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Digital customer engagement is a hallmark of marketing today. Those that can hone and prefect the means by which consumers can easily and conveniently engage with various products and services are better poised to win customer loyalty. Rarely is this ever a static process. Staying ahead of the customer engagement curve requires the fortitude and temerity to reimagine and reengineer the customer experience as often as necessary.
Barnes & Noble is one brand that has found itself at these crossroads before. In attempt to stay relevant in light of a consumer culture that was (and still is) increasing gravitating toward the digital realm, Barnes & Noble, not long ago, released a product that it hoped would keep it relevant in the eyes of digitally engaged consumers, while also aligning with its position as the nation’s largest retail bookseller in the process.
The NOOK was first launched in 2010, and while it has been met with a moderate amount to success, the brand has continued to make improvements to the e-reader, which currently supports more than 4 million digital books.
And the next phase of the NOOK comes via a new partnership with Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), a global provider of innovative software products and services.
Barnes & Noble has just announced plans to outsource a number of NOOK technology functions to BCT, which will include cloud management and development support for NOOK software.
The brand has stated that this move reaffirms Barnes & Noble’s commitment to NOOK customers and to the overall customer experience the device offers.
“Over the last two years, the Company has done a significant amount of work to improve NOOK’s overall performance,” said Fred Argir, Chief Digital Officer at Barnes & Noble. “While we have been able to reduce costs, we still have a lot more work to do to rationalize the business. We believe that by outsourcing certain technology functions of our NOOK business we will further improve NOOK’s performance.”
The transition of these services to BCT is not expected to result in any service outages for NOOK customers. It will also save the brand approximately $13 million. This includes approximately $8 million of expense reductions, and capital expenditure reductions that will total approximately $5 million.
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