Just in time for the holiday retail season, IndieBound.org has introduced a new Wish List feature for members of the Indie Community. This feature allows anyone to build a list of books and e-mail it to friends and family, along with a list of their favorite bookstores.
"It's the viral potential of these lists that's most exciting to me," said Matt Supko, ABA's web content coordinator. "They empower 'true believers' to share IndieBound with friends and family at a time when those audiences will be most receptive to it."
With holiday retail forecasts darkening amid the economic turmoil, these Wish Lists "send an important message at a critical time," said ABA Chief Marketing Officer Meg Smith. "It's not just the gift you buy that counts. It's where you buy it."
The Wish List feature builds on the new IndieBound.org Book Search, also introduced this week. Now, searches on IndieBound.org return two sets of results: books that match the search terms, and other bits of information from the IndieBound Community. Included with each book is a link to purchase it from an independent store through IndieBound.org's "Shop Local Online" feature. (For more on Shop Local Online, read "IndieBound.org Adds More E-Commerce Sites".)
In addition to giving registered users the ability to create their own Wish List, the Indie Community allows them to interact by becoming "fans" of their favorite stores. Community members may contribute additional independent retailers, such as hardware stores, bicycle retailers, and toy stores, to the Indie Store Finder map.
ABA member stores that have not already done so are strongly encouraged to join the Indie Community, review their bookstore listing, and network with other stores and users. Stores may also wish to invite staff and customers to join, create Wish Lists, and become "fans" of their store.
For stores using Constant Contact to communicate with customers, IndieBound has created a cut-and-paste template code.