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 or adding a managed online bookstore to their course material strategy, 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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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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August 5, 2019 | by Sara Erdos | in Online Bookstore

Bethel College Chooses Akademos as a Full-Service Online Platform to Offer Significant Cost Savings to Students

At the start of every term, college students are faced with the challenge of buying their textbooks and course materials, hopefully prior to the first day of class and without emptying their wallets. Unfortunately, many students will forgo buying their materials because of the high cost and uncertainty they will actually be used. Faculty and administration alike understand how important it is for students to be prepared with all materials on or before the first day of class and are making strides to assure barriers to purchase are removed.

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August 1, 2019 | by Eric Choi | in College Bookstore

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.

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Inclusive Access: How It Impacts University Revenue and Student Success

Prior to the Internet and eCommerce capabilities, college students had limited choices when it came to obtaining their textbooks: they either bought textbooks and course materials from the campus bookstore or they went without, the latter a somewhat unlikely choice given the relative affordability of textbooks in the past.

Fast forward to more recent history and, while most students can still buy from the campus bookstore, off-campus retailers like Amazon, eBay, and other platforms have captured more and more textbook sales by offering students lower prices and more convenient shopping options.

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