February 28, 2013

Barnes and Noble: #Omnichannel Fail?

You probably had an opportunity to review this little ditty from Barnes & Noble (click here).

A few questions for the omnichannel marketing community, a group that tells us that bricks 'n clicks and online and digital is far better than a single channel solution:

  1. Why would Amazon, with no retail, have a growing Kindle business, while B&N, with stores, be struggling?
  2. Why would B&N, with bricks 'n clicks and e-commerce and digital (Nook), be struggling, even after the top competitor (Borders) went out of business?
Barnes & Noble does what omnichannel experts love - bricks 'n clicks, e-commerce, and digital (Nook).  Retail competition was vacated when Borders failed.

And yet, B&N is struggling to compete with Amazon, a single-channel competitor.

On Twitter, I received this comment:
  • "It's not omnichannel's fault.  B&N was a sinking ship.  If anything, omnichannel is slowing down the sinking of the ship."
Why is it that when a business is doing well (say Macy's), we credit omnichannel for the success, but when a business is clearly failing in competition with a single-channel entity, we blame the victim?

Ok, time for your thoughts.  If total sales equate to 100% of a business, what % is caused by omnichannel?