Although Amazon.com provides a wide range of services ranging from electronics to apparels it continues to be recognized as an online bookstore. Amazon.com was a pioneer e- commerce company established in late 1990’s; soon after its launch it became instantly popular as a n online bookstore. Amazon’s popularity as a bookstore has put it in direct competition with Barnes & Nobles, an old and a reputed name in book trade.
Barnes & Nobles started out as small book shop in Wheaton Illinois way back in 1917. During 1970’s Barnes & Nobles became the first American bookseller to advertise on TV and by 1987 it had acquired the largest network of stores across the U.S.A. Barnesandnobles.com the Barnes & Nobles e-commerce portal was established in late 1990’s at about same time as Amazon.com (Barnesandnobles.com).
Consumer profile and what influences each category of consumers Based on customer preferences to shop from Amazon or Barnes & Nobles, several customer profiles can be identified. Those who prefer Barnes & Noble are serious book readers who are looking for an unconventional title, students of university prefer Barnes & Nobles because of its reputation for maintaining an excellent inventory of college books and moreover the bookstore is popular for its highly knowledgeable staff.
Some people distrust e- commerce so it is difficult for them to trust a company which exists only on internet, thusBarnes & Nobles is capable of winning consumer faith due to its physical presence in form of stores at the same times it has a full-fledged internet website. Since Barnes & Nobles is an old and established brand a greater percentage of older people over the age of 35 prefer to buy from it.
Amazon.com offers more products and services as compared to Barnes & Nobles which only sells Books, magazines, music, DVD’s and computer games. Thus most people who shop on Amazon are comfortable with e-commerce and use e-commerce for most of their shopping needs. Amazon offers a range of incentives to lure customers such services include free and free e-cards which customers can send out to their friends. Amazon pioneered the implementation of the concept of purchaser’s community which allows consumers to interact with other consumers who have purchased a similar product, thus facilitating exchange of opinion among customers.
Amazon is an ideal destination for most young buyers who prefer portal for the wide range of innovative products and services it offers ranging from exclusive electronics to gift items and apparels. Amazon has superior search engine which integrates with Google, thus a person looking for a certain book title will get the topmost listing to Amazon straight to the page associated with the books title. This superior search feature has made Amazon popular among avid internet users. Consumer behavior and how it effects e-commerce Ideally a consumer undergoes six stages of buying process which are (udel.edu) Problem recognition (awareness of need)
Evaluation of alternatives
Post purchase evaluation.
The buying process begins with need recognition wherein the consumer recognizes the lack of certain commodity. Once a need is established the consumer embarks on an information search in order to learn about the object of desire and where and how to acquire it. The information search provides the consumer with knowledge of alternative ways which he can use to acquire the product.
Consumer then evaluates each alternative in turn and decides upon one alternative thus leading to a purchase decision. Consumer then purchases the commodity and progresses to the consecutive stage of post purchase evaluation wherein the consumers realizes whether or not he is satisfied with the purchase.
Modern marketing approach is intends to create a need for a product. Most promotions and marketing programmes are designed to create a need. When exposed to modern promotional materials the consumer is sparked with a desire to posses the commodity. Websites of Barnes & Nobles and Amazon are designed to inform customers of new offerings and thereby create a need. Ecommerce sites provide consumers an environment for conducting an information search and consumers get to thoroughly evaluate the alternatives prior to making a purchase decision.
Values and benefits offered by Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.com Barnes & Nobles and Amazon manage to score same where pricing is concerned a search for
Wilbur Smiths novel “River God” on both the sites yielded the low priced edition at $7.95. Barnes & Nobles manages to provide larger collection owing to its own publications and strategic links with dealers of rare, out of print and used books. Both sites provide free delivery for orders of $25 and more to most U.S addresses under their Fast and Free delivery scheme. Bothe companies offer a phone based customer service through their call centre.
Amazon sells certain exclusive range of products under its own brand name such as the Amazon kindle book reader and a Wi-Fi enabled SD card. Websites of both the companies contain the book reviews by authors and other consumers which enriches the buying experience. The sites contain special sections dedicated to popular books or movies such as the Harry Potter. Thus the ecommerce sites are designed to create a long term relationship with the customer.