News and Insights on College Textbooks, Course Materials & Bookstore Services

Akademos

Eric Choi

Recent Posts:

How Online Bookstores Allow Colleges to Conveniently Adopt, Shop, and Gain Insights

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.

How Online College 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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5 Benefits Universities See After Adopting an 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 online bookstores are an opportunity, not a challenge, for university revenue, student success, and faculty satisfaction.

Supporting College Students 24/7: Akademos’ Expanded Customer Experience Program

Visit any college dorm room in America and it becomes obvious: students don’t operate on a typical 9-5 schedule.

Instead, they’re active at all hours, and this impacts everything from when they eat to when they study and even how they shop for course materials for their classes. While most people shop online at 8pm on Monday, students may be in prime textbook buying mode at 5am on a Sunday, accommodating their social, work, and class schedule.

To help students easily find and choose the right course materials at any time, Akademos has implemented a number of customer support programs to make getting the right course materials easier and quicker than ever before.

There’s no better team member than Akademos’ Senior Customer Experience Manager, Ben Plunkett, who has been delivering stellar customer experiences for students since 2014, to explain the improvements he and his team have implemented, what it means for students, and how it helps universities support their students.

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Guaranteed Online Buyback: Akademos’ Program for Textbook Pricing Transparency

At the end of each school term, students experience plenty of stress while they study for exams, secure internships, move out of student housing, and await final grades. However, for many students, anxiety also builds over how much money they will receive for their textbooks during buybacks.

While exams and final grades are part of college life, textbook buybacks have often led to frustration and disappointment as students are surprised by the buyback value of their textbooks, oftentimes receiving pennies on the dollar of the original prices.

After speaking extensively with students and school administrators alike about buyback programs, we recognized that, not only are they a common frustration for students and universities, there’s an important factor that has gone largely overlooked:

Student estimates of future buyback prices influence when and how they obtain their course materials.

As the initial decision around textbooks occurs long before the buyback process ever begins, students cannot accurately estimate future buyback prices. This lack of transparency has left students in the dark over whether to buy used, new, or rent their materials. Some students, concerned over a potentially low or altogether absent buyback value, may even wait until later in the semester to purchase, impacting their performance and learning.

The Pace of Technological Change is Accelerating in the Course Materials Landscape

As our world grows increasingly more digital, we find that the pace of technological advancement continues to accelerate. We’re at the start of a Fourth Industrial Revolution according to Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, and we’ve arrived at the start of this new age in less than half the time it took for the Third Industrial Revolution to occur.

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