sherbert

After visiting the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble, it is clear that both companies have done an exceptional job at designing sites that effectively communicate their brand along with specific products they want to sell. Amazon achieves 29 billion in revenue per year generating a profit of 1 billion and producing a whopping ROE of 24%. In contrast to this, Barnes and Noble achieves 6 billion in revenue per year generating a loss of 40 million (last year’s results) and produces an ROE of -4.5%. It is important to note that Amazon sells exclusively from a web-based environment, while Barnes and Noble operate using a ‘brick and mortar” model along with a website that offers much of what is found in its stores with additional “website only” products. Regardless of financial results or these operational differences which shows Barnes and Noble lagging in performance, what are the similarities and differences in their websites? Amazon is a website offering numerous product categories ranging from books, to videos, to music, to technology products, to health and beauty products, to sporting goods, to automotive and plumbing products (the list goes on and on). It is like stepping into a virtual Wal-Mart with an emphasis on books, entertainment media and entertainment products. Amazon has distinguished itself as a leader especially in these categories by delivering products quickly, cheaply, and with no hassle guarantees. The site is laid out in a very intuitive way that makes it easy to understand and follow. Features like browser history which tracks what you have already looked at, one-click check out, and Prime membership which offers reduced shipping to its members have proven to be extremely effective. Perhaps the weakness of Amazon, if there is one, is that it is a website is designed for “everyone.” The actual appearance of...
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