Operating a campus store can be a complex task, especially when it comes to providing textbooks and course materials. From managing adoptions to working with publishers to the logistics of inventory, back orders, and returns, it can be immensely difficult to ensure that every textbook is made available to students in multiple formats, at an affordable price. College students are some of the most price-sensitive shoppers in the world, so it comes as no surprise that textbook revenues at the campus bookstore continue to decline as students shop around. Losing students to other shopping platforms causes wasted time and resources and hurts institutional programs that depend on bookstore revenue. In addition, when students purchase outside the campus bookstore, the school loses important information on student preparedness that can be used as a data point to analyze retention and graduation rates.
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.
Recently, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette made headlines for a $1,000 eBook. The access code for an introductory accounting course was purposefully priced at almost 4x the cost of the printed textbook. Criticism of the university and publisher spread quickly over social media, accusing them of price manipulation and scamming students into more debt. UL-Lafayette’s response did not do much to assuage anger, causing much disbelief that the institution acted on “good intentions.” Even further providing fuel for the fire when the price of the digital version was changed to match the print version and not significantly lower like most digital texts.
My student loan balance is over $20,000. I don’t own a home, have kids, or go on vacations. I have too much credit card debt and not enough savings. I am 37. I am one of the 44 million Americans struggling with the financial hardships of getting a college degree, delaying and even refraining from participating in the life milestones that keep the economy functioning. Since the year 2000, the economy has gone through two recessions, wages of college grads continually decreased, lowering lifetime earning potential, and college costs steadily increased – the single largest increase in higher education costs is textbook prices.