|A Vast Selection Means More Opportunities for Your Book
Our livelihood depends on the authors whose works line our shelves. At Barnes & Noble, we believe the best way for us to serve our authors is to make sure we can tell our customers, “Yes, we can get that book for you.”
That’s why we stock as wide a selection as possible in our stores – over 100,000 unique book titles per store. And, we stock over 1 million unique titles in our warehouse – that’s more than any of our competitors or even the largest book wholesalers. This inventory is connected to the customer service stations in our stores in “real-time,” so customers can walk into our stores at any time and access books that are not on our shelves.
Because no two Barnes & Noble stores are alike, we also tailor our selection to each store. Our store managers play a central role in deciding what titles are stocked in their stores, and they have the additional authority and responsibility to reorder books to fill local demand.
Customers can walk into our stores at any time looking for titles that are not on our shelves. These requests are usually random and unpredictable: they could be generated by a local book group, a report on the radio, or a review in a specialty magazine. Bookstores used to acquire these titles by placing special orders with publishers. This often resulted in low fill rates (few publishers have “real-time” inventory) and long delivery times -- as much as 4-6 weeks.
We decided that the best way for us to say “yes” more times to our customers was to stock more titles on the shelves of our warehouse. This inventory is connected to the customer service stations in our stores in “real-time,” and means we can say “yes” across titles from 40,000 unique publisher imprints, including small presses, university presses and independently published books.
Our largest store of all is our Web site. Our extensive warehouse stock enables Barnes & Noble.com to ship more titles faster than any online bookseller. In addition to our great service, our Web site offers these features:
- Comprehensive bibliographic information
- Cover scans – our research has shown that a book without a cover scan has less chance to sell
- Publisher synopsis, editorial reviews and customer reviews
- Table of contents
- Reading group guides
Additionally, Barnes & Noble.com has invested in advanced search and browse technologies that enable our customers to find the books they want or might be interested in:
- Search engine
- Book recommendations