Bazaarvoice Community Manager Sherrie Nguyen guest-writes this post.

Borders.com launched their new e-commerce website in late May, and there has been a flurry of activity since! With the new look and enhanced functionality, Borders has created an interactive environment which fosters a true online community. The magic shelf is an especially cool new enhancement that makes it easy to shop new items. There is a shelf for new music, DVDs, fiction, non-fiction, staff picks, and even a shelf that shows “top picks for you” which you can customize based on your interests.

Since the launch of the new site, Borders encourages use of Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews by including an invitation to review products on every packing slip. When customers receive their invoices, they are referred back to a splash page at www.borders.com/ratings, where Borders explains how easy it is to rate and review their products. This effort has given them a steady stream of reviews.

Community engagement at Borders doesn’t just stop with the customers! The staff at Borders enthusiastically participates in their online community as well! Buyers, merchandisers, analysts, and store employees alike often share their opinions and expertise with the Borders.com community, adding a great expert dimension to site information!

To keep the momentum going, Borders.com can now be used within their brick and mortar stores via Borders Search 2, the enhanced in-store kiosk. I asked Manish Vyas, Senior Manager Online Operations at Borders, to explain more about this great new kiosk.

Q: What is Borders Search 2?
A: The previous version of Borders Search allowed customers to search and locate items in the store and order items for in-store pickup. The new version will bring the added functionality of the new website in-store. Customers will still be able to search/locate items in store and use guided navigation functionality, but they can now access their account and wish lists, read ratings and reviews, order items for home or in-store delivery from Borders.com, and there are more features to come.

Q: When can we expect to see a sample in stores?
A:
This new kiosk was piloted in 10 stores, it rolled out to 50 stores across the nation the week of June 16, and will continue to be unveiled in stages. The new kiosks will available to the full chain within the next few months.

Q: How are you making customers aware of the newly-enhanced kiosk?
A:
Primarily through in-store signage.

Q: Will the in-store version of the site be similar to the current e-commerce website?In-store example of Borders.com
A: The in-store version will mimic borders.com with the exception of the home page and a reduction of heavy graphics. Check out the screenshot.

Q: What stores in Austin will boast this great feature?
A:
All Borders Superstores in the Austin area should have Borders Search 2 by the end of July.

Check out the new kiosks – complete with customer reviews – in your nearby Borders store!

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