Borders® Selects Allurent to Help Enrich Shopping Experience on Upcoming Borders.com Site
Borders.com set to debut in first quarter 2008; Allurent to help enhance unique Magic Shelf™ feature
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Borders Direct, LLC, the e-commerce platform of Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP), today announced that it has selected Allurent, an innovative software company powering superior online shopping experiences, to help enhance the Magic Shelf™ feature of its upcoming e-commerce site, set to launch first quarter 2008.
The upcoming Borders.com, including the Magic Shelf, is currently being piloted on a beta site, which can be viewed at http://beta.BordersStores.com. It 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.
The Magic Shelf, on which Borders has a patent pending, is a unique online version of the warm and engaging shopping experience that takes place in its bookstores every day. When arriving at the beta site’s home page, customers see a realistic looking, three-dimensional wooden shelf of actual book, CD and DVD covers displayed as they would be in a store. Currently, for details on each title, customers simply click on a book that interests them, much as they would pick up books that catch their eye in Borders stores. Working with Allurent, this function will be enhanced and customers will be able to simply hover over a title and details will smoothly emerge for customers to interact with to learn more and then directly add the item to their shopping cart.
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.
“Customers who have visited our beta site love the Magic Shelf and have encouraged us to make it even better through enhancements that Allurent will help us execute,” said Kevin Ertell, Borders Group’s vice president of e-business. “The book shelf metaphor is familiar and intuitive to our customers, and we are using innovative technology such as Allurent’s to take book shelves to a level not possible to achieve in the physical shopping world. The upcoming e-commerce site is a critical part of our ongoing cross-channel retail strategy and we greatly appreciate the insights customers have provided to guide us. By adding Allurent’s innovative software products and expertise, we will make the Magic Shelf even better for customers to shop, and easier for our company to maintain over time.”
“Borders is an innovator that is implementing the latest technologies to create an online shopping experience that is as gratifying and unique as shopping in their stores,” said Graeme Grant, chief operating officer, Allurent, Inc. “Borders requires a proven next-generation technology foundation for its upcoming e-commerce site, and we are pleased to collaborate with this leading retailer to arrive at a sustainable, long-term solution that will truly enrich the shopping experience and differentiate Borders.com from the static Web sites that are common across the Web.”
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 or receive as gifts. This feature also includes the capability to email 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 for the beta test.
Customers are encouraged to visit the beta site to experience the features that Borders plans to perfect and ultimately offer on the new Borders.com site when it debuts in 2008. The company has developed a specific site for customers to visit at http://BordersBeta.Gather.com to post their thoughts and suggestions.
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