Aussie ABCs uniting online

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Half of Australia’s Adventist Book Centres (ABC) are now pooling their resources into a united Australian web store at AdventistBookCentre.com.au.

In August, the Victorian Conference accepted the invitation to join North New South Wales (NNSW) and Greater Sydney Conference’s (GSC) joint web store, which had been in collaborative development since late 2016.

The web store was officially launched at the start of September with the cutting of three “red tapes”, signifying three conferences breaking through their restricted boundaries and working together on the project.

“This is a significant achievement,” said GSC chief financial officer Eva Ing. “It’s quite unheard of for two, let alone three, conferences to collaborate on a project like this. There have been some tricky hurdles we needed to clear before the traditionally very separate stores could even think about sharing a web store, but I’m pleased to say it’s now a reality and great things are to come!”

Jo-Anne Boudan, manager of NNSW’s Better Books and Food store, said combining resources is a win for the conferences and a win for customers. “It makes so much sense to work together rather than individually put the time and money into duplicating and competing online. Together we can provide a better online experience at a split cost.”

Victorian Conference CFO Graeme Moffitt said Victoria originally planned on building its own online store. “When the option to become a part of a more collaborative online store arose,” he said, “it made sense on many levels to join the project.”

The web store was launched with its first 1000 products, but according to web coordinator, Scott Wegener, there are plenty of improvements still to come over the following months, including design and functionality tweaks, and thousands of additional products being entered.

A screenshot of the new website.

“The ultimate inspiration pushing us to make this web store great is to assist the many people who cannot easily get to a physical store—from those who are house bound to full-time workers to those living hundreds of kilometres from a shop,” Mr Wegener said. “The aim is to enable those at home, or on mobile, to make well-informed purchase decisions by presenting comprehensive product previews. We have a long way to go and are getting our footings right first but then we’re really going to build things up.”

Future product preview features will include initiatives such as video “flick-throughs” of pictorially rich books, first page previews of chapter books, video trailers and reviews of DVDs, CD soundtrack demos and board game video demonstrations.

You can check out the web store at AdventistBookCentre.com.au.

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