launched its eBook store, it immediately attracted a lot of potential customers. According to Compete's Dillon McGovern, more than four times as many people visited the eBook section on B&N's website than the Amazon Kindle store during the first week after the launch in July. After just about a month, though, these numbers returned to normality and today Amazon once again leads the pack by a very wide margin. While B&N was able to attract a lot of interest in its new eBook offerings, it was clearly hurt by the fact that it didn't offer users a hardware eReader yet.When Barnes & Noble
For now, B&N only advertises its iPhone, BlackBerry, and PC/Mac software readers on its site, but the company doesn't offer any compatible hardware readers just yet. Since the launch of the eBook store, B&N has announced a partnership with iRex and we are still waiting for the mythical Plastic Logic eReader to appear.
A spike in interest right after the launch of a new product is obviously nothing unusual, but this data shows that B&N could challenge the Kindle in the long run. To do so, however, B&N needs to offer users a clear alternative to Amazon's Kindle. Sony, which offers numerous eReaders that are connected to its eBook store, is obviously also trying to make a major push in the eBook market and while its numbers are slowly trending up, Amazon and the Kindle remain in a clear lead. As Compete's McGovern points out, B&N has shown that it can easily drive its customers to its eBook store - thanks, in no small part, to a very successful email campaign - but it will need to offer a hardware eReader to really take on Amazon.