Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Connect with Your Customers for Continued Contact

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 12/16/16 5:30 AM

The university bookstore is going through an evolution. Once known as “the place” to pick up course materials and spirit goods, regular visits to the bookstore have dropped to only two to four times per year per student, solely for textbook purchases and buyback.

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Important Millennial Shopping Trends Your Store Needs to Know

Posted by Dean Asher on 9/8/16 5:00 AM

Retail experts believe consumers aged 18-34  will spend a combined $200 billion annually beginning next year. That's some serious business, so how well do you understand how your customers choose to shop?

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Easy Ways to Market Your Store that Cost Little to Nothing

Posted by Dean Asher on 8/16/16 5:00 AM

Do you wish you had more of a marketing budget? Are you doing what you can to promote your store with social media and the occasional campus newspaper ad, but want to find ways to get the word out without breaking the bank or overburdening your staff? It's easier than you think.

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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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Easy Ways to Increase Referrals and Word of Mouth

Posted by Kate Seat on 6/17/16 11:02 AM

Advertising your store can be time-consuming and expensive. Instead of using traditional methods, why not let your customers spread the word for you? Since you're already providing exceptional service and the items people want to buy, using word of mouth to your advantage is simply a matter of giving your customers the right outlet to share their experiences.

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Randolph-Macon Earns Loyalty with Revamped Program

Posted by Dean Asher on 6/13/16 5:00 AM

Like many stores, the Randolph-Macon Campus Store had a loyalty program. Students earned points on applicable purchases, which they could use to go online within a year of earning the points to create an order for gift cards, in $5 increments. The store would then create the gift certificate in-store on its POS, which they'd either mail to students or send the students an email letting them to know they could pick it up themselves. Those gift cards also had a one-year shelf life before expiring.

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3 Window Display Ideas You Can Try at Your Store

Posted by Dean Asher on 6/8/16 5:30 AM

For artistically-inclined bookstore staff, window displays can be a really fun way to get creative and express yourself and your store. For others, they're far less fun — chores full of arranging merchandise and mannequins in a way that never seems to come together. Regardless of how you feel about them, however, window displays are a necessary part of running a retail operation. By catching customers' eyes and showcasing what you have to offer, they can make or break a potential sale before it even happens. 

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Turning Customers into Brand Ambassadors for Your Store

Posted by Kate Seat on 4/20/16 2:00 AM

Take a moment and visualize your typical customer.

On any given day, who would you expect to see walk through the door? Students, coming in to pick up books, supplies or a quick snack? Or, during slower times throughout the year, maybe you and your employees interact more with faculty or staff members, stopping in on their way to their offices or during a lunch break.

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Why Gift Registries Work for College Stores

Posted by Kate Seat on 4/6/16 12:00 AM

When you think of the word “registry,” what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you associate gift registries with major life events like weddings or the arrival of a new baby. Registries are a convenient way to let loved ones know what items are needed without having to explicitly ask for them, which is why they work so well for those big rites of passage.

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April 2016: Customer Loyalty Month

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 4/1/16 11:01 AM

In the college bookstore, loyalty doesn’t have to be an intangible concept that you can’t quite quantify. For a store like yours, there are few, if any, things more valuable than repeat customers who show a consistent desire to come back to you first, ahead of your competitors. Whatever their reason is – be it your wider selection, friendly service staff, etc. – your store is in a position to reward your customers for their continued loyalty, and you can dole out those rewards in a number of ways.

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