Posts tagged MBS-Verba integration
The following article was written by Gloria Mellinger for IndependentRetailer.com and provides some valuable insights on how your store can keep consumers shopping in store rather than with an online competitor.
Showrooming, the practice of consumers conducting price comparisons on a mobile device while in-store and completing their purchase online, can impact the health of both brick and mortar and e-commerce retailers. A recent study found that 45 percent of customers shopping at brick and mortar locations would walk out and complete their purchase online for a discount as low as 2.5 percent. According to GroupM Next, who conducted the study, “Showrooming & The Price Of Keeping Buyers In-Store,” this number jumps to 60 percent of shoppers who would leave the store and purchase a product online for a savings of 5 percent. When discovering an online discount of 20 percent, a small percentage of shoppers, 13 percent, would stay and complete their purchase in-store. GroupM Next conducted the study to identify the tipping point at which the in-store and online price is large enough to lure shoppers out of stores. With insights into this trend, independent retailers can better target this segment of shoppers and capture their business online or at the checkout counter.
“Consumers have shifted their path to purchase to include the store as a step, but not necessarily the final step,” says said GroupM Next CEO Chris Copeland. “This will likely continue to increase over time. Brands need to think about how showrooming can be used to their advantage to navigate would-be buyers to a checkout location, be it in-store or online…Brands that sit on either side, be it the physical store or the online merchant, have multiple opportunities with this consumer change.”
Data highlights, as reported in the whitepaper on the research, include:
- 44 percent of consumers use a mobile device to influence their purchase decision when shopping in-store.
- If the price difference in-store vs. online is more than $5, most customers will leave the store.
- The average showroomer profile includes females who are younger in age and make online purchases frequently.
- The shopper who can be most swayed to stay and complete a purchase in-store is the older male, 55 percent of whom buy online one time per month.
- Customers who interact with an associate are 12.5 percent more likely to purchase in-store.
“Finding only a small price difference elsewhere using a mobile device is enough to entice a shopper to leave the store and buy online. By employing strategies to reach this massive audience segment, brands can significantly bolster their sales at the register or take advantage of their showrooming and effectively get the sale via a branded app or online property,” notes GroupM Next Director of Research Patrick Monteleone, Ph.D. “However, nearly 10 percent of purchasers we surveyed chose to complete their purchase in-store, no matter the price discount offered. They key for marketers is to identify the next 10 percent, the group of customers that are sensitive to price, but can be swayed to stay in-store.”
The easier you make it for customers to compare prices, the more likely they are to trust your store and shop with you. Simplify the process with MBS’ new mobile app, On The Go, which puts price comparison in the palm of students’ hands. Watch a demo then talk with your MBS representative to learn more.
The following informative article offers a great perspective on upcoming trends that apply to this year’s fall rush. The information was published on InternetRetailer.com and was written by Thad Rueter, Senior Editor. Click here to view the article.
Smartphones and social networks will play prime roles in back-to-school shopping this year, according to a new survey from Deloitte LLP.
The consulting and accounting firm says that 64% of consumers with web-enabled smartphones will use the devices for back-to-school shopping; 61% will use their mobile devices to find the best prices for school products. 43% of consumers will use their smartphones to download discounts, coupons and sales information; 37% to locate a retail store; 29% to receive product information; and 25% to access a retailer’s web site.
“Price-conscious and time-constrained, consumers are navigating virtual and physical storefronts to get the information they want quickly and easily,” says Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Deloitte’s retail & distribution sector leader. “Retailers need to respond with an integrated experience. In short, they must unite the store with their online and mobile channels to enable consumers to easily access product availability, promotions and information.”
Deloitte based its findings on surveys conducted between July 5 and July 11 of 1,000 parents of children in kindergarten through the 12th grade. The survey offered no historical data about smartphone use during the back-to-school shopping season.
But Deloitte did find that more consumers will turn to social networks this year for back-to-school shopping. 35% of parents who took part in the survey plan to use social networking sites during their shopping, up from 29% last year. Most parents—69%—will use social media to sniff out promotions, while 44% will use the likes of Facebook to browse products. 28% will seek out product reviews and recommendations via social media. 12% will watch product or retailer videos, while 9% say they will use social networks to post comments and reviews about back-to-school products.
To stay up to speed on these new back-to-school trends, here are some of MBS’ suggestions:
•Integrate QR Codes onto shelf-talkers or in-store signs with additional product information. Learn how.
•Place price comparison information on your inSite e-commerce page through the MBS-Verba integration.
•Talk with your inSite Client Representative about enabling the newly enhanced mobile capabilities of your inSite page.
•Ensure your location information is easily searchable on websites such as Yelp.
In the article ‘Bricks’ Still Strong in a ‘Clicks’ World, published in NACS’ June 17 edition of the Campus Marketplace e-newsletter by Michael von Glahn, Editor of The College Store magazine, CAMEX attendees identified a list of both positive and negative issues affecting the collegiate retail industry.
Expanding on these ideas, MBS brings you a week-long series addressing several of these concerns and providing solutions as to how your store can enhance key strengths, minimize weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and reposition possible threats
Along with the near-constant changes that affect the collegiate retail industry come wonderful opportunities. Your store must be in a position to adapt ahead of the curve to not only protect your margins from emerging competitors and other challenges, but more importantly, to continue fulfilling the needs of your student customers.
As your partner, we’re here to make that goal as easy as possible to achieve. Because our primary objective is your success, we take pride in equipping your store with the retail solutions you need to stay on top of emerging trends so you can be an industry leader rather than a follower.
Here are three areas we can help enhance your operation:
Offering an online option for your students is an excellent way to extend the reach of your brand. But, you’re not the only retailer taking this approach so your e-commerce site has to stand out from the crowd.
MBS Systems inSite powers your store to effectively contend with other retailers looking to gain your student customers’ business. Our client representatives work with you to create a custom-branded site that will catch your student’s attention.
Plus, when students purchase products from your inSite page, they have the ability to return it in-store, quickly and conveniently. And, no other online retailer in the industry can offer that!
inSite allows your customers to:
•Shop online anytime
•View items and shop easily from their smartphones
•Use student financial aid
•Purchase and reserve their textbooks
•Select in-store merchandise
•Create a wish list of desired items
•Redeem loyalty points
•Share their favorite merchandise across social media sites
•Recommend merchandise with easy product reviews
Faculty members can also use the application to browse textbooks and submit adoptions through Faculty Center Network.
inSite allows your faculty to:
•Access bibliographic information on more than 900,000 textbook titles
•Seamlessly compile adoption lists
•Email adoption lists directly to your store
Many stores worry that e-commerce solutions will be difficult to implement or maintain. inSite, however, doesn’t require any extensive hardware, software, or maintenance and automatically updates any activity in all of your MBS applications.
It’s also a fully integrated part of your total store solution. Any retail activity is automatically and immediately reflected in all of your MBS applications, including your text management system, POS system and general merchandise application.
For more information on how MBS Systems inSite can help your store develop a web presence, contact email@example.com
•Opportunity: Mobile commerce
From freshmen orientation to football games, students are on the move. And now, your store can be too! Don’t wait for the traffic to come to you; bring your store to the students with the MBS iTouch POS Terminal solution.
Combining the powerful MBS POS and Electronic Payment System application with the sleek, intuitive interface of Apple’s iPod Touch, this lightweight mobile computing solution resides within an ergonomic sled that includes a scanner and magnetic strip reader.
The MBS iTouch POS Terminal provides your store with the capability to:
•Accept both credit card and gift card payments
•Wirelessly print a receipt
•Suspend transactions for line-busting
•Offer customers a more user-friendly and engaging purchase experience
Better yet, it’s easy to operate! Because the MBS iTouch POS Terminal runs the same software as the MBS POS for traditional cash registers, the device has essentially the same functionality as the MBS POS register. The MBS iTouch POS Terminal is cost-effective, as well, at as little as half the cost of other mobile POS solutions.
Contact your MBS Systems Representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how your store can go mobile.
•Opportunity: Disclosure/Price transparency
Consumers are more educated than ever before, and often shop around to find the best prices, sometimes even shopping on-line competitors while in your store. Satisfy student demands by offering price transparency and options through affiliates.
With the enhanced MBS Systems inSite Price Compare feature, your store can easily recapture students’ sales. By seamlessly integrating pricing and availability from the leading online retailers directly on your site, you can increase the chances that students will stay right where you want them.
It’s time to take back your market share! The enhanced MBS Systems inSite Price Comparison feature makes it easy to increase your competitive edge and powers your store to satisfy consumer demands by providing students with more information.
The MBS Systems inSite Price Compare feature powers your store to:
•Provide better value to students with competitive pricing
•Display your choice of affiliates
•Gain affiliate revenues for your store
•Take back your online market share
For more information on how MBS can expand your online opportunities, contact your Systems Sales Representative or send questions to email@example.com for more information.
Join us tomorrow as we detail how your store can turn possible threats into positives in our last installment of the series – don’t miss it!
In the evolving collegiate retail industry one thing is certain: students seek options. From price points to formats, offering options is now integral to your store’s success, leaving many wondering; “How do I redefine my retail strategy?”
With MBS Systems inSite, our powerful eCommerce product, the answer is simple. The platform’s enhanced Price Comparison feature now makes it easier than ever to ensure transparency with additional affiliate options, now including Verba and BookRenter.
Simplify the price comparison process through the MBS-Verba Software integration, allowing you to offer a variety of affiliates with only one contract. Seamlessly integrate real-time item listings from both your store and these online retailers so your students have no need to shop anywhere else. For more information regarding Verba Software, visit www.verbasoftware.com/mbs.
Providing yet another avenue for your store to stay competitive, our enhanced Price Comparison feature now also offers BookRenter as an additional affiliate option. Enable your students with low-cost educational content while earning up to 15% affiliate revenues with this program. For more information regarding BookRenter, visit store.bookrenter.com/mbs.
Aimed to increase your store’s competitive edge, these specific tools offer your store the ability to effectively provide greater value to students by making it easier than ever to ensure total transparency.
Power your store to stay at the forefront of the industry by taking advantage of the MBS Systems inSite Price Comparison feature. Contact your Systems Sales Consultant or send questions to Systems@MBSbooks.com for more information.
As e-commerce and social media continue to grow, one thing is clear: your customers want instant access to the information they’re looking for more than ever before. So it’s no surprise that Quick Response, or QR, codes, are quickly catching on and becoming a popular retail trend in 2011.
Scannable from any smartphone, these two-dimensional barcodes direct an audience to a
designated message, website, or other piece of digital content, and can also activate phone functions such as email, IM and SMS. Though they may look a little overwhelming, QR Codes are an easy and effective method your store can implement to meet your customers’ needs and boost sales. Don’t know how? Let us help.
The first step in any new marketing strategy is always planning. Your store should decide what the purpose of your new promotion will be, how you will implement and track your progress, and most importantly, how it will benefit your store. There are lots of options when it comes to QR Codes, so explore different methods and see which will be the best fit before deciding.
Here’s a basic checklist of questions to consider in the planning phase:
•Who is my target audience?
•What is my goal? (provide information, increase traffic, enhance customer service, increase sales)
•Where do I want to direct my code? (URL, Google Map, Contact Information, Email Address, SMS, Text, RSS Feed)
•What type of marketing materials will I put my code on?
•What tactics will I use to distribute these materials? Where will they be distributed?
•How will I track my success?
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to get to work! There’s a never-ending list of services that create QR Codes, free of charge, based on your store’s needs. You can start by searching for ‘QR Code Generator’ and browsing for your own, or go straight to the
For the more adventurous, Kerem Erkan, another code generator, allows you to explore more innovative options such as linking to your foursquare location or even encoding a specific user’s last tweet. This service also offers options for further customization with the ability to change the background and foreground colors as well as the margin size. But, ensure your code sticks to the basic formula of a light-colored background and a darker foreground. Always ensure your code is scannable by downloading a QR Reader and testing before placing on any marketing materials.
After selecting a service, simply fill in the required information prompted by the Generator to create your customized QR Code. You can save your code to the computer to print on business cards or signs, or use its permalink to embed on your website or social media site.
MBS makes it easy for you to link QR Codes to your most relevant content by supporting mobile shopping on the inSite platform.
“Your store can create QR Codes for specific products on your inSite web store, as well for any webpage,” explained Carol York, MBS Requirements Analyst.
iPhone, Android and other mobile devices are all supported, but stores should check with their inSite Client Representative for the specific URL used to create the barcode, as they may be slightly different, she advised.
Now that you’re up to speed on how to create a QR Code, here are some innovative ways to incorporate them into your store:
•Increase Your Numbers: Use services such as likify to create a QR Code that points users to a landing page containing a fully-functioning ‘Like’ button linked to your Facebook Page, or direct students to your opt-in webpage to sign up even more participants in your Loyalty Program.
•Talk the Talk: Create customized shelf-talkers for your most popular textbook titles to provide students with a seamless experience. By linking these QR Codes to your inSite page, complete with MBS-Verba Software Integration, your students will be able to see real-time price comparisons between your store and top competitors so they don’t have to shop around. This strategy greatly increases customer loyalty and keeps the sale in your store, providing commission on any competitor sales.
•Answer Questions: Have a large store? Give your students the customer service they deserve by posting stations in various high-traffic areas with text reading, “Have a Question? Scan Me!” Direct your code to load a phone number into the students’ phone, allowing them to call a specific help line equipped with a dedicated customer service employee who can answer their questions. This approach reduces customer frustrations and takes stress off sales floor employees who may be occupied at that moment.
•Extend Your Hours: Create a QR Code on a window cling instructing students to ‘Shop Online Now’ and hang it on your front display or door. Students arriving after closing will then be able to scan the code, directing them to your e-commerce inSite page. This lets
them easily locate the product they need, converting an otherwise passive consumer, who would have likely gone on to the next store, to take immediate action with the power to make a purchase.
•Green Your Product Information: Kirkwood Community College Bookstore uses QR Codes as an eco-friendly alternative to take-away flyers. The store decided to save some trees by marketing their electronic products with QR Codes that allow smartphone users to view spec. sheets as well as product information on a bookmarked webpage from their mobile device.
Check back tomorrow for a financially savvy strategy that will save your store money on QR code marketing! A new summer discount is available to businesses and we’re giving you all the info you need to take advantage of this great deal!
Portland Community College Bookstore strives to support the college mission by providing exceptional service, reasonably priced items and an overall desire to help students in any way they can. However, with 4 metropolitan campuses, their mission is no easy task. That’s why, for the past 19 years, they have worked alongside MBS to stay on the cutting edge and expand their store with the latest technology.
“We originally chose MBS because they had the best products for a multi-campus environment,” explained Laurie Bales, bookstore manager. “Now, with a student credit FTE of over 26,000, our business has fortunately grown quickly. MBS has proven to be able to help us navigate this growth and become more efficient and effective.”
To best meet the needs of their large student body, the store implements only the most innovative programs and services. “We use inSite for the web and faculty adoptions, and were part of a pilot program, offered at only 10 schools in the nation, when eBooks were first introduced,” she said. “Our online presence has helped us serve our distance learning students better.”
Even with these in place, PCC Bookstore still has to be mindful of growth and maintaining the capacity to service any increase in demand. That’s why one of their main concerns is finding new ways to continually bring value to the institution as course materials evolve.
A suite of MBS Systems solutions, including TextAid, T2, A/R, GM and GL modules, as well as the touch screen MBS POS terminals, have helped the store overcome this issue. In fact, with these applications in place, PCC Bookstore found compliance with HEOA to be relatively easy using the MBS system. “We were already in a position to offer students the information they needed for their course materials and the costs associated with them,” added Bales.
Additionally, the store incorporates MBS programs to assist in its sustainability initiative, using One Planet Books to recycle titles not purchased at buyback. They then donate all commission earned on those books to the Phi Theta Kappa chapter on campus.
Based on their continued success, PCC Bookstore now considers MBS to be a strategic partner in accomplishing their long-term goals. “While each store will always have their own priorities, MBS listens and prioritizes their users’ needs. They are receptive and responsive, which makes a good partner,” Bales explained.
Moreover, as a store that prides itself on innovation, PCC Bookstore upholds the same values as MBS. “MBS devotes a lot of resources to research and has a proven track record in innovation. They aren’t satisfied to rest on their laurels; they continue to look to the future and what’s coming next. ” she said. “inSite, rental programs, hosted websites, Xplana, Mobile POS, and partnerships with companies like Verba are just some of these examples.”
The same can clearly be said for PCC Bookstore who, even with their current retail success, is always looking for further ways to improve. “We want to position ourselves to be relevant through product mix, convenience, and being a resource for our campus community,” Bales added. “From network constraints to online offerings and knowledgeable staff, we need to continue to evaluate our position.”
To other college retailers looking for ways to enhance their store’s success, Bales suggests attending the annual MBS Systems Users Symposium offered every fall. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for store staff to learn and network,” she explained.
As for the future, PCC Bookstore has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Next, they plan to pursue some of MBS’s newest online solutions. “We are seriously investigating using the MBS Hosting Model, to remove our store back-office server. This service will ultimately save us time, money and worry! Updates will be done automatically, security will be ensured and maintenance costs should go down,” said Bales. “We are also investigating mobile POS. The opportunity for us to go to events on campus and sell bookstore items would be a big asset.”
To implement any of these Systems and Wholesale services in your store, talk with your MBS representative or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. To Pre-Register for this year’s Symposium, click here.