At today’s PMA digital event lunchtime keynote, Kevin Ertell, senior VP of e-business at Borders Group, demoed the new Borders site and proved that Borders is embracing the interactive experience online. While Ertell will never directly say that he is trying to compete with Amazon, when it comes to online book shopping, Amazon is the first place that comes to mind. I’ve been shopping there for more than 10 years!
But still Borders’ new online site is offering what Amazon does not offer, an in-store experience. While adding a preference center for a personalized shopping experience and sending e-mails when favorite titles come into stock is nothing new for Amazon veterans, the book store experience that Borders is offering such personalization in a fun way through its magic book shelf –a shelf that welcomes you on your visit with suggested titles.
Other new offerings on the site includes being able to look up product stock in various stores and being able to order a book to a store, a good way to tie in the physical book store in with the Web site.
And the brand is bringing events to the site as well, with Borders TV. It includes the typical readings you might find in a store as well as bonus features such as CD shopping with a musician to hear about their influences and interests. In addition Borders TV is getting involved in local communities by connecting local book clubs to authors. At a discuss of “Eat, Pray, Love,” a video of one reading demonstrated the author getting involved with her readers.
All-in-all the site looks like a great new place to shop and socialize like a Borders book store itself.