August 04, 2010

Bricks 'n Clicks: Barnes & Noble

If all of the multichannel bricks 'n clicks strategy of the past decade was so prescient, then Barnes & Noble should have beaten Amazon and Wal-Mart and Apple into submission, right?

That didn't happen, and now B&N is for sale.

A generation of marketers were trained to believe that a theory was reality. I've been in meetings, too many to count, where the Executive shares all of the theories about why a bricks 'n clicks or a multichannel strategy that includes paper will trump new technology. The slides are shared, slides that suggest that customers want to do research online or via paper, and then get in a car and fight traffic for 17 minutes in order to complete the transaction, sales tax included. It's a theory supported with misleading data.

Always trust customer response over vendor/consultant theory. Most important, do your own Multichannel Forensics analysis, and teach yourself how your customers prefer to shop!