Borders.com uses video in outreach for solo act launch

Following a seven-year partnership with Amazon.com, Borders relaunched its Web site (www.borders.com) on May 27. The bookseller seeks to transplant its customers' in-store experiences online, offering them advice they previously could only get in person.

Objective: Following a seven-year partnership with Amazon.com, Borders relaunched its Web site (www.borders.com) on May 27. The bookseller seeks to transplant its customers' in-store experiences online, offering them advice they previously could only get in person.

The company used its internal PR staff to conduct media and analyst outreach, to ensure wide customer awareness. "We are offering our customer a unique cross-channel retail experience that [combines] e-commerce opportunities with in-store opportunities [to] create an experience that is better overall than [what] anyone else offers," said Anne Roman, Borders director of corporate affairs.

Idea: Borders.com has incorporated new technologies, such as "The Magic Shelf," where customers can browse titles by moving from side to side - as though looking at an actual bookshelf. The site offers a "Picked for You" feature that displays titles based on previous purchases. Consumers can view staff and customer recommendations, make purchases, or cash in their rewards points through the Web site.

Tools: Borders held embargoed briefings with national and trade media and analyst firms. It also issued a multimedia press release, with embeddable video, on the day of the launch. "This was extremely well received, and we felt good about it, so we gave those who cover us an opportunity to see [the site]," said Roman.

Measurement: The site launch received a considerable amount of coverage in the media, according to Roman. Borders' Web team will measure visitorship and online revenues as well.

Organization: Borders

Campaign: Relaunch of Borders.com

PR team: Internal PR staff

Launch: May 27

Budget: Undisclosed

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