Innovative Thinking

June 02, 2011

We are committed to driving innovation and shaping the future of learning and retailing excellence.

Next Generation Retailing: Social Commerce

We know that college students rely on social networks to vet decisions, form opinions, and learn what their peers think about just almost everything….including shopping. In fact, according to Three Ships Media, 67% of Facebook users report being more inclined to purchase a product when they see a friend refer (or “like”) that product.

Facebook CommerceThat influential power was the inspiration behind our decision to be the first in our industry, and one of the only retailers nationwide, to launch a social commerce platform for every one of our partner schools.

Social commerce links your bookstore’s website with your bookstore’s Facebook page—allowing students to shop, “like,” comment, and share information about their purchases with their peers, and driving incremental sales.

But our vision of social commerce goes far beyond shopping and sharing. Our sites incorporate campus pride, virtual gifting, and student-oriented activities within customized tabs that keep students engaged and coming back.

The Social Commerce Experience

  • The Shop—A fashion and accessory showcase featuring hot trends at each bookstore. Students visiting the page can “like” or buy the products that interest them or may interest their friends.
  • Books—Students can order books for their courses, in any available format (new, used, rental, digital, etc.) and for those ready to take the digital dive, they can download NOOK Study, our innovative eReading and study application.
  • Mascot—Prominently features products emblazoned with your school’s brand and/or mascot. Mascot tabs also feature online promotions, sweepstakes, and a Top Fan section where individual students are featured.
  • The Hall—Home of our student-focused blog, The College Juice, along with unique applications, gifts, and new student orientation materials

Our social commerce platform will not only deliver a richer and more engaging shopping experience, it will also provide metrics that clearly illustrate visitor traffic, visit patterns, page views, and shopping behavior.

Find your school’s social commerce page.

NOOK Study—Over 1 Million Downloads on 5,000 Campuses…and Growing

In July 2010, Barnes & Noble delivered on the promise to bring campuses what’s next in the realm of educational content with the release of NOOK Study, our eTextbook reader and study platform. Widely heralded by students, faculty, and technology enthusiasts as a break-through in eReading technology, NOOK Study was built with the features designed to enhance both the teaching and learning experience.

Once launched, NOOK Study had an immediate impact on students and faculty alike.

In just the first 10 months, this free and feature-rich study application (which works on PC or Mac) was downloaded more than 1 million times by students and faculty at 5,000 campuses. During the 2010-2011 academic year, NOOK Study was downloaded every 30 seconds! NOOK Study’s unique features include:

  • Multi-colored highlighting and note-taking
  • Page tabbing functions
  • The option of having multiple books open with the ability to search across all content
  • Simultaneously open non-consecutive pages from the same book
  • Direct access to online reference tools like, Wikipedia, and YouTube
  • Text to speech capability

But NOOK Study did more than illustrate our commitment to innovation it also highlighted our emphasis on serving the needs of students and the higher education community. We created NOOK Study from the ground up with student and faculty input to ensure that we developed a tool that met their needs and exceeded their expectations.

We also took the lead when we brought the benefits of NOOK Study into the classroom by integrating it with some of the most popular LMS systems. Today, NOOK Study can be integrated into Blackboard 8.0 and higher, Sakai, Moodle, and Desire2Learn.

Our development teams are continuing to work with students and faculty to further NOOK Study and make it an essential part of the higher education experience.

NOOKcolor ShoppersLeading the eReading Revolution with NOOK & NOOK Color

As the nation’s largest bookseller, Barnes & Noble took a leadership position in the fast emerging eReader market with the development and creation of the NOOK eReader devices.

Since first appearing on the scene in fall 2009, NOOK devices including NOOK Color and NOOK Simple Touch, have received wide-spread acclaim and have become the new standard in digital reading. Their smart interface, enormous book selection (more than 2 million titles), and groundbreaking features have made them bestsellers across the country.

Barnes & Noble’s commitment to lead the digital revolution is evidenced through our own Reading Innovation Lab (RIL). Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the RIL houses a full team of developers and products managers working to create industry-leading eReading applications and devices. We are investing millions of dollars in new technology to support this exciting foray into the world of digital.

Our engineers and educational specialists will continue to identify, create and develop new models for digital delivery and ways to better serve students and faculty.

A Portal to Publishing: PubIt!

Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing PubIt! portal provides students, faculty, and all qualified content owners a simple and profitable way to bring their works to millions of new readers. PubIt! uses a Web-based platform to help aspiring authors independently set up their accounts, upload their eBooks, set the list price, and track their sales and payments from a competitive royalty based on the price.

PubIt!In it first four months, more than 11,000 independent publishers and authors joined the PubIt! community of booksellers, adding more than 65,000 new works to Barnes & Noble’s expansive NOOK Bookstore™ of more than two million digital titles. In fact, by early spring, 35 PubIt! titles were among the Top 200 NOOK Books based on sales. Learn more about Pubit!