Largest retail
bookseller in the
United States

The Customer

Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest book retailer in the United States. It operates a website ( and a chain of bookstores which sell books, magazines, newspapers, movies, music and gifts. It is also known for selling the highly popular ‘Nook’ tablets.
The company operates over 730 retail and 636 college bookstores in the US that serve more than 4.6 million people across the country.


Barnes & Noble was looking for a way to improve its customer outreach & communication. Since most of its customer outreach is conducted online (via email newsletters), the company wanted to personalize and improve its digital marketing process, in order to strengthen its customer relationships. It was looking for a reliable software development partner who could help it achieve this objective; so it could focus its resources more on its core business.

After evaluating several vendors, Barnes & Noble chose Folio3 as its development partner, due to Folio3’s extensive expertise in workflow automation services, web-based applications and its reputation for delivering high quality solutions.

After analyzing the project’s requirements, Folio3 assigned a dedicated development team to Barnes & Noble, who worked on an aggressive schedule to develop a template-based workflow, for creating and generating marketing emails to millions of the company’s customers.

The solution is based on a customized content management system (CMS) that allows Barnes & Noble’s marketing team to rapidly create email newsletters using pre-defined templates. The newsletters inform customers about new releases, pre-orders, bestsellers, NOOK daily finds, and other offers or recommendations. The CMS is part of an automated workflow that enables the marketing team to collaborate and finalize the content and structure of each newsletter. Once the newsletter is created, the system allows the marketing team to create the target list of customers for each email blast. The system also enables the marketing team modify the list of recipients at any time prior to sending out the emails.

Thanks to Folio3’s workflow automation services, Barnes & Noble’s marketing team is able to send out highly customized newsletters to millions of customers at any time. The project is ongoing, with new features and enhancements constantly being added to the existing system.

Barnes & Noble’s management were so impressed with Folio3’s workflow automation services and the developed digital marketing system, that they engaged Folio3’s services on a variety of other projects as well. Subsequently, Barnes & Noble continues to be a strong and viable partner of Folio3 with the relationship now in its third successful year.


These solutions were developed using PHP, JavaScript (jQuery), Drupal, Flash, HTML 5 and PERL.


Folio3 uses Agile Development as the development methodology on all Barnes & Noble projects, with Jira as
the project management tool.


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