Borders preps for life after Amazon with new Web site

Book store gets ready to handle order fulfillment on its own; preps new site

Despite being one of the largest bookstore chains in the United States, Borders for several years has relied on Amazon to operate its entire online business.

But that will soon change, as Borders is building its own e-commerce site from scratch and expects to go live early next year. It is an intensive process that began late last year and involves about 100 Borders employees and a variety of vendors.

"It's a large undertaking," says Tamara Mendelsohn, an analyst at Forrester Research. "There are a number of challenges. From a technology standpoint, there's the commerce platform itself, the technology needs to be built out, customized to support Borders' unique requirements. They are a large multi-channel retailer, it needs to integrate with other systems."

Currently, the "Borders" Web site is a version of Amazon.com with a Borders logo at the top. Amazon itself actually supplies and ships the merchandise, and Borders receives a commission on sales, according to Kevin Ertell, vice president of e-business at Borders.

Such an arrangement is rare for a retailer of Borders' size, Mendelsohn says. "The majority of large, multi-channel retailers are attacking this in-house," she says.

Department store chain Target has an arrangement with Amazon to handle order fulfillment, checkout and other e-commerce needs, but the products the company sells on Target.com are its own.

Borders executives decided to drop the partnership with Amazon because operating their own online business is important to the company's strategic plan and cross-channel capabilities, Ertell says.

"It's an extremely large project, as we're building a new business, really, for Borders from the ground up," he says. Borders, which has more than 1,200 stores selling books, movies and music worldwide, incuding Australia, has not operated its own Web site since 2001.

Once the Web site debuts, the 17 million customers who have Borders Rewards cards will be able to use them online, Ertell says.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?