Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wi-Fi plans

Barnes & Noble, following the launching of their brand new e-book store, have decided to go all out on the digital front by offering free wi-fi in their stores. Via Publisher's Weekly:

CEO Steve Riggio said providing free Wi-Fi to customers is helping the retailer “[extend] the sense of community that has always been in our stores.” The company also stressed that in offering free Wi-Fi, customers will be able to easily download and preview e-books. [...] Riggio called the addition of free Wi-Fi in all stores “a natural progression of our digital strategy to provide customers with more choices in how, when and where they want to read.”
Irony lies in that a few of the customers will probably end up taking advantage of this free wireless to use the still cheaper Amazon, after comfortably comparing prices at the store. Will it succeed in making the giant, often incredibly not customer friendly corporation more "communal"? Unlikely. We'll have to see if B&N's assumption that more people will buy e-books while sitting at the store comes true. It seems completely contradictory to all laws of internet logic (like using the internet to buy things in order to not go the store, convenience, etc.), but it'll be interesting to see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. funny, I had the same though about using the wi-fi there to check for a better price. I could browse in person and then order on line, best of both worlds...I am sure that would not be what they had in mind.

    But I will buy a cup of tea and a cookie in their cafe while I am there..lol

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