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Borders.com builds new vendor team for life after Amazon
While handling the design and development of the new Borders.com largely in-house, Borders Group also relied on a team of more than 10 vendors to build the kind of interactive, customer-serving site it wanted after recently leaving the Amazon platform.
Managing Editor, International Research
While handling the design and development of the new Borders.com largely in-house, Borders Group Inc. also relied on a team of more than 10 vendors to build the kind of interactive, customer-serving site it wanted after leaving the Amazon platform late last month, says Kevin Ertell, vice president of e-business.
The overall goal, he adds, was to replicate online what consumers like about shopping in Borders. “Borders.com brings the bookstore experience to life online, and our customers love it,” Ertell says.
The vendor team includes Brulant for supporting applications like the shopping cart and loyalty program developed for the IBM WebSphere Commerce platform; Allurent Inc. and Endeca Technologies Inc. for the customer interface and site search and navigation technology behind Borders.com’s Magic Shelf bookshelf-like merchandising application; ChoiceStream for personalized product recommendations; Omniture Inc. for web site analytics and Commission Junction for affiliate marketing. “We selected these and other vendors for their best-in-class services and products as well as the specific knowledge and expertise they brought to the project,” Ertell says.
The new site’s Magic Shelf, one of its most celebrated features, was designed with Flex technology to provide more interactive shopping “above the fold”-in other words, without requiring the shopper to scroll down for more information. Flex is a rich Internet application technology designed to work with Adobe Inc.’s Flash rich media readers, which are built into about 97% of web browsers, says Graeme Grant, chief operating officer of Allurent. Flex technology, for example, makes it possible for a shopper to call up windows of additional product information, or browse horizontally or vertically through the Magic Shelf images of books, without leaving the page, he adds.
Endeca’s integrated site search and guided navigation lets shoppers browse and find products based on selected criteria, such as authors and genres, and it integrates with Borders.com’s merchandising applications to let merchandise managers set rules for displays of cross-sells, up-sells, best sellers and timely promotions.
Following are summaries of the roles of other vendors behind the new Borders.com: