After more than a month of quiet beta tests—and just days after B&N unveiled a redesign of its site—Borders is ready to give its new e-commerce site a test run for consumers. Starting today, consumers can view the site at http://beta.BordersStores.com and offer feedback through http://BordersBeta.Gather.com. The retailer will not begin selling items from the site until early next year.
Among the features of the revamped site is the Magic Shelf, essentially an area featuring books visitors can click on for more information. In an attempt to imitate the experience of walking into a Borders store, the site places the books on a realistic looking, three-dimensional shelf. Over time, as customers shop at the site, the Magic Shelf will become personalized based on past purchases. A related area, Picked for You, allows customers to list areas they are interested in and Borders will stock the area with appropriate titles.
Upgraded search functionality will permit customers to browse categories online and in different ways, such as by price or format. The new site is also incorporating a number of Borders’s existing Web functions, BordersRewards.com, the company’s informational site for its members’ loyalty program, and different aspects of BordersMedia.com.
Borders also announced that Baker & Taylor will serve as its primary fulfillment partner, handling fulfillment for books, music and movies.