Ann Arbor, Michigan-based, Borders Group Inc. (NYSE:BGP) has been depending on Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to power their website over the last seven years.Â On March 17 2007, the company announced that that they were planning to sever ties with Amazon and compete directly with them.
“We expect to drive sales and profits with it,” stated Borders spokeswoman,Â Anne Roman in 2007 when talking about the upcoming website.Â “We can mesh the in-store sales with online, which is something we have been missing.”
Although the financial information was undisclosed, Seattle PI estimates that the loss of Border’s could cost Amazon.com $80-$160 million in annual revenue.Â Amazon.com currently powers the websites for Sears Canada & UK, Target Corp., Benefit Cosmetics, Times, Bebe, Marks & Spencer, Lacoste, Mothercare, and AOL’s Shop@AOL.Â Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is currently researching the feasibility of buying out Borders.Â
Below is the design for the new site:
The new look is very Web 2.0.Â The new website uses a Flash-based feature called The Magic Shelf that allows the user to browse up, down, left, and right through a bookshelf.Â Border’s website also monitors your book tastes and has a Picked For You feature.
The website also features visual media programs such as live store performances on Borders Live at 01, chefs in the Borders Kitchen, and discussions in the living room with Borders Book Club.Â The website also directly connects with Borders Rewards membership coupon cards.
Compared to the old Border’s website, the new version is a lot more creative.Â The old version look very identical to Amazon.com itself.Â The only problem with the new site is that it struggles with search engine optimization.Â The site is ranked 300,000+ on Alexa compared to Amazon.com’s rank 29.Â Borders needs search optimization experts to help them so that when someone searches for a book on Google, Borders is up there with Amazon.
According to my Google toolbar, Borders’ website doesn’t appear to have a PageRank either.Â This could directly affect their traffic.Â Google should give them a PageRank boost.
 Seattle Pi: Borders shelving Amazon alliance by Craig Harris
 MLive.com: Barnes & Nobles puts together team to look at buying rival Ann Arbor-based Borders by Stefanie Murray