Online Store Makes Church Resources Accessible
- Materials ship around the world for free.
- The online store is tailored to the user's country.
- Using the site requires LDS Account login.
“The online store brings materials that can strengthen Church members right to their homes.”
It’s difficult for more than 13 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to travel to one of 130 retail stores to obtain Church materials. So Church Distribution Services is reversing the process. Beginning September 30, 2010, a new online store will bring materials to the members.
The online store, available at store.lds.org, makes it easy to order gospel study materials; music, media, and art; garments and temple clothing; home and family resources; and support materials for serving in the Church. These materials ship for free around the world, with a small fee for expedited delivery.
“We want people to be comfortable coming to the online store to buy whatever they need to help them learn and grow in the gospel,” said Andrea Peterson, product manager of the online store. “Great materials are available at their fingertips, but a lot of people don’t know about them. With this site, we can help people realize what great resources are available to them.”
The first time users visit the store, they will identify their country. As online stores specific to each country become available, they will include only products available in that country. All information will be in that country’s primary language, with all prices listed in local currency. Payment options are adapted to local preferences, and products are shipped from local distribution centers. The site replaces ldscatalog.com, which allowed online purchases but served only a limited number of countries.
The website launched initially in English, Spanish, and Russian. Other languages will be available in coming months, including Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, in that order. Country-specific catalog sites will be released following the language schedule, beginning in Spanish-speaking Central and South American countries, followed by European countries, then Brazil, then Asian countries.
Users log in to the site using their LDS accounts. Because Church membership information is associated with these accounts, doing so will verify whether a member is authorized to purchase certain materials. For example, only endowed members of the Church can purchase temple clothing. Other materials are available only to certain priesthood leaders.
Some free materials can be downloaded directly from the site. Desktop printers can usually reproduce these products, including family group sheets, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Young Women Personal Progress tracking sheets, and similar resources. The online store will also link to certain products on LDS.org, like the scriptures, where they are available in different formats.
As the online store becomes more established, Distribution Services is already looking to other technologies to help make materials accessible to more Church members around the world, including smart phone applications. Distribution Services also has plans to provide ways for members to print more publications on their own, with printing specifications included on the site.
“One of the great things about the online store is that it gives people easy access to materials,” Sister Peterson said. “They don’t have to drive long distances to get the things they need. The online store brings materials that can strengthen Church members right to their homes.”