Essay on Amazon vs Barnes and Noble

951 Words Nov 17th, 2010 4 Pages
Amazon verses Barnes and Noble
Grant Edwards
North Greenville University
Marketing Management – MRKT 5310
Dr. Ed Sherbert

After visiting the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble, it is clear that both companies have done an exceptional job at designing sites that effectively communicate their brand along with specific products they want to sell. Amazon achieves 29 billion in revenue per year generating a profit of 1 billion and producing a whopping ROE of 24%. In contrast to this, Barnes and Noble achieves 6 billion in revenue per year generating a loss of 40 million (last year’s results) and produces an ROE of -4.5%. It is important to note that Amazon sells exclusively from a web-based environment, while Barnes and Noble
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One of the more progressive launches by Amazon has been with their product, the Kindle. The Kindle was a “first of its kind” product and immediately set Amazon apart from their competition. This launch represents a classic Stage 1 effort by creating their own vertically-integrated model, Amazon hopes to generate such a superior user experience, that it, like Apple, will dominate book distribution the way Apple has with music through the IPOD. The danger of this approach is that other competitors, like Apple, might mobilize to create a great, horizontally structured alternative for book lovers that does not hand all that industry power to one player. One of the interesting developments with Amazon has been to branch out with products like the Kindle and create products that are exclusive to Amazon. Websites like,, and are examples of this.
Barnes and Noble, in contrast to this, offers a smaller number of product categories – books, videos, children’s toys, teen interest, music, and gifts. Obviously, Barnes and Noble’s website is meant to mirror the product selection that is available in their actual physical locations. From this standpoint, their website is a fantastic re-enforcement of their brand locally found in towns across the USA. Prominent on the website is the fact that you will find a Starbucks on most locations and enjoy

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