Bookseller Waterstone’s is to relaunch its website in an attempt to provide improved functionality for a better shopper experience.

The retailer, part of HMV Group, will use an e-commerce platform provided by Hybris to support its growth plans. The first phase will go live in autumn.

Waterstone’s head of e-commerce David Kohn said the first phase of the redevelopment will include improvements to its on-site search and navigation.

Kohn said: “In order to continue growth in what is an extremely fast-moving and competitive environment we will continue to look for ways in which to improve the shopping experience of our customers. The investment in Hybris gives us a solid platform from which to continually improve our online offer.”

The present version of was launched in September 2006 on a bespoke platform, the retailer’s first full foray into e-commerce after it ended its previous services relationship with Amazon.

In its results for the half year ending October 25, 2008, the retailer said grew by over 50 per cent on the same period the previous year. In the 16 weeks ending April 25, Waterstone’s like-for-likes slumped 4.5 per cent.n

Kohn – who was previously involved in the website relaunch projects for his former employer Borders – said that further site improvements are likely to include more personalised promotions
and support for the retailer’s multichannel strategy.