March 9, 2001, 12:00 AM

Borders installs 1,000 kiosks and is testing web links

Borders is installing self-help kiosks where customers can get information, find items in the store and order out-of-stock items. The stores also are testing an e-commerce application.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

To help Borders book store customers find titles and in-stock status for books, CDs and movies, the retailer is installing 1,000 kiosks this year with Broomfield, Colo.-based Kiosk Information Systems. In addition to search options, the kiosks, called Title Sleuths, give product recommendations, new releases and store event information. Employees will be able to use the kiosks to customize information for their particular location. Searches will start with the kiosk store’s inventory and will give users the option to order an item located at the main fulfillment center. After printing out the order, customer bring it to the information desk to put in their special order. Customers can pick up the item at the store. Borders says it is now testing an e-commerce application at about a half dozen stores in which customers can swipe their credit cards to order and pay for items. The orders will go via web to the main fulfillment center, which will deliver items to the customer’s home. The kiosks also will help customers locate an item in the store and even print out a map of the location. Since the Title Sleuths have been introduced, Borders has logged about 1 million searches per week. Borders says it is installing the kiosks to help customers get more information and help at their stores. “Most of our customers are web users and the kiosks can give them the satisfaction of getting products themselves,” a spokesperson says, noting that ultimately, providing better service can help sales.

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