The Direct Network

Build Loyalty by Offering Students Options

Posted by Liz Schulte on Mar 14, 2018 5:30:00 AM
Topics: Marketplace, online bookstore, student savings

Price comparison is a regular part of consumers’ lives. Students and families may start their search for course materials in your online bookstore, but the temptation to go outside of the school to make their purchase is ever-present.  This can lead to numerous problems: students receiving the wrong materials, deliveries being delayed until weeks after classes have started and identity theft from untrustworthy sites. Offering price comparisons in your online bookstore not only keeps customers from leaving, it saves them time and money.

Build Loyalty by Offering Students OptionsPeople are used to searching out the best deals — 81% of shoppers research purchases before making them. Often what looks like a great deal on the surface isn’t actually the case. Companies have come under scrutiny for deceptively inflating prices so consumers appear to be saving more. However, 49% of millennials and 43% of Generation Z still compare prices before making a purchase. By providing a fair and honest way for students to see the various options available to them, the school protects them from being misled and creates a relationship of trust.

“The biggest selling point of MBS Direct is [price comparison feature] Marketplace. I have two sons who are in college. I have seen colleges that offer Marketplace and those who don’t. When the college didn’t offer Marketplace, I didn’t go to the bookstore unless I couldn’t find it elsewhere,” Kyle Edgemon, All Saints Episcopal School head of upper school, said. “But with the school that did have it, we went there first and we were able to compare and go.”

One of the main benefits of offering price comparison is the substantial savings it provides students. While many students will find exactly what they need in your online bookstore, price-conscious individuals will be grateful for more choices. By offering a variety of formats such as print, used, rental and digital as well as a price comparison tool, you will better serve all of the student population.

“MBS Direct is giving students more choices,” Tricia Bausinger, bookstore director at Lycoming College, said. “You have the new book, you have the used book, you have the rental book — new and used. You can rent digital format. [The site] takes you to the campus Marketplace. If it’s a book that MBS takes back, it’s going to give you a Guaranteed Buyback. So, for me, it means everything’s right there for them.”

How to get students the right course materials

About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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