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Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

MBS Solutions Series: Reposition Threats

Posted by admin on 7/14/11 11:00 PM
Topics: textbook rental, college retail, MBS Systems Loyalty Module, brick and mortar stores, MBS Solutions Series, MBS Rental, fighting competition

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.

Industries are dynamic entities shaped by steady change and trends that seemingly move out of favor almost as fast as they penetrate the market. The college bookstore and retail environment is no different and many external variables contribute to its liveli­ness.

Changes in technology, government legislation, new competitors, more educa­tional opportunities—these are just some of the factors that can threaten your business.

As your partner, we’re here to locate these threats and translate them into strengths for your store. We stay on the cutting-edge of technology and industry trends, so you can reap the benefits.

Here are just three of the many ways we can offer assistance:

Threat: Textbook rental companies that circumvent the store

There’s no doubt about it – rental is the textbook trend your students are talking about. But, even stores who offer the option face competition from online retailers looking to gain student business, making many hesitant to start a program for fear of extra work and less revenue.

With the recent enhancements in the MBS Rental Application through MBS Point of Service (POS), the TextAid suite, and inSite, however, we’ve created a program so seamless that your store can earn the highest guarantee in rental, up to 46% of the new retail price, with very little effort.

Eliminating some of the work associated with traditional programs, our rental solution powers your store to stay one step ahead of the needs of your student customer. By combining the convenience of a campus location with upfront savings, your store will be the campus destination for textbook rental.

MBS Rental Systems Enhancements allow your store to:

•Rent at the POS, with no serialization of inventory required

•View both the rental and purchase price from the register

•Set rental prices based on new and used conditions

•Calculate rental prices automatically based on the shelf price of a title

•Create student accounts at POS

•Print Rental Terms and Conditions directly on your store’s receipt

•Capture student signatures using the pinpad device

•Designate certain titles as ‘Rent at POS’ and others as standard serialized rentals

For more information on how to integrate a rental solution in your store, email

Threat: Online competition

Competition for customers is at an all time high and with so many consumer options available it can be difficult to keep students coming back to your store. For this reason, loyal customers are your store’s biggest asset when it comes to staying competitive, and rewarding these repeat visitors is essential to continued success.

That’s where we come in. MBS Systems Loyalty Module allows your store to easily integrate an incentive for each student who shops in your store. With our program, customers purchasing at the physical POS and through your website, as well as those participating in buyback, are rewarded with points redeemable for valuable merchandise.

In the article, Wittman points out that “e-tailers have fostered an expectation among consumers that they will save money when buying online,” suggesting stores adopt a dual-price point strategy, with lower prices for those who buy from your e-commerce site. However, this approach doesn’t require them to return again.

With the flexibility of MBS Systems Loyalty Program, however, your store can truly capitalize on this idea by offering double rewards points for your online shoppers. That way, you provide the cost-saving experience students expect, while still encouraging a return visit!

The MBS Systems Loyalty Module puts you in control by:

•Rewarding customer purchases both in-store and online

•Structuring your store's individual model for points-earned rewards based on your school's unique customer purchasing activity and patterns

•Choosing which merchandise you make available for rewards redemption

•Offering shoppers the convenience of both checking and redeeming points online 24/7

•Allowing points to be converted into monetary value on a gift card

To take advantage of the advanced capabilities offered through MBS, contact your systems sales representative or email

Threat: Suppliers

As a retailer, your ultimate goal is to continually drive traffic into your store.

That’s why MBS is dedicated to being your total store solution; here to provide you with all the tools necessary to be a successful retailer. Our comprehensive retail offerings provide the resources you need to enhance each aspect of your store.

When it comes to textbooks, we have you covered. With the nation’s largest inventory of used books, your store can realize a gross margin of 33% while saving students up to 25%, compared to new books. We offer the best selection of in-demand titles and our easy ordering options get them to you quickly.

Beyond ordering, one of the most valuable services we provide is the ever-expanding MBS Database. No one else in the industry offers a buying guide of this size and quality; the MBS Database is simply the best maintained, most accurate, and most complete source of college textbook information available.

That means we’re able to accept more used books than any other textbook distributor, so you can enjoy higher profits, increased traffic, and greater student satisfaction at buyback.

The MBS Database Delivers:

•Information about over 480,000 used and new text, trade, and ancillary titles

•12 updated CD releases per year (weekly updates available to FTP and TextAid Online users)

•The latest textbook list-price changes

•Details about edition and availability changes

•Values for more than 120,000 wholesale-priced titles

Because we understand our partner stores are retailers, our services go far beyond textbooks. Our suite of online solutions let you manage everything from general merchandise to student financial aid on one user-friendly interface. The MBS POS offers you the ability to provide exceptional customer service with shortened wait times and secure transactions.

Create a personalized, branded outlet to sell textbooks and merchandise on MBS Systems inSite. Or even access innovative tips and unique ideas from others in the industry to spark your creativity by attending our annual Symposium, visiting Foreword Online or our social media sites.

We’re committed to providing the most innovative solutions for today’s retailers. No matter what issues affect your store, MBS can help you find the answer.

Talk with your MBS representative about all the ways we can enhance your retail strategy.

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