Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bokardo on Online Bookstores

Bokardo has two posts up that tackle different bookstores. The first is Amazon's personalization strategy and is perhaps what makes it one of the leading online retailers:

“In the online world, businesses have the opportunity to develop very deep relationships with customers, both through accepting preferences of customers and then observing their purchase behavior over time, so that you can get that individualized knowledge of the customer and use that individualized knowledge of the customer to accelerate their discovery process.

If we can do that, then the customers are going to feel a deep loyalty to us, because we know them so well. And if they switch to a competitive website – as long as we never give them a reason to switch, as long as we’re not trying to charge higher prices or providing lousy service, or don’t have the selection that they require; as long as none of those things happen – they’re going to stick with us because they are going to be able to get a personalized service, a customized website that takes into account the years of relationship we’ve built with them.”

The second, on the other hand, is the opposite end of the spectrum as he comments on Barnes & Noble:

So, what people end up asking themselves is: “does motion, content, and/or interactivity get me better books? Does it let me shop easier? Faster? Cheaper? Can I find more books on the topics I’m interested in?”

The answer is No. Those things don’t have anything to do with a better book shopping experience. They’re just marketing fluff…they’re just words from someone without a clear vision for the site. They represent the disconnect between a business strategy and a design strategy…surely Barnes & Noble knows how to sell books…why can’t their online property learn from their always-crowded stores?

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