How a Managed Online Bookstore Can Create New Revenue Opportunities

It’s safe to say that changes in student purchasing behavior, in course material options, and in technology have disrupted many college bookstores, a once-stable revenue source for textbook sales. Bookstore earnings are down by as much as 35% at colleges and universities and P&L statements show an increasingly common theme: administrators need to find a solution to the issue of declining revenues.

A number of possible options can help. One solution that allows universities to regain the income lost to online competitors like Amazon while also creating new opportunities for profitability and cost savings is the online bookstore model. By transitioning the college bookstore to a centralized online model for adoptions, purchasing, and access, schools can free up valuable physical space, provide a single platform for physical and digital course materials, and get deeper insights into bookstore and course material utilization. With an online bookstore partner, many operational tasks—from inventory ordering to logistics to customer support and even buyback programs—can be delegated, enabling university staff to focus on higher-level strategic goals.

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Where Are College Bookstores Headed? Get the 2019 Report

At many college bookstores, revenues from textbooks and course materials continues to shrink every year – something that's already well known but proven to be difficult to fix. With competition from online giants like Amazon and a digital transformation in course materials, university administrators need new strategies to improve sales while continuing to meet student needs.

The brand new 2019 College Business Officers Survey we just completed reveals how higher ed institutions plan to meet these challenges with innovative, low-cost, digital options.

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September 27, 2019 | by Eric Choi |

How Managed Online Bookstores Lower Costs for Colleges and Students

As access to affordable higher education has become more important to the success of both students and colleges, skyrocketing textbook prices have often faced scrutiny as one of the roadblocks to success and have inspired a search for multiple solutions.

Ironically, textbooks have gone from being perceived as a main offender to one of the main opportunities for reducing higher education costs. Through innovation and technology, affordable course materials can be made available to all students while universities can reduce or eliminate many of the costs associated with acquiring and distributing course material content. Ultimately, online bookstores are rapidly gaining acceptance as a way to generate cost savings, a win-win that helps ensure prepared students and healthier university financials (learn more about the 5 benefits universities see after adopting an online bookstore).

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How Managed Online Bookstores Allow Colleges to Conveniently Adopt & Shop

If you’ve noticed life as a consumer has changed over the past decade, the transformation can be traced to one word: convenience.

It’s why Amazon has one-click purchasing, Instagram is now shoppable, and retail stores have implemented easy cashier-less checkouts. Consumer expectations have transformed at a rapidly accelerating pace—and university bookstores and their customers are not exempt from this desire for convenience.

Even as shopping becomes more accessible from wherever, whenever, many brick-and-mortar college bookstores have struggled to keep up with the pace of change: it’s one of the reasons why bookstore sales are down by as much as 35%.

As universities continue to find ways to evolve with their students to ensure student success and retention, the model of an online bookstore managed through a partner is becoming a clear and convenient solution.

With 24/7 availability, expanded selection of inventory, lower costs, and convenient ordering and shipping, online bookstores are allowing universities to focus on meeting faculty and student needs when it comes to course materials and their effectiveness  (learn more about the 5 benefits universities see after adopting an online bookstore).

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How Managed Online Bookstores Create Greater Visibility & Access

Dozens of variables impact how well a college student learns and retains information, and the most obvious factors are the textbook and course materials the student uses.

But until recently, it's been difficult to make a connection between course material content and student success. Knowing if a student has obtained a textbook, let alone opened it, is something that faculty and administrators have largely been unable to monitor or measure.

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August 22, 2019 | by Eric Choi | in Online Bookstore, Course Materials

5 Benefits Universities See After Adopting a Managed Online Bookstore

The basic concepts taught in Physics 101 or Intro to English Lit might have gone largely unchanged for several years, but make no mistake: there are massive changes occurring within the textbook and course materials landscape.

With new expectations from students, faculty, and administrators, paired with advances in technology, course materials have transformed, disrupting the status quo. When it comes to how students obtain and interact with their course materials and how faculty and administrators adopt and distribute this content, the university bookstore is at the forefront of this disruption.

With more universities transitioning to an online or hybrid bookstore from a traditional physical bookstore, many educators want to understand what’s driving this change and what this means for their university and student success.

Here are 5 key benefits that show how managed online bookstores are an opportunity, not a challenge, for university revenue, student success, and faculty satisfaction.

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