On average, students spend over $1,200 annually on textbooks and course materials. Since online retailers now offer discounted prices, it is no wonder why this generation of learners look to various vendors for their course materials. There is still an opportunity for campus bookstores to offer reliability and convenience for students. Here are five tips bookstore managers can implement to get students through the doors and into the check-out line.
Run “themed” Sales
Each home game, homecoming weekend, or special occasion is an opportunity to offer a themed sale. The first week of each semester, discount supplies such as notebooks, pens, and calculators. Since parents and alumni flock to universities on weekends, consider offering occasional Saturday and Sunday sales on apparel. Be consistent with your discounts so that students stay on the lookout for money-saving opportunities.
Host Open Houses
Here’s a fun way to attract students to your bookstore, and give them a reason to return more frequently. Every month, hold open house events to raise student awareness on the learning materials you offer, and increase community engagement. We all know that students love free food and entertainment–plan to offer refreshments, fun activities, and giveaways.
Offer Unique and Affordable Textbook Options
High textbook prices exacerbate the financial stress placed on college students. If there aren’t incentives for students to purchase their course materials from the campus bookstore, they will shop elsewhere or skip out on purchasing materials altogether. With customizable course packs, students get unique materials that match the quality of traditional textbooks, but at a fraction of the retail cost. For students in need of a “course in a box” textbook, offer a buyback book program at the end of each semester. Then you can sell the used books at a discounted rate during the next term.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Spread the word out about your store’s unique offerings. Maintain a consistent posting schedule and use social media to not just promote sales and products, but as a way to engage with your customers. Launch polls, request product reviews, and ask opinions on what products should be stocked in-store or online.
Provide Excellent Customer Experiences
The buying process should be quick and simple, both online and in-store. Important products like course materials should be kept in an easy to find, centralized location. It is also a good idea to forecast how much of each material will be needed. If you run out of books too early in the semester, students will have no choice but to shop online.
Download our infographic as a quick guide on how to increase foot traffic in your bookstore.
To learn more about our solutions for campus bookstores, visit xanedu.com/bookstores