Implementing an online bookstore to manage all of the course material logistics doesn’t mean it is necessary to get rid of the on-campus store. Campus stores can be a central location where students frequently gather to shop for spirit wear, grab coffee and snacks, and meet up with peers. Mitchell Technical Institute has partnered with us to manage their course materials while they focus on selling tools, spirit wear and other goods to support their programs, scholarships, and more.
Self-operated bookstores are becoming increasingly burdened by the complex requirements of managing course materials from negotiating prices with multiple publishers, to navigating state textbook regulations, competing with online sellers, and managing custom course packs and digital materials. Fast-evolving textbook service demands can strain staff and resources.
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.