NACUBO Session Recording Available: The Hybrid College Bookstore Model

Posted by Lauren LaFronz on July 21, 2016

If textbook affordability is important to your institution and you're open to learning about new bookstore models, you'll want to request the recording of our interactive session with Labouré and Berea colleges from the 2016 NACUBO Annual Meeting.

This well-attended session, which received a lot of positive feedback, covers how the new hybrid college bookstore model reduces textbook costs, improves bookstore sales and increases student satisfaction. The recording and presentation materials can be requested by clicking here or on the button below.

The session covers how combining a school-sanctioned website with an on-campus shop can:

  • Improve textbook affordability, bookstore sales and the textbook purchasing experience

  • Provide the flexibility required to transition to new digital learning platforms and materials

  • Win back students by applying advanced technology best practices

Request Session Materials

If you attended the session and want additonal information about the hybrid bookstore model, contact us or request a copy of our hybrid bookstore model white paper.

Topics: Webinars & Events, Bookstore Sales, Textbook Affordability, New Bookstore Models

Price & Convenience: The Keys to Growing Your Textbook Sales

Posted by Lauren LaFronz on June 7, 2016

Growing numbers of college students are abandoning the campus bookstore and purchasing textbooks from less expensive third-party websites - but it’s not only price that’s driving them away.

A recent survey conducted by Akademos on college student textbook purchasing and bookstore services reveals that “convenience” also plays a very influential role in where students decide to purchase course materials, with 58% of students citing it as a critical factor affecting where they buy or rent.


This data point highlights the importance students place on the flexibility of anytime, anywhere Internet shopping, and indicates that adding a competitive online component to your bookstore strategy could increase sales and overall utilization.

If your college already has a bookstore website, or if you’re in the process of evaluating virtual bookstore options, you can secure an advantage over your current or future online competition by providing features that go beyond the basics to deliver the ultimate in convenience and a superior student experience.

For example, 40% of students surveyed by Akademos have used financial aid to buy or rent course materials, suggesting that it would be worthwhile to ensure your bookstore website enables students to seamlessly apply financial aid towards their purchases – a feature not offered by non-affiliated third-party sites.

In addition, given that students are accustomed to using smartphones for viewing websites and making purchases - over 62% of our survey respondents provided their information using a mobile device – it’s advisable to ensure your online bookstore is mobile-optimized so students aren’t inconvenienced by an awkward, frustrating user experience.

Request a complimentary copy of our white paper to get more actionable recommendations for improving bookstore sales and view the complete results of our survey. 


Request the White Paper Now


Topics: Bookstore Sales, Research

Study Confirms Colleges Can Improve Student Satisfaction, Bookstore Sales & More by Providing Key Online Services

Posted by Lauren LaFronz on May 10, 2016

It’s abundantly clear that high textbook costs are a critical issue for colleges and their students. What’s not as clear is how to effectively address this highly-complex, multi-faceted problem.

Our new study, available free-of-charge, provides proof that addressing college textbook affordability with specialized online solutions is highly effective and positively impacts student satisfaction, bookstore sales and academic success. The study contains a comparative analysis from two surveys recently conducted on college student course material purchasing and bookstore services.Textbook-Affordability-Study-Thumbnail.jpg

 Request a copy of the study

One survey was administered exclusively to students currently enrolled at Akademos partner schools, and another, identical survey was administered to college students enrolled at a random sample of "non-partner" institutions throughout the country. Several notable differences are revealed in the analysis including:

  • Students at institutions offering an extensive selection of low-priced textbooks are significantly more satisfied with textbook costs than students in the general population

  • Students at institutions providing a peer-to-peer marketplace as part of an online bookstore solution are considerably more likely than students in the general population to purchase all required course materials

  • Students at colleges offering first-rate bookstore websites are much more likely than students in the general population to be prepared for class with all required materials

  • Students at institutions with mobile-optimized, school-sanctioned bookstore websites are significantly more likely to forego purchasing textbooks on Amazon and other third party websites

This comparative analysis follows on the heels of the white paper we released last month containing the results of the survey administered to college students at "non-partner" institutions.

Request the study to read the complete analysis and learn about the specific online services that reduce college textbook costs and improve key metrics including student preparedness, student satisfaction and bookstore utilization.

Request the Comparative Study 

Topics: Bookstore Sales, Research

Why Students Are Leaving The College Bookstore - New White Paper

Posted by Jonathan Shar on December 2, 2015

Our new white paper, Why Students Are Leaving The College Bookstore, was released today and is now available for download. 

Learn from this exclusive new white paper:

  • What's driving students away from the school-sanctioned bookstore
  • The unique advantages the college bookstore has over non-affiliated third party providers
  • The secret to winning back your students


Click Here to Download the Exclusive White Paper

Find out how other institutions are transforming their college bookstores into a best-in-class student service and seeing significant improvements in textbook affordabilitystudent satisfaction, and bookstore utilization - even as student demands for accessibility, convenience, and affordability accelerate.

Download Why Students Are Leaving The College Bookstore today - available at no charge.

Topics: Bookstore Sales, Research

Why Textbook Rentals Are On The Rise

Posted by Jonathan Shar on May 11, 2015

Two years ago, Akademos published the first comprehensive survey of College CFOs regarding the future of college bookstore and textbook services and in an exclusive webinar held on April 29, released the preliminary findings of the 2015 follow-up study.

In both, participants were asked to estimate the breakdown of their bookstore's textbook sales.

The latest survey found that on average, new books still represent the largest % of textbook sales; however in just two years this percentage has declined significantly (now 38%, down from 52%) - with Rentals growing by more than 60% (from 14% to 23% in 2015).

rental_compSource: CFO Survey on Textbook Delivery and Bookstore Services. Akademos, 2015. 

In addition, in another survey question when asked about the importance various services to the "Future of your Bookstore"; 73% rated Rentals as "Very Important," up 26% from the 2013 study.

Textbook Rentals are clearly on the rise, but why and is it the most cost-conscious choice for students? Robert Pignatello, SVP of finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay college and Akademos CEO John Squires addressed this topic during the webinar.

“The net ownership cost of textbooks is a key consideration,” commented Squires.“Often, rentals have a lower up-front cost to the student but can be more expensive long term.”

Pignatello agreed, saying “we [college administrators] have an obligation to look at the total cost of ownership, and to help our students make the right choice. Often times, buying a used book and selling it will cost less than renting.” 

To learn more about key trends and predictions on the future of textbook sales and campus bookstore services, the full presentation and recording of our "2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services” webinar session is now available for free download. 

Click here to request webinar materials

Topics: Bookstore Sales, Research

Why Campus Bookstore Textbook Sales Continue to Decline (According to College CFOs)

Posted by Jonathan Shar on May 7, 2015

Two years ago, Akademos published the first comprehensive survey of college CFOs regarding the future of college bookstore and textbook services - and in an exclusive webinar held on April 29, released the highlights of the eagarly aniticpated 2015 follow-up study

In both surveys,participants were asked to estimate the trend line in their bookstore's textbook sales over the past 3 years.

In the latest survey, 91% of respondents indicated textbook sales have been flat or down over the past three years and in just two years there was a 36% increase in CFOs reporting declines of more than 10%. 

Source: CFO survey on Textbook Delivery and Bookstore Services. Akademos, 2015. 

the survey data reviewed during the webinar provides some valuable insight into why sales declines have accelerated and why they are likely to continue to decline in the future. 

Robert Pignatello, SVP of finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay College shared some valuable insights on this topic as one of the featured speakers during the webinar and commented on his own expereince and observations:   

"We started to think about providing low-cost options to students and re-thinking the traditional way of viewing the college store," recalls Pignatello. We began to build up other areas of revenue producing activity at the college, knowing this trend was going to continue. In a few short years we saw [textbook sales] go down by 50%, and it continued to go down."

To learn more about key trends and predictions on the future of textbook sales and campus bookstore services, the full presentation and recording of our "2015 College CFO Survey on Textbook Affordability and Bookstore Services” webinar session is now available for free download.
Click here to request webinar materials

Topics: Bookstore Sales, Research

The Declining Trend in College Textbook Sales

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 24, 2015

In the begining of 2013, Akademos published the first comprehensive survey of college CFOs regarding the future of college bookstore services.  One question participants were asked was to estimate the trend line in their bookstore's textbook sales over the past 3 years and 83% of respondents indicated that textbook sales have been flat or down per the chart below.


See how the opinion of CFOs throughout the country has now changed when Akademos reveals its first look at the recently completed follow-up study on the trends and future of textbook services during our live webinar.

Learn what leading college CFOs think about the evolving bookstore model and hear from one such leader, Robert Pignatello, on how John Jay College reimagined the college bookstore for the 21st century. This special webinar will prove helpful to college administrators across the country facing these and other related challenges.

Click here to request webinar materials

 The discussion, lead by John Squires, CEO of Akademos along with Robert Pignatello, SVP Finance and Administration at CUNY’s John Jay College provides insightful commentary on the key findings.




Topics: Bookstore Sales

Seven Factors Impacting Campus Bookstore Sales

Posted by Jonathan Shar on April 10, 2015

Adapted from our white paper, Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore. Click here to download a free copy. 

Recent studies have shown that many college students are opting not to buy any or all textbooks for at least one of their courses due to high prices, leading to students being less prepared for class and negatively impacting their academic performance.  In addition, studies show that many students are selecting courses based upon the cost of the textbooks. Left unchecked, these factors may undermine the fundamental mission of many colleges and universities.

If your college or university is experiencing this trend, it’s important to consider the factors that might be contributing to poor student utilization of your bookstore service.


As a first step, undertake an audit of your current service and consider all the elements that might be contributing to either high material costs or low student satisfaction. Some areas to consider:

  1. Does your bookstore have enough access to low cost used books and rentals?

  2. What percentage of your courses have used books and what is their relative cost versus the used peer-to-peer marketplace (check out textbookx.com for helpful comparisons)

  3. What percentage of your students are using your current bookstore? (Read our blog post, “Is Your Campus Bookstore Missing Textbook Sales?”)

  4. Are high commissions and guarantees impacting the cost of your textbooks?

  5. Is space at a premium on your campus? When evaluating the performance of your bookstore, do you factor in the opportunity cost of the space you allocate for textbooks?

  6. Do your faculty have access to adoption tools that show them the real cost of book ownership and provide high-quality alternatives?

  7. Is the online site that supports your bookstore the best in class?

For more information on these questions and other key best practices in driving textbook affordability and bookstore utilization, download our free white paper Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore.

Click here to download the White Paper

Topics: Bookstore Sales

Webinar Recap: Win Back Students and Recapture Book Sales - Materials Available for Download

Posted by Jonathan Shar on February 11, 2015

Yesterday, we were joined by Jaye Lynn Bergers from Davenport University for a lively and informative Webinar, “How Your Bookstore Can Reduce Textbook Costs and Win Back Students.” If you were unable to join this Webinar, we wanted to make the presentation and recording of the session available for you to download free by clicking here.


The feedback from attendees has been extremely positive. Most found hearing how other institutions are quickly implementing solutions that prioritize the success of its students by driving down the cost of textbooks to be extremely relevant and informative.

In this Webinar, we took a behind-the-scenes look at Davenport University's approach to winning back students and recapturing sales. Topics covered included:

  • How Davenport increased its bookstore utilization, optimized the physical store footprint, and dramatically increased student satisfaction
  • Different bookstore solutions researched and the selection criteria    
  • How the solution was quickly implemented and integrated  
  • Key outcomes and results (including students saving over $1.8 million

To learn more about expanding affordable textbook options for your students and solutions that could work for your school, we would be happy to set-up a personalized 1:1 consultation today.

Topics: Webinars & Events, Bookstore Sales

Is Your Campus Bookstore Missing Textbook Sales?

Posted by Kirk Bodick on January 8, 2015

This is a very important and sometimes difficult question to answer. However, there’s a good chance that more students than you think are purchasing course materials outside of your campus bookstore or even deciding not to purchase their materials at all.

Many administrators don’t have the data and/or an easy method to quickly make this determination. Even if it looks like your campus bookstore sales are strong, you may have a significant percentage of students not purchasing through the bookstore, which based upon current trends will only continue to grow over time. A recurring theme of declining textbook sales and students abandoning the official campus bookstore has surfaced in our discussions with many higher education institutions.

This has been a growing issue for many schools who now see their bookstore offering low cost textbook purchases as a core service to it’s students based upon the realization that the purchase of course materials in a timely manner is directly correlated to student (and ultimately institution) success, and even future funding.

For schools interested in understanding the magnitude of this migration we’ve developed a simple tool that can help estimate the percentage of students not purchasing their textbooks through your campus bookstore and track potential student savings. An estimate of the current textbook sales through your bookstore, student full-time enrollment population and a few other data points is enough to get us started.

If you’re interested in a confidential review of your potential migration and opportunity to capture textbook sales, register here for a 1:1 consultation.

Topics: Bookstore Sales