Borders (R) Previews Upcoming e-commerce Site; Names Baker & Taylor for e-commerce Fulfillment
New Borders.com Site On-Track to Debut in Early 2008
2007-Borders today announced that after a month of beta testing key features that will eventually become part of its upcoming Borders.com e-commerce site, the company is ready to see what customers think. Since early September, Borders has been quietly consolidating its various Web properties and transforming its existing BordersStores.com Web site into a preview platform for its highly anticipated proprietary e-commerce site, Borders.com, which is set to launch in early 2008.
The consolidated beta site, which can be viewed at http://beta.bordersstores.com/, does not yet include an opportunity for customers to actually purchase items, but does showcase many features that will ultimately be rolled into the new Borders.com when it launches next year.
One such feature is the Magic Shelf (TM), which Borders has been testing on the beta site for over four weeks. The Magic Shelf is Borders' unique online version of the warm and engaging shopping experience that takes place in its bookstores every day.
When arriving at the site's home page, customers see a realistic looking, three-dimensional shelf of actual book covers displayed as they would be in a Borders store.
For details on each title, customers simply click on a book that interests them, much the way they pick up books that catch their eye in Borders stores. Over time, as customers shop at the future Borders.com, the Magic Shelf will become personalized for the shopper based on past purchases and will display books that the customer may be particularly interested in exploring.
On the beta site, there is a related Magic Shelf feature called "Picked for You." Customers simply indicate the subjects in which they have an interest, and Borders will stock the "Picked for You" shelf with books on those subjects.
In addition to the Magic Shelf, features being piloted on the beta site include new and improved search capabilities and improved navigation that helps customers deeply browse categories online and filter searches in several different ways, including price and format.
Also, there is a feature to include customer and employee reviews for all BordersStores.com products and a new wish list feature, which allows customers to mark items they'd like to buy for themselves or receive as gifts. This feature also includes the capability to e-mail the list to friends and family. Of course, Borders will continue to offer the popular store locator and inventory search/title reserve functions that have always been available at BordersStores.com, but the company has enhanced these features.
Borders is also integrating other existing Web properties into the beta site, including the current BordersRewards.com site, which serves as an informational site for the nearly 21 million members of the retailer's loyalty program. On this portion of the site, members can track their rewards, find answers to common questions about the program, and even customize the home page for personalization.
BordersMedia.com has also been consolidated into the beta site at http://beta.bordersstores.com/. This site, which has been serving Borders customers for several months, includes many innovative and industry- leading features, including:
-- Borders "Book Club": Highlighting some of the most interesting and
Customers are encouraged to visit the beta site to experience all of the features that Borders plans to perfect and ultimately offer on the new Borders.com site. To share thoughts, customers may simply visit http://bordersbeta.gather.com/. The company will consider customer input in its final e-commerce site plans.
"Our overarching strategy is to be a true-cross channel retailer that offers our customers a rich experience that enhances the way they access and use information and entertainment," said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer George Jones.
"Many retailers are multi-channel-meaning they operate in more than one channel-but we are seeking to differentiate Borders by blending the best of the online shopping experience with the best of the bricks-and-mortar experience to create a greater overall customer experience. That's why it is so important for us to hear what customers have to say about our beta site. When the new Borders.com launches in 2008, it will truly be created with our customers and not just for them."
In fact, Borders was recently recognized by "RIS News," a leading retail technology publication, for its innovative cross-channel retail strategies. Borders earned a "Fusion Award" in the "Cross-Channel Innovation" category, and was among just 12 retailers recognized nationally.
In addition to announcing the beta site, Borders also revealed that the company has selected Baker & Taylor to handle primary fulfillment of books, music and movies to customers when the new Borders.com is open for business next year. Baker & Taylor will provide fulfillment services to the Borders site from its facilities across the United States.
"We selected Baker & Taylor as our primary fulfillment partner because of their excellent track record with consumer-direct fulfillment of all of the product types we'll offer at Borders.com, and their ability to serve our customers in the superior manner they deserve," said Kevin Ertell, vice president of e-business for Borders Group.
"We are delighted to be Borders' fulfillment partner for book and entertainment products" said Richard Willis, CEO, Baker & Taylor, Inc. "We look forward to working closely with Borders on this exciting initiative and providing their customers with the world-class fulfillment services that are a standard of B&T."
About Borders Group, Inc.
About Baker & Taylor, Inc.
Source: Borders Group, Inc.
About Borders Group