Technology and internet made life more efficient nowadays. Part of innovation is the integration of websites where one can buy books that they need and have it shipped directly at their doorstep. Barnes and Noble is one of the most trusted site when it comes to online bookselling. This paper aims to evaluate the website along with its business model, ethical, legal and security issues. A discussion will also be presented on how the website uses communication technologies in both effective and non effective ways. One of the largest book chains stores in the US has been Barnes and Noble.
It started as a local book store and find ways to make book buying more convenient by creating their own website. Online booking selling seems to have one disadvantage over store book selling. The customers in the stores are able to feel the book and read excerpts of the book. In such a circumstance, they would be more interested in buying the book and would find the book its money’s worth. With time, the internet is beginning to change, and many of the manufacturers are beginning to show case the product and actually permit the customer to sample it using the internet.
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With the bookshelf model, it does seem that it would be costly to get the investment to setup the place, build shelves and get the logistics. In comparison, an online store does not require much of investment and infrastructure. The customer can access the online bookstore from almost any part of the world and can select the book. The user would need only a computer, an Internet connection, and a membership username and within a short period of time the product would be delivered to the house. Studies have shown that when the price of a product was lowered, below the willingness to pay, the customer is more likely to obtain the product.
The customer would obtain the product satisfactorily, if the price equals the willingness to pay. The customer would not be happy if the price of the product is higher than the willingness to pay. Barnes and Noble has a good reputation and has it stores located in various parts of the US. People are paying more money for Barnes and Noble products because it is more renowned and started as a local store. Barnes and Noble company went online and offered the customers huge discounts for online hardcover and paperback versions (up to 30 %).
Barnes and Noble wanted to become the leader in online bookselling by displacing other online bookstores. They felt that online business offered much greater opportunities, as people could not find a bookstore with a variety. People from even other countries could do online shopping and improve the sales of the company. The investment over infrastructure and setting up a shop was much higher compared to a bookstore compared to online shopping. People, who did not have the time to search for a bookstore, could now do it setting in the comfort of their homes. This seemed to be one of the greatest advantages of online shopping.
Through online shopping, the books could be advertised and marketed and this could really boost sales. Barnes and Noble operated a sorting facility in Jamesburg, and slowly this facility began to expand. They developed a very efficient strategy in comparison to Amazon, and claimed to bring the book to the customer much faster than what Amazon actually did. However, the operations of both, Barnes and Noble and Amazon were similar. Barnes and Noble also created better web features compared to Amazon. They also separated out the online operations from the bookstore in order to evade tax.
This practice is considered to be unethical and illegal because it is the prime responsibility of a business to adhere to tax rules. At the back end of the operations, Barnes and Noble also tried to establish relations with the publishers and the wholesalers. One advantage the company had observed was that the operations were much lesser compared to a standard bookstore as infrastructure costs were saved. Barnes and Noble soon began to offer to the online customers, books at the wholesale or warehouse rates. The company also offered several services.
The software tool of Barnes and Noble company permitted the customers to store personal data and also buy the books very easily. They also signed up with several Internet organizations such as AOL and the New York Times to provide extra services. AOL provided software and news services. This is one good strategy as the communication technology is maximized and at the same time security issues are intact. As Barnes and Noble offered personalized services, it could be combined to the Harvesting model of substitution. Barnes and Noble also tried develop a website much richer than other websites.
They began to involve the operations of the book supply system so as to improve the online strategy. The software technology utilized by Barnes and Noble was also much superior to prove that the company really has a good business model. Barnes and Nobel website had its name already established in the online book market. They were seeking to make relationships with the customers and improve their business further. The graphics of the website that belonged to Barnes and Noble was much more esthetically pleasing compared to others. The main targets of the website were the buyers which is really a good strategy in business.
Several benefits of the business model of the website gives focus on the costs of the books, marketing, advertisement, brand name, services provided, reputation, delivery time, discounts provided, range of after sales services, etc. Barnes and Noble is really a customer friendly website. Reference: Barnes and Noble (2009), Books, [Online]. [Retrieved: February 18 2009] from: http://www. barnesandnoble. com/bookstore. asp? z=y,. Barnes & Noble Booksellers (2009). [Retrieved: February 18 2009] from: http://www. washingtonpost. com/gog/book-events/barnes-and-noble-booksellers- rockville,798835. html
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