Transitioning to an online bookstore is a big deal. You know it's designed to be more convenient and cost-effective for everyone, but it is still going to be a significant change for your school. There are some questions you are going to want to ask yourself to make sure the choice you're making is the right one.
1. What will happen to my current bookstore employees?
One of the greatest concerns for schools going online is thinking their bookstore employees will be rendered obsolete. So whether you want them focus on previous responsibilities or if they're going to be spending their time doing something new, you'll want to have a plan in place.
2. What are we going to do with our bookstore space?
An online bookstore does eliminate the need for a physical bookstore. All of your inventory and shipping needs will be handled by your new provider. Fortunately, there are several options for your bookstore's space.
3. Are my students, parents and faculty prepared for this transition?
Some people might be hesitant to changing the way they shop or perform back-office tasks. When confronting these hesitations, outline the convenience and ease an online bookstore provides.
4. How much will the school be saving?
Not only is it important to ensure an online bookstore does not harm your budget, you should consider having a plan in place for how to allocate the money saved.
5. How much will students/families be saving?
This is a common reason for schools to choose an online bookstore in the first place, so you'll want to make sure you're getting what you're promised. If you don't, you know you can expect to hear about it from aggrieved students or parents that will question why the change was made.
6. How much control will we have over this online store?
You are sure to give up some control by partnering with an online bookstore provider. Retaining the ability to make some of your own decisions is crucial to a successful transition. Keeping some control enables you to serve as a communication point between your students/families and your provider.
Originally posted August 13, 2015