Barnes and Noble offers a variety of marketing tools to enhance the online shopping experience and add value to their relationships with their customers. The search engine on the site allows the customer to define book searches via a variety of methods including using the ISBN number for a known book. This tool is a very useful feature for academics and serious book lovers. This is a feature also offered by Doubleday and Amazon. A nice feature is that many of the search returns provide the customer with the option to buy a used copy of the book, of a slightly damaged copy at a significant discount. While Amazon also offers this service, Doubleday does not. This is a useful promotional tool that coupled with their discount membership offers their customers and excellent value.
A customer value add from the Barnes and Noble site is the existence of a Barnes and Noble "University", where a person can register for a series of web based training programs on a variety of topics from literary studies to musical instrument lessons. This is a value add that promotes further online and in store sales volume while providing a useful service. This service is an edge over Amazon that does not support a similar program.
Barnes and Noble also offer a series of "audio podcasts" on a regular basis with featured authors as the guest speakers. This program comes as a subscription service with Barnes and Noble downloading a new podcast to their member's computer each week. This is an excellent feature for the avid reader that wants to learn more about their favorite authors.
While not as broad in their product offerings as Amazon, Barnes and Noble offers an interesting online experience, offering a number of useful services for their customers. Customer service and a help section with answers to frequently asked questions section serve to promote comfort with the shopping and purchasing process
For a comfortable online shopping or... [continues]
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