Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Customer Service Report — Spoiler Alert: It Matters!

Posted by Kate Seat on 7/22/16 7:00 AM

Providing great, responsive customer service can be the deciding factor in whether potential customers choose your store over your competitors and if they'll become repeat shoppers. While most customers may prefer traditional channels of communication like phone and email, social media is becoming more and more popular as a form of contact.

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Three Features Your POS Needs to Have

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/21/16 5:00 AM

Your POS is important to your store. It's your lifeline at the counter, allowing you to quickly and efficiently process sales and look up information for your customers. But the days of POS systems being glorified cash registers are long gone. Now it's no longer a point of sale — it's a full-blown point of service. With that in mind, college retail POS systems provide a lot of different features to your store. Retail Minded broke down some of the must-have features that your store needs to look for in a POS solution.

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Eight Ways to Prep Your eCommerce Store for the New Term

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/20/16 10:00 AM

Rush is upon us. You’re making sure inventory is accounted for, stocking shelves, scheduling employees for peak hours and putting out the best and brightest new items on prominent display. It’s usually hectic and stressful, but you have your method down to make things roll as smoothly as possible.

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How Managing Your Brand In-store and Online Can Strengthen Sales for Both

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/19/16 5:00 AM

It can be easy to think of your brick-and-mortar store and your eCommerce platform as two separate entities. While they're obviously both part of your store and feature the same inventory, they exist in different spaces, have their own advantages and attract customers who shop in different ways. However, experts find that you can't truly achieve your true potential for success in your physical or web store without using one to properly leverage the other. According to Retail Customer Experience, the best way to do this is by making sure your brand personality is consistent across all channels.

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Quick Tips for Stronger Faculty Relationships [Download]

Posted by Kate Seat on 7/18/16 7:00 AM

Whether they know it or not, the faculty members at your school play a crucial role in the success of your business. By implementing a few savvy strategies, you can encourage helpful feedback, establish a routine of prompt adoptions and inspire devoted on-campus ambassadors.

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How an App Can Help Students Find a Better Fit for Their Major

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/15/16 7:00 AM

It's no surprise that students don't always find the perfect fit for a program of study their first time out. Unfortunately for many students, they may respond to this problem by leaving to take time off or abandoning their studies all together — for their success and your school's retention rates, that's hardly an ideal way to handle things. In a partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Blackboard is unveiling apps and tools intended to make it easier, less intimidating and more intuitive for your students to find alternatives and avoid dropping out.

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How Pikachu Can Help Your Store Earn More Sales

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/14/16 5:00 AM

Nintendo's latest app has taken the world by storm. If you haven't heard, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality geolocation app, where users can use their mobile device's camera to wander around their campuses and communities in search of popular Pokemon characters hidden throughout the world at various parks, streets, businesses and landmarks.

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Images to Help Make Marketing to Students Easier [Download]

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/13/16 5:00 AM

Foreword Online is proud of its long history of helping stores promote themselves to succeed and help students save. That said, social media can really change a lot in a short amount of time. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter redesign their users' profiles, adjust their algorithms to make it harder for businesses to reach prospective customers without paying for advertising and even do some seemingly minor things that can really change the way a business promotes itself, like change the optimized size of their profile images.

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How to Use Twitter for Customer Service

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 7/12/16 4:00 AM

As you probably know by now, social media is an excellent tool for interacting with customers on a personal level. It allows you to speak directly to customers no matter where they are. Twitter, in particular, is great for having a quick back and forth with people who follow you, because of its 140 character limit. This makes it great not just for promoting a bookstore event, but for handling customer service. In his post for Hootsuite, Joe Wadlington explains precisely how you can utilize Twitter in this way:

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Gray's College Bookstore Puts a New Spin on "Cash or Credit?"

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 7/11/16 4:00 AM

Incentivizing students to participate in your buyback can often be a tricky thing. Maybe they think they can get a better deal elsewhere. Maybe they’re planning on giving their books to a friend. Maybe they assume their books are worth so little that it’s not even worth stopping by the buyback counter. Finding ways to appeal to them can be hard with all these forces outside of a store’s control, especially since most stores are dependent on a robust buyback in order to make sure their shelves are stocked with the right titles the following term.

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