December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

Writing the book on wireless

Conventional web wisdom says first to market and biggest wins. So if you’re neither, you need to be different. Barnes & Noble, a major force in bricks-and-mortar bookselling, lost out to Amazon in getting to the web first, so it needed something different. It found it in wireless. While other retailers have been looking for ways to make wireless shopping work, jumped into a wireless program and reaped almost immediate rewards: While they won’t be specific, executives say wireless shopping has resulted in new business beyond their expectations. “We hope to open a new distribution channel,” says Robert Albert, director of mobile strategies of’s On the Go program. “We’d like to capture new customers as well as provide a convenient and accessible product to our old ones.” On the Go, an extension of the Barnes & Noble web site, allows customers to shop online anywhere. The program allows users access to nearly everything in the inventory and includes a store locator with auto dialing and the Listening Wall, with clips from the top 10 CDs.

But didn’t just throw all its merchandise into a wireless application. “We concentrated on the usability of the product, asking ourselves what features and functionalities will fit,” Albert says. ended up offering users of wireless devices-PDAs and cell phones-the ability to drill down to ever-more-specific product selection. “We presented our merchandise in a series of categories that grow as the user selects them,” Albert says. “Users browse through the lists, following links downward in the hierarchy until they find the title they want.” Amazon, too, is using some wireless applications, but you know what they say about being first on the Internet.

New York, NY

Monthly visitors: 6.3 million Q3

Sales: N/A

Went live: 1997

Design by: In-house

OS: Windows 2000

E-C Software: Microsoft

comments powered by Disqus




From The IR Blog


J.T. Compeau / E-Commerce

How Walmart is getting its Oscars debut right

Consumers talking about the Oscars on social media are also engaging with Wal-Mart, data shows.


Mike Cassidy / E-Commerce

5 e-retail planning tips for holiday 2017

Monday’s turn out to be prime shopping days during the holiday season.

Research Guides