Major Book Retailers Banking on Mobile Marketing

Borders and Barnes & Noble are planning to launch new digital strategies for the month of June as they both aim for the top spot as America’s biggest online bookseller.

According to a report on CNN this morning detailing the June mobile marketing blitz, these strategies from two of the world’s largest book retailers come at a time “when questions abound about what the future of book¬≠selling will look like.”

As of April, online retailers controlled 30% of the consumer book mar¬≠ket while shopping inside of the physical bookstores remained “stagnant.” With little change in sight for the prospects of increased in-store purchases, Barnes and Noble and Borders will be pushing aggressive mobile marketing campaigns not only to sell more online merchandise but to target a new segment of readers that download electronic books (or e-books) instead of purchasing hard copies.

“Mobile is an emerging channel and an effective way to reach customers,” said Tom Burke, EVP of e-commerce at Barnes & Noble. “Our customers are busy and time challenged and many of our customers have smartphones. We’ve updated our site to make it easier on-the-go.”

To help promote the new functionality of their respective websites and online shopping bargains, both book retailers will be reaching out to their customer bases through e-mail and text advertisements. For Borders and Barnes and Noble, mobile marketing is slated as a key advertising mechanism for summer 2008, a development that, if successful, could serve as a shining example to other big box retailers.