How to Win Students Back to the College Bookstore

Institutions are Gaining a Winning Edge by Transitioning to a
Virtual Course Materials Platform

Between 2006 and 2016, the cost of college textbooks increased by 73%, which was over four times the rate of inflation. (1)  Today, with individual textbook costs climbing to hundreds of dollars each, it should be no surprise that many students are looking outside of the school-sanctioned bookstore to find affordable sources when buying their course materials or, worse, not buying them at all. If college and university leaders hope to meet the growing needs of their student populations and scale for an increasingly digital future, they’ll need to address these trends.  

From Bookstore to Course Materials Platform (CMP)

As the availability and viability of digital course materials grow, the demands of and services provided by the college bookstore need to change. To be effective, the campus bookstore can no longer be just a retail store on campus. It must transform into a complete educational platform and best-in-class service that directly supports an institution’s core mission of driving student success.

In addition to supporting all of an institution’s academic programs and traditional textbook adoptions, the bookstore will also need to play an essential role in online content and delivery, and provide seamless access to all stakeholders including students, academic leadership, faculty, administration, and publishers.

By transforming the concept of the college bookstore to a more comprehensive, Course Materials Platform (CMP) ™ colleges can successfully compete and retain their student business by providing wider variety of course material at lower costs, with immediate access and superior customer service.  

Bookstore to CMP 2


What is a Course Materials Platform?

A Course Materials Platform is a complete educational platform that provides students with a variety of ways to obtain both print materials (new, used, and rental) and digital content  (from static to fully immersive, the use of access codes and more). It allows institutions to manage the ordering, delivery and tracking of course materials use through an online platform that is designed to address current needs and trends, while planning for the needs of an increasingly digital future. Because the platform is digitally based, it also provides institutions with a wealth of valuable information.  

When effectively implemented, everyone benefits from the use of a CMP.

Students benefit because a CMP allows them to:

  • automatically see a personalized view of their courses and assigned materials
  • select their materials in less than five minutes
  • pay with a variety of options including financial aid and campus cards
  • open their digital materials immediately following their purchases
  • arrange speedy delivery of print materials, at lower costs or free of charge
  • pay with a variety of options including financial aid

Faculty and administrators benefit from:

  • a wider selection of course materials
  • easy-to-use adoption tools
  • the ability to compare real-time prices for course materials
  • a comprehensive platform that, when integrated with an institution’s LMS and SIS, results in:
    • the assessment of persistence risks via alerts when students don’t access their course materials
    • actionable data that can be used to make more informed decisions on future faculty adoptions

Greater Importance as the Use of Digital Course Materials Rises

In our latest eBook, The Future of Course Materials is Now, we revealed that 56% of academic leaders that we recently surveyed  predict that the majority of course materials at their institution will be digital within four years. A Course Materials Platform makes this transition to digital course materials easier and can bring students back to the college-sanctioned bookstore.

To learn more about how a Course Materials Platform can benefit your institution, please request a copy of The Future of Course Materials is Now, or contact us for more information.

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Course Materials Platform College Bookstore

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