BN.com Goes 2.0: A Q&A with CEO Marie Toulantis on this week’s launch of a revamped Barnes & Noble Web site
Barnes & Noble.com (BN.com) launched a newly designed Web site this week, with a host of new features and an emphasis on interactive content and community. The site has been in the works for approximately six months, according to BN.com CEO Marie Toulantis.
The world’s largest bookseller partnered with New York-based agency R/GA to bring the project to life. After speaking with a number of potential agencies, “We selected R/GA [because] we felt they had the best experience in the interactive field, and they had done some really great work [in the past],” says Toulantis. “We thought they had a lot of great ideas, and the chemistry was right for us.”
Toulantis also notes that this major redesign is only just the beginning. “We’ll have a lot more things that we’re working on that we’ll launch gradually in the next 12 to 18 months,” she says.
Toulantis spoke with Book Business Extra about BN.com’s new look and enhanced features, and how the redesign benefits both customers and publishers.
Extra: What initiated the redesign?
Marie Toulantis: … We really wanted to incorporate some more elements of content and community, and make it a little more interactive, a little more fun, a little bit more engaging. So we decide to use some newer technologies, some new Web 2.0 things like AJAX and Flash, to present the books in a more interesting light. Also, … [we wanted] to really highlight the media features that we’ve had, but we haven’t had them nicely merchandised and displayed and easily findable. … So again, making the site more interactive, more engaging, more community, more interaction with authors through various interviews and podcasts and so forth, and adding a social networking aspect in the form of online book clubs where readers and writers can connect directly.