The Direct Network

Simple Ways to Increase Sell-through in Your Online Bookstore

Posted by Joe Clarkin on Jun 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM
Topics: Higher Ed, K-12, online bookstore
If your students are shopping elsewhere to purchase their course materials, maybe it's time to remind them why your official school bookstore is the best place to get the materials they need. Here are a few easy ways to maximize your reaching-out results:
1. Make your store easy to find.

Eliminate any guesswork by putting a clearly visible, working link to your online bookstore in a prominent location on your school’s homepage. We'll provide you with a button like this one:


When you send out your email announcing your bookstore’s opening date, make sure that that includes a link as well. (If you use an email provided by MBS Direct, the link will automatically be included.)

2. Promote through different channels.

Email isn’t the only marketing option available free of charge through MBS Direct.There are a variety of print materials you can send to your students and families, including posters, postcards, bookmarks, table tents, business cards and brochures. These pieces are designed to reflect the ways you help them save, and are customized with your school name and the URL of your official bookstore.


In addition to print and emails, social media messages can increase your students’ awareness of opening dates, shipping promotions, buyback and more.

With 1.44 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 302 million monthly users on Twitter, these platforms can be a powerful tool to keep your students informed. While you can certainly post whenever the need arises (particularly for emergencies), to get the maximum impact on your scheduled posts, use these guidelines from QuickSprout:

  • Facebook: The best days to post are Thursday and Friday, between 1 and 3 pm. 
  • Twitter: The highest click-through rates on tweets are usually at 12 pm and 6 pm, on Wednesdays and weekends.
3. Highlight what makes you different.

There’s no shortage of competition out there, but unlike anonymous online vendors, you have a vested interest in the success of your students. Just as your daily focus is on providing the best learning environment for them, recommending that they order their course materials through your official bookstore ensures that they'll have the right books before class begins. And when they order through your school store, they'll also have access to customer service that's available 24/7, to lend a hand with returns, downloading digital materials and any other questions they may have. 

In addition to getting the right books on time, eligible students also have the option to use SFA vouchers when they purchase from their official school bookstore — a service that outside vendors simply can't compete with.

4. Increase convenience even more.

Consider making ordering even easier for your students by adding Courselinks and Shop by Schedule options.

Shop by Schedule:


Shop by Schedule simplifies the ordering process for students. After logging into their Online Bookstore, students will immediately see a pre-populated list of all the course materials associated with their schedule. Not only does this allow your students to spend less time ordering, but is also helps to ensure they receive the right books.



CourseLinks makes the ordering process easier for students by using basic scripting to link them directly to their course listing within your Online Bookstore so they can easily find and purchase their course materials. The flexibility of CourseLinks allows you to integrate it within the registration process, your online syllabus or anywhere in between..

5. Monitor your sell-through progress in Service Center.

Stay on top of your ordering results throughout the selling season and keep a line of communication open with your account manager to discuss ways to improve the performance of your Online Bookstore in the future. For example, by joining the Student Savings Initiative (SSI), you can directly affect the cost of course materials for your students.

For more information about any of these strategies, contact your account manager today.

About Joe Clarkin

Joe Clarkin is a former copywriter at MBS. When he’s not working or studying, you’re most likely to find him reading a book or watching a game.

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