Sunday, October 24, 2010

Indigo unveils new website for the holidays

My first online experience with Indigo was sending an email and hearing back from CEO Heather Reisman herself – quickly and yes, it was definitely her.

My first experience with online shopping was purchasing books from Indigo. I think I was one of the first customers when the e-commerce site was launched. I made sure my order qualified for free shipping and I was delighted when the package arrived at my doorstep.

The company was way a head of the curve both in terms of online customer service and as a Canadian e-commerce pioneer.

I’ve been a loyal fan. I frequent their bricks and mortar stores and am a card-carrying iRewards member. To be honest, I much prefer the tactile experience of shopping at my neighbourhood store over shopping online but that’s not a reflection of their website. I’ll shop online when I’m pressed for time. I’ll also shop online when I want to buy gifts for friends or relatives who live across the country.

Three weeks ago, when I saw a tweet with a link to Indigo’s new website, I immediately clicked over to check it out. I quite like the redesigned site’s fresh new look – it’s unique from their competitors; supports the integration of blogs, Facebook and Twitter; and, offers independent authors the ability to have their books published and distributed in partnership with iUniverse.

A few days later I was delighted to receive an invitation from Tuulie and Katie at MS&L to attend the media launch at Indigo’s head office. The event focused on new website features and holiday gift items, just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season.

Indigo now offers their entire gift, paper and toy inventory (including electronic games and consoles) online. They’ve also partnered with Moleskin, in addition to an extensive inventory of Moleskin products, they have some Indigo exclusives with unique designs and packaging. And as one would expect, there’s a big push on Kobo eReaders.

Some of the other enhancements include:
• Improved search
Deal Zone (all deals can be found in one place)
• Larger images (for close-up viewing) and complementary groupings called “mosaics” (especially for kids’ items to engage those too young to read)
• Free shipping on orders of $25 (down from $39) or more for most items (heavy toys and gifts excluded)
• Expanded Wish List capabilities with an option for birthday reminders (up to 20 wish lists where items can be easily transferred to the chopping cart)

The new site delivers and for those of you who belong to their community, it has been ported over in it’s entirety. However, I was not alone and somewhat disappointed when the media kit for the event was provided on CD ROM. Why not a secure media page on the new website?’s holiday shipping deadlines:
Dec 9 – Free Shipping Deadline - Across Canada
Dec 14 – Ship-to-store Deadline
Dec 17 – Premium Shipping Deadline - All Canada
Dec 19 – Last Minute Deadline through GTA/Ottawa/Montreal Corridor
Dec 23 – Quick Ship Deadlines

Have you seen the new What are your thoughts? How much of your holiday gift shopping will be done online this year?
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Anonymous12:12 am

    I personally don't like the new site. The old one was way more visually appealing. This one kind of looks childish to me.
    I also think their service has gone way downhill in the last year. They promised coupons that never came and recently I ordered books that were in stock and took an entire month to receive. And I live in Toronto.I used to shop there a lot. I won't anymore after the latest debacle.
    Frankly, their customer service sucks as of late, in my books. Pun intended! But glad you like them. I don't. Not anymore.....going back to Amazon.

  2. Hey Anonymous,
    Thanks for leaving your comment. I know the Indigo's PR agency is aware of this post and I hope they're keeping an eye on the comments too. Next time, consider leaving your name - it will carry more weight when you have a complaint.

    What coupons were you promised? Did you follow-up? I haven't made any online purchases in several months but the books always arrived on time.

    To be honest, I wish they had given us gift cards instead of some of holiday gift items for attending the event. That way, I could have done a giveaway where a reader could have received a gift card, tried it out and reported back in a future blog post.
    Live and learn. I hope your experience with Amazon is better.


  3. Robert7:01 pm

    To be honest, I do not like the new site either. It is much too busy and cluttered especially the top navigation bar. The fonts they used do not help with the look or functionality of the site. It seems to me they tried too hard to make the website look cool and trendy instead of functional. I have always been a fan of substance over style.

    Don't even get me started on how distracting the stupid little snowflakes are in the main advertisement pane pictures.

    I find myself more and more shopping at their big American owned competitor because of the website's ability to get me what I need quickly.

    I also notice that there are a lot of front graphics missing that I find on other sites (the front of the book or DVD displayed).

    I used to love the old Chapters site. Please, get back to the basics of selling media, i.e. books and music/DVDs. I don't need or want to buy every little geegaw off the site.


Thanks for visiting my blog. Your feedback is important to me. I read every single comment and do my best to reply.

Note: Anonymous comments and spam will be deleted.