Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



How Can Honesty Make Your Marketing More Powerful?

Posted by Lori Reese on 9/17/18 8:00 AM

Let’s be real. Marketing isn’t exactly a field known for honesty. In fact, most people associate the work with obfuscation, dissembling and hyperbole. And those are gentle terms. Some folks just say marketing is nice word for lying. As it turns out, research shows young people are increasingly wary of anything that resembles spin — and companies have caught onto that, developing campaigns that illicit trust with unvarnished appeals. Collegiate stores might consider using similar forms of extreme honesty when reaching out to students. Such campaigns often win a surge of long-term, loyal customers.  

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Publishing Executives Weigh in on Enhancing Student Affordability

Posted by Liz Schulte on 9/10/18 6:30 AM

The demand for an education that is affordable, accessible and personalized is driving innovation and creating new opportunities for students to save money on the course materials vital to their collegiate success. Publisher rentals are the latest industry solution that emerged from student-driven conversations about the effect of course materials on their educational experience.

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3 Ways You Need to Reach Faculty About Adoptions

Posted by Lori Reese on 9/5/18 5:30 AM

In my first week at MBS, I told a colleague something about faculty adoptions that stunned him. He was writing a blog about why it’s essential for bookstores to get all their adoptions in early.

“Impossible,” I said.

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9 Ways to Keep the Back-to-School Rush Going

Posted by Kate Seat on 9/4/18 6:00 AM

Just because things slow down once school begins doesn't mean you have to accept slower sales! By taking a proactive approach and scheduling a mix of fun events throughout the semester, you can expand your customers' perception of your store from "just" the place to pick up their course materials to a year-round staple. Here are some easy ways to get started:

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Snapchat: 10 Seconds to Create a Lasting Impression

Posted by Liz Schulte on 8/30/18 5:30 AM

After combing through the dark, dusty, digital corners of the internet, I have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for turning your Snapchat account into a must follow for students, alumni, and faculty and staff.

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Spotlight VP Human Resources Jerome Rader: Hiring for Rush

Posted by Lori Reese on 8/27/18 5:30 AM

Finding excellent seasonal employees is one of the greatest challenges college stores face. Bookstore jobs require intelligence, commitment and solid customer service skills. What’s the best way to attract good workers?

Each year MBS hires more than 500 temporary employees for rush. We sat down with MBS Vice President of Human Resources Jerome Rader to discuss recruiting tips and tricks — as well as potential red flags in the hiring process. With 27 years of MBS HR experience, Rader offers a wealth of expertise for college retailers.

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Beacons in Retail: What You Need to Know

Posted by Liz Schulte on 8/23/18 5:30 AM

A customer walks into your store, eyes glued to their phone. Barely acknowledging the employee’s greeting, they wander through the store briefly before leaving without making a purchase. This is common in retail. Consumers are distracted, and it is hard to get their attention. That’s where smart beacons can change the store’s interaction with the customer, making the experience better for both.

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How to Avoid the Retail Race to the Bottom

Posted by Liz Schulte on 8/22/18 5:30 AM

You are five minutes late to meet a friend, but you also have to pick up a couple things before the store closes. You rush inside the store, hoping to get in and out quickly. Immediately you are greeted by rows of overstuffed shelves with more merchandise that you can take in at a glance. You scan the store looking for someone to help you or a sign pointing you in the way you need to go. You only see flashy, red sale signage and uninterested faces. Already late, you squeeze your way through the aisles searching for the few things that you needed to pick up. Your phone rings. It’s your friend asking where you are. You shove the items you managed to find onto the shelves and leave because you don’t have time to deal with it right now.

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Just Say Please

Posted by Lori Reese on 8/21/18 5:30 AM

Discovering what satisfies customers can be as simple as self-reflection. Young and old, we want courteous, swift service that meets a need, slakes a thirst or fulfills a desire. We also want shopping to be fun, and we want associates to be personable and informed. However, knowing when and how a customer experience has gone awry is complicated.

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The Return on Rental

Posted by Liz Schulte on 8/20/18 5:30 AM

A growing number of students are choosing not to purchase their course materials because of the cost associated with them. The practice causes the problems one would expect: more student stress as their grades take a hit, teacher frustration at students not being prepared and a lot of finger-pointing from everyone. The students blame the bookstore and the school. The bookstore could have had better prices on inventory if the faculty had their adoptions in on time. The faculty, in turn, are unaware of how their role can impact the cost to the student. Few people outside of the college store understand the whole process beginning to end — but everyone has an opinion. People want more cost-savings options. After new, used and digital course materials, what’s left? Rental.

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