Deciding between the Kindle and the Nook just became a little tougher.
From today through the 3rd of July B&N have a $50 gift card if you buy a Nook at a B&N store or at their website. Given that both Amazon and B&N are already offering free shipping (free 2 day for Kindle) this is a really good deal.
Purchase a NOOK at participating Barnes & Noble retail stores or online at http://www.bn.com (EAN: 9781400599998), and receive a $50.00 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, while supplies last. This offer is only valid for purchases made at Barnes & Noble retail book stores where NOOK is sold and for orders placed on http://www.bn.com
Strangely, the offer is not available at B&N College bookstores.
It’s a great promotion and you have to wonder why B&N have it - Is it to balance the Kindle’s arrival at Target? Is it to clear out stock and prepare for the Nook 2? Is it to make the most of Father’s Day and Graduation season?
Why is B&N adding a $50 gift card to Nook purchases?
Is this part of a Father’s Day Kindle Nook stand-off?
The first possibility is that B&N have identified the month of June as a critical one -
- Father’s Day is 20th June.
- Lots of graduating students and graduation gifts.
- Lots of people are getting ready for summer reading.
- Lots of school and college students are embarking on their long summer vacations.
- iPad hysteria is beginning to subside and people now want a device they can actually use in sunshine and hot weather.
CNet originally pointed out the Dad and Grad season as a possible reason for the Nook $50 discount -
Needless to say, Barnes & Noble is trying to gain an advantage as we head into the important Father’s Day and school graduation buying season.
“The company will provide a free $50 Barnes & Noble gift card with any Nook eBook Reader purchase through Barnes & Noble and Best Buy,”
It’s as good a possibility as any. Amazon will have to respond – a $50 gift certificate is a big deal.
Perhaps a Nook 2 is on the way
The FCC just granted approval to a Nook Lite. It’s code name is Bravo Lite which makes you wonder if the Non-Lite Bravo is the Nook 2 and when it’s going to show up.
If there is indeed a Nook 2 on the way it’s not unimaginable that it arrives around the time Nook Lite arrives and the FCC approval would mean that’s soon. Thus, the $50 gift card would be a thank you for helping B&N clear stock of the Nook and prepare for Nook 2.
Is it to counter the Kindle’s arrival in Target Stores?
Kindle will be sold in all Target Stores starting June 6th.
We suddenly have a big Nook advantage (retail availability, being able to touch and play with the device) nullified completely. There are also far more Target Stores than B&N stores.
It would be the first time people get to actually see a Kindle and play with it and experience all its strengths - Kindle was the #1 eReader even when people had to buy it based on photos and their faith in Amazon. Now that they can see it for themselves there’s a possibility sales tilt even more in favor of the Kindle.
B&N want to avoid that and they think $50 worth of free books with a Nook will help. They’re probably right.
Are rumors of Kindle 3 weighing on Nook sales?
There are so many rumors of Kindle 3 you’d think Apple were making it. Coffeeshops in Seattle, Bloomberg and loose-lipped executives are all atwitter about the Kindle 3 and people are probably beginning to delay their eReader purchases.
Kindle and Nook sales are likely to be affected and one way to compensate is to lower the price. A $50 gift card is almost as good as a price-cut – People equate the gift card with money saved on ebook purchases. Suddenly, the Nook is just $209 which is definitely a bargain.
Does B&N feel Kindle is pulling ahead and they have to compensate?
Perhaps the most boring, straightforward reason for the $50 gift card.
It might just be that B&N feel the Kindle is evolving too fast to keep up with – a new Kindle 2.5 release (well, hopefully soon) that has a lot of good features, Kindle for Android, a deal with Asus to get Kindle for PC, and lots of other moves.
B&N took 7+ weeks to get out their iPad app, they are still fixing Nook bugs and still working on speed issues. At some level they must feel they can’t win the software side. Perhaps the $50 gift card is an indicator that B&N have decided to find other ways to attack Amazon.
Are Publishers secretly helping B&N?
You have to wonder -
- B&N have an ongoing promotion with a free book every week for 5 weeks. These are books that are not being made available free at other ebook stores.
- Now B&N are offering $50 worth of free books with a Nook.
Perhaps the latter is connected to the former and perhaps Nook aren’t paying Publishers anything for the books customers will buy with their $50 gift cards. $50 in ebooks costs B&N just $35 as it is (Agency Model gives Publishers 70%). Perhaps Publishers are taking just $15, perhaps they are taking nothing.
It’s a small price to pay to reduce the threat of the Kindle turning them into relics.