Pioneering synergy purchases using database technology helped bookseller Barnes and Noble form online-only BarnesandNoble.com stock and boost annual sales by more than 2 billion dollars.
In my initial meetings with the VP of Marketing at BarnesandNoble.com, he explained their plan to implement market strategies positioning the company’s online book offerings for increased sales revenues in the bookselling marketplace. I remember asking myself, “where’s the market research?”
Instead of hiring an outside data firm or using only purchase records (some-thing competitor Amazon.com was already doing), we brought in researchers to identify key categories, using primary and secondary classifications for existing as well as new book titles.
By contacting hundreds of publishers, we gleaned the best possible list of book titles and classifications based on new categories defined by the person who set the industry standard.
Putting this new data in place on the website allowed a much more natural “Others who bought this book” phrase.
By using both purchase records and a new classification system, BN.com offered online customers something they never had before: an experience like browsing shelves at the bookstore.