A new Online Bookstore being rolled out to MBS Direct partner schools during 2017 was redesigned from the ground up with the goal of efficiently and effectively communicating with students, providing them with the course materials they need when they need them.
MBS Direct President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Dampier said learning how students shop online helped with the design of the Online Bookstore.
“We learned where students go online and how they are shopping,” he said. “We want people to have an optimal experience regardless of whether they are shopping on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.”
The University of Jamestown Bookstore has been using the MBS Direct Online Bookstore due to its ease of use, expansive inventory and the level of comfort students have purchasing course materials online. However, no student is unique, and a complicated shopping process can result in a student either shopping elsewhere or not purchasing their course materials at all.
Susan Thompson, MBS Textbook Exchange vice president of eCommerce says the Online Bookstore is a customer service solution designed with the student experience in mind.
“The personalized experience begins when the student identifies themselves with their student ID and is brought to a screen showing their classes and required course materials,” she said. “The experience is completely tailored to their school, their schedule and their needs.”
Kelly Jones, MBS Executive director of client services said the new Online Bookstore increases the odds of students purchasing their course materials due to guidance.
“We hold their hands through the entire process,” she said. “This is unique to MBS Direct.”
Some websites make students comb their way through a lot of data to pick their classes, class locations, then decide which items are required or optional for the course, increasing frustration and the odds of mistakes being made during the ordering process.
“People want to get through this process quickly and easily,” Thompson said. “The new site tells the user what they need to know when they need to know it.”
The new Online Bookstore has intelligence built in, making small changes in the purchase process based on student behaviors. If the student indicates they are using financial aid for their purchases, the system will not ask for payment information unless the purchase amount exceeds the financial aid limit.
Dampier said the MBS Direct Online Bookstore is more than a new look.
“It’s a state-of-the-art system, a total package of engaging with the student,” he said.