The Direct Network

Simplified Online Bookstore Streamlines Purchasing Experience

Posted by Jason Smallheer on Dec 20, 2016 5:30:00 AM
Topics: online bookstore, student behavior, research

In a move designed to make the online shopping experience more about the customer experience, MBS Direct is redesigning the Online Bookstore with the goal of presenting the best information, at the right time, in an easy to understand layout accessible from any device. The new bookstore will be made available to all MBS partners in phases, starting in late 2016 through 2017. 

Simplified Online Bookstore Streamlines Purchasing Experience

Susan Thompson, MBS vice president of eCommerce, said the changes are based on research.

“The old home page had more than 70 links on it,” Thompson said. “Through researching analytics, we could see where people were and weren’t clicking, and we designed the new page around customer behaviors.”

Kelly Jones, MBS Direct executive director of Client Services, said the research leading up to the new design opened eyes.

“Before we didn’t understand their behavior,” Jones said, “but now we can make decisions based on data we've gathered.”

Data shows more than 30% of global eCommerce is now carried out from a mobile device.
“Because people can shop from anywhere on multiple mobile platforms, the site can scale to any device,” Thompson said. “There’s no need for a special app, it fits any screen.”

When shoppers access the new Online Bookstore, clear condensed instructions move students through the course material purchasing process.

“Within one click, the student will know they are in the right place,” Jones said. “Then we get started and smoothly guide the student.”

“The experience involves less comprehensive decision-making and fewer decisions made during the time on the site,” Thompson said. “It’s simple and welcoming; guiding you through the purchasing process.”

Thompson said the new website is a more personalized experience and provides students with key information when it is needed.

“We start by letting you know you can use your financial aid, if applicable, and the site then responds to each individual behavior,” Thompson said. “It’s more student-centric.”

“Nobody is doing it this way,” Jones said. “Before you know it, you click a button and you have course materials on the way.”

MBS President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Dampier said the new bookstore offers students a streamlined experience.

“We engaged in understanding how students use the website,” he said. “Anyone can throw up a website, but we want any student who wants to buy a product to be able to.”

The new Online Bookstore is designed to be an efficient service for the student and it's unique in its scope.

New features of the new Online Bookstore include the ability to use student financial aid for new and used textbook rentals and MBS having the ability to easily make changes to the website based on user trends.

Dampier said the new online bookstore will leave an impact on people.

“It's professional, will leave a great first impression with students, is convenient and offers an easy shopping experience,” he said. “Our customers and client schools will be able to get online, get their materials, and move on.”

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About Jason Smallheer

Jason Smallheer worked for MBS from 2016 to 2017. His diverse career includes freelance work, broadcast radio and ski resort marketing. He has a passion for sharing ideas, helping businesses grow and professional development. When not expressing himself through writing, he enjoys time with his family and being outside doing anything that can result in scuffed knees and dirty clothes.

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