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Barnes & Noble goes mobile

August 18, 2009

barnesBarnes & Noble Inc., the nation’s leading bookseller brand, has launched B&N Mobile, a mobile commerce site accessible via any mobile device with a Web browser.

The site is optimized for smartphones and Research In Motion Inc.’s BlackBerry. Visitors to the site can browse the more than 1 million new books, DVDs and CDs available for purchase on They can place orders, browse lists such as bestselling books and locate their nearest Barnes & Noble store.

“Mobile is clearly an emerging marketing channel,” said Tom Burke, executive vice president of Barnes &, New York. “More and more of our customers have Web-enabled smartphones.”

B&N Mobile will work from any device with a mobile browser. It has been specially optimized for the Apple iPhone and Windows Mobile users.

The mobile site lets customers search, check for the availability of an item and even find a store that has it in their area. 

Additionally, mobile consumers can check local store inventory to see if an item is in stock.

Mobile consumers also have access to the Barnes & Noble store locator to find their local store and check the events calendar for celebrity book signings, readings and story times.

Most important, consumers can place orders for books via mobile.

Once an order is placed, the account holder can view his or her account and track the status of existing orders.

“We have explored the mobile commerce space and have had a few other initial efforts,” Mr. Burke said. 

“Based upon our experience, we strongly believe that users are now expecting to use the browsers on their mobile devices to browse and shop and we’re very excited to make available to these customers,” he said.

Barnes & Noble operates 800 bookstores in 50 states.

For the fourth year in a row, the company is the nation’s top bookseller brand, as determined by a brand’s overall strength based on its combination of familiarity, quality and purchase intent, according to the EquiTrend Brand Study by Harris Interactive.

“A site optimized for mobile fits with our customer base,” Mr. Burke said. “They are very busy and time-challenged and we are selling convenience. The mobile site is the intersection of that, as we are making it convenient to reach us.

“We took our existing Web site and just optimized it to make it easy to read and navigate on small screens,” he said. “We also made certain features more prominent on mobile than on our site, because people on the go and those online have different needs.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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