Now in Control of its Own Destiny

For the past seven years, visitors to have been automatically redirected to Border’s hosted site on While hitching a ride on Amazon’s phenomenal growth at one time was likely a sound business decision, in hind sight that short-term fix to Border’s ecommerce woes handicapped Border’s online growth and its brand in general. The Border’s store on lacked its own identity and gave shoppers little incentive to continue shopping via on subsequent visits. Not surprisingly, over the past five years, traffic has remained virtually unchanged at around 250,000 unique visitors per month.

This past May that all changed when re-launched its own website, and took back the reins to its online destiny. Toys R Us, it’s worth noting, made a similar decision two years ago, and since that time the toy retailer has successfully reclaimed its category leadership.

Not content to just launch a pretty website, Border’s did their homework and has created a site that offers book lovers an innovative experience that brings more of the joy of visiting a bookstore to the online world. One feature, the "magic shelf" seeks to more closely mimic the experience of browsing through bookshelves and discovering new titles.

Before re-launching the site, traffic was half that of lesser-known bookstores and trailed its primary brick-and-mortar rival, by a far greater margin. However, once the new went live, there was instantly a spike in traffic that saw them vault past their smaller rivals and into contention with

Borders has been putting forth a strong effort to increase the traffic and sales on its new site. In July, ran a campaign inviting its visitors to enter in a chance to win a $1,000 gift card by watching a short video that highlighted various features of the new Everyone who entered received something for their effort, such as discounts on purchases made on the site. This campaign was successful in increasing sales and creating more engagement on the site, as visitors who entered in the sweepstakes spent much more time on the site and were more likely to place an order.

Since its launch, has seen its share of visitors placing an order steadily increase each month. In July, converted 5.0% of visitors, which puts them in-line with’s 5.9% conversion rate. Borders has attracted many new visitors to its site and the new traffic is purchasing online with increasing frequency.

Parting ways with already seems to be paying great dividends for Borders. After only a couple of months, the world’s second largest bookstore chain now has the online presence to match its offline magnitude.

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