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    © 2014, Joseph B. Wikert
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« Join the ebook subscription model movement | Main | What devices and formats do your customers prefer? »

March 18, 2013


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Karthikeyan Mohan

The Book store chains can easily build an in-store navigation app using Aisle411.

Rich Adin

Joe, I agree. My wife and I used to shop at our local B&N several times a month and walk out with an armload of hardcovers each time. I can't remember the last time we were in the local B&N.

B&N's problems -- both with the b&m stores and the Nook -- are traceable, I think, directly to Riggio and his two top lieutenants. None of them have any vision. The problems are not just the rearranging of the stores (something that many retailers do becaue they have been told it forces shoppers to look at other items) but the inadequate use of the stores combined with B&N online.

One example is the Nook. Why aren't the local stores trained to give real technical and customer support for the Nook. That personal relationship is what Apple exploits with its stores and is something that Amazon cannot match -- yet for "support" you have to call B&N or go online, where the support is atrocious.

Another example is how Amazon caters to its most valuable customers and B&N ignores them. For example, when Nooks first came out, i was debating whether to buy 2 Nooks or 2 Sony 505s. Any bookstore would have considered me a valuable customer because I spent thousands of dollars every year on hardcovers. But not B&N, which had access to my buying records as I bought most of my books at the local store. B&N refused to give even a meagre 10% discount. I was infuriated by the poor treatment after having shored up B&N's bottom line for so long and bought the Sonys. B&N lost in multiple ways -- I bought Sony devices and began shopping at Sony's ebooks store.

For B&N to exist in 10 years, Riggio and Lynch need to retire so someone with some vision can be brought aboard.


B&N needs to add a bar code scanner to every aisle so that you can scan a book and read the online reviews (similar to the way you can scan items in a store to check its price) on a large screen, ideally touch-enabled.

Personally, I have always hoped for the day when the actual bookshelf in a physical store is more intelligent and self-aware of what books are sitting on it so that beneath the physical book a small screen would show the numbers of stars, reviews etc. to truly blend the benefits of online reviews with the convenience of being in-store.


I do the same thing and not just with books. Amazon is a great resource. And I will buy locally if the difference is less than 15%.

Robin Tidwell

Perhaps you should try an indie store. Customer service is usually better, no superstore issues to contend with, and in our store, at least, we'll check around to find what you want.

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