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July Relaunch for Borders Site

Direct Marketing’s News Blog reports on Borders‘ plans to relaunch its website and take direct responsibility for its e-commerce activities instead of outsourcing it to Amazon. In doing so, the struggling book retailer will come a lot closer to building a multichannel platform from scratch than most merchants with well-established brands will ever get the chance to do so. “A big part of [it] is cross-channel – starting to bring the power and benefits of the different channels together,” something Borders couldn’t do before, said Kevin Ertell, vice president of e-business at Borders, Ann Arbor, MI to DMNews.

Borders being in the position to launch a proprietary site for the first time in years “is a big deal because their customers are beginning to change and demand more consistency across channels,” said Tamara Mendelsohn, senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc., Cambridge, MA. Once the e-commerce element comes online starting in July, Borders hopes to be able to integrate its customer loyalty program, customer service, fulfillment and analytics across channels. The only exception will be its in-store point-of-sale system. “We see the Web site as much more than just a store,” Ertell said. “It’s a brand vehicle, a merchandise vehicle, a marketing vehicle, a customer relationship tool and a customer research tool, all brought together to provide a better experience for our customers and a better relationship with our customers.”

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