Your website is your online business card; If you want customers to choose you as their textbook provider, it must draw them every semester. Websites are an interactive point of entry for customers to your business, so yours should be intuitive and relatable.
Take photos relative to your campus bookstore
One of the easiest changes you can make to your website is the photos you use. Stock photos can give customers an idea of what your campus store is all about, but nothing beats photos with actual students, campus landmarks, and merchandise from your store. You play an active role in the student body and campus. All it takes is a camera and a model or recognizable campus location to show customers.
Your photos should illustrate the content in the page. For example, a photo of the bookstore or university landmark would work well as a banner image to welcome students to the store. Users will know right away which university you represent and gives your store a sense of community. Similarly, you can use photos of students wearing your merchandise to give a more realistic visual than mannequins.
Need subjects for your photos? Ask around your staff for volunteers to pose for photos with merchandise or textbooks. You could even leverage the art department if they have photography professors or students to help with taking excellent photos that you can showcase. Maybe even have a competition in which you use the winning photo on the website and the photographer gets a free piece of merchandise for their efforts. The important thing is getting the student body involved.
You should combine these photos with graphics to really drive foot traffic to your campus bookstore.
Connect with customers on social media
One of the quickest and easiest ways to communicate with your customers is through social media. It allows customers to interact directly with your store and provides a place where you can advertise new merchandise or deals. A great option is to embed a social media feed on your site. This creates a section of your website that pulls in your tweets, Instagram or Facebook posts. Students can keep up with events and sales straight from the site. It also makes it easy to follow your social media accounts.
Part of having social media is maintaining it. You don’t have to post every hour on the hour, but we suggest creating a plan for posts and be consistent. Typically, two-to-three posts a week is a good rule of thumb. Being relevant and consistent with your posts will help in search engine optimization, which will push your website further toward the top of search results.
As far as what you post, that’s up to you. There are plenty of ideas you can find online, but we suggest starting with our Instagram Plan. The easiest would be to take photos of your campus store. You could also try taking photos of events around campus, your staff, new merchandise, and deals and savings you have going on. There’s no limit to how creative you can make them.
Responsive web design with MBS InSite
Your website should be accessible anywhere. Not every student will have their desktop computer or laptop wherever they go, but most will have their smartphone. A responsive design allows them to view your website in a format that’s optimized to their screen size. This makes viewing and purchasing from your website easy and intuitive.
Responsive design reads the size of the screen when a customer opens the URL. The code then adjusts the size of the website’s elements, so it fits smaller screens. A quick way to see if your website already has a responsive design is to click and drag the sides of your web browser toward each other to make the window smaller. If the elements rearrange and resize to fit the new window size, then you most likely have a responsive web design.
The best part of this responsive web design is that all new customers with MBS get it by default. If you’re an existing customer, we will roll your website into having responsive web design if we haven’t already. All your pages will have a redesigned checkout process and more modern and streamlined designs. It also lets you take advantage of new features for merchandise such as filtering.
If you want to dig a little deeper check out some other ways to drive customers to your campus bookstore website here.
Advanced filtering and InSite Security Suite
Part of responsive redesign is the implementation of a new filtering feature for your website’s merchandise. This filter allows customers to find what they’re looking for more easily while they search your site. The categories and filter values that display on inSite are setup and maintained through Arc.
The inSite Security Suite provides extra security for customers purchasing through the website and better placement in Google search results. The suite also improves the speed of your site’s page-load time and streamlines work for your IT department by managing the site’s entire SSL life cycle.
If you’d like to know more about InSite Security Suite, contact your sales rep.