My dear sweet mother, bastion of the last generation who identifies businesses by their brick and mortar presence, opted to provide me a gift certificate to bn.com for Christmas.
I literally put off using it until now becuase of the paltry (i.e. no) research tools BN provides on their site. I had not realized how accustomed I was to using the recommendation and review tools that Amazon offers until I started searching on bn.com. When looking for Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble (which was, like every other selection, more expensive than Amazon) I wanted to see other titles or authors that might have similar content. Imagine my dismay when I saw not a single suggestion, or conversation, or link on the product overview page for related items…
Suffice it to say, I spent 90% of my shopping experience on Amazon (and flagged many other items for future purchase) researching, and 10% actually spending the gift certificate at bn.com.
In an era where 50% plus of a product page on Amazon is user generated, and almost always provides a value add to the shopping experience, it’s unacceptable for Barnes and Noble to continue to function as a staid, stiff-white-collar off the shelf storefront.
By the way, the books I picked up:
- Naked Conversations
- The Cluetrain Manifesto
- The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture