Internet Retailer reports that Barnes & Noble has added a component to its frequent shopper program that mimics the Amazon.com Prime program, which provides “free” two-day shipping when you pay $79 a year. The Barnes & Noble program costs $25, is part of the loyalty program that includes discounts and coupons, and will offer “free” three-day shipping on all online orders.
- KC's View:
- My first reaction to this story is, what took Barnes & Noble so long?
The Prime program has always been one of Amazon’s best ideas. It encourages frequent purchasing - if you only make two or three purchases from Amazon each year, it ends up being very expensive “free shipping.” But if you make 50 or 75 or 100 individual purchases in a year, that ends up being a real deal.
Now, the B&N program admittedly is a better deal, but I’m not honestly sure that I will shift from Amazon to B&N because of it. I’ve made an emotional investment in Amazon to this point - I trust the company, it understands my shopping habits, and I’ve been doing business with Amazon since 1997. Hard to imagine changing now.