The Direct Network

Three Ways an Online Bookstore Saves Money

Posted by Liz Schulte on Jul 14, 2017 5:30:00 AM
Topics: Higher Ed, online bookstore, eCommerce

Practical ways to decrease overhead while increasing productivity are rare, but that is exactly what an online bookstore provides. For a growing number of schools, the costs associated with maintaining a physical bookstore outweigh the benefit — especially when it can be done with virtually no risk or inconvenience.

3 Ways an Online Bookstore Saves Money

The juggernaut that is eCommerce continues to grow and ordering online is regular part of life. Consumers expect a variety of choices, easily navigable websites and around-the-clock customer service. Anything less results in people looking for another site that can fill their immediate needs.

In a world of shrinking enrollment and budgets, how are schools supposed to keep up with the growing demands? Outsourcing your online bookstore is a solution that saves time, cuts costs and maintains a great level of service without breaking the bank. 

Three ways to save with an online bookstore

  1. Low overhead — The most obvious savings that comes with an outsourced online bookstore is inventory. Rather than having to purchase and house course materials that students may or may not purchase, the store location can be used in any manner that makes sense for your school
    "One of the things that attracted us to the online model was that we no longer had to carry the inventory ourselves," said Tanya Ostlie, University of Jamestown bookstore manager. "With many publishers moving toward custom titles these days, it was becoming more difficult to purchase and avoid being stuck with stock in the end, as returns on those titles are often limited."
  1. Student options — A good online bookstore needs to provide students with a quick and easy experience ordering their course materials. It should also provide options. That way students can have the format of their choice and look for budget-friendly options. With MBS Direct’s Online Bookstore students can shop their schedule, take advantage of cost-savings options, have access to print and digital titles and use their student financial aid to purchase their course materials, further easing the immediate financial burden on them (6 Ways Students Can Benefit From an Online Bookstore)
    “It’s great to have more options,” Sandra Koetting, Lincoln University CFO “Whether it’s rental, new, used or the Marketplace, students need options they can use their financial aid with.”
  2. Increased productivity — Having an online bookstore with a large out-of-house support system frees up staff to focus on the tasks they need to complete. Rather than worrying about details involved with finding the correct number of books with the most cost-savings options possible available, you can let MBS Direct take care of it. We also offer around-the-clock customer service. These services enable your institution to run smoother with the confidence that students will have the materials they need in time for class 
    “The other great thing about this, too, and having MBS Direct and being able to keep it under the MBS umbrella and in the family, is that it’s enabled us to stay an independent bookstore,” Tricia Bausinger, Lycoming College’s bookstore director, said. “I have that peace of mind, knowing that the kids are still going to be taken care of as far as their required textbooks and we have the freedom to order the merchandise we want, and it’s still owned and operated by Lycoming College.”
Some schools have chosen to eliminate their physical store completely, whereas others have chosen to just sell books online while retaining their brick-and-mortar location for spirit wear. Regardless of how you do it, online bookstores are a great and easy way to save the school and the student money.

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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