The college store website is one of your most valuable sales and marketing tools. Not only does it provide easy access to your store’s inventory, but it is a great avenue for student communication. Commodore Books & More had a website redesign on their to-do list for a long time, but it never seemed like the right time. After 2020 sent college store websites skyrocketing in day-to-day importance, the store knew it was time to undertake the redesign.
“We wanted to replace our current format with something more appealing to customers. We had been wanting to do a redesign for the past six to seven years, but we didn’t have anyone in the store with design expertise. We had reached the point where this was the next big change that needed to be made to stay competitive,” Patricia Clark, General Manager of Commodore Books & More, Lorain County Community College, said. “I contacted our MBS system representative to see what our options were, and he put us in contact with Peter Copus, MBS inSite representative, to discuss our project goals. He said he would help us redesign our website. I was floored and excited to get started. Our goal was to have the redesign up and running by the Spring term. We weren’t sure if it was possible, but we always dream big here at Commodore Books & More.”
Redesigning the college store website
Working with the inSite team on redesigning the college store website posed no additional cost to the store, and they were able to work hand in hand with their representative to design and create a website that best suited their campus needs and better served their students.
“Working with Peter was an unbelievable experience. He really displays a can-do attitude and was very flexible and responsive to all of our questions and requests,” Clark said. “Goals and tasks were defined and established each week for both Peter and our team. We started with a white board approach as to what we wanted the end product to look like, and he instructed us as to what decisions needed to be made to move forward with the design. We also chose the information we wanted to share on the site, so we were really able to address the typical questions we get from students.”
Prioritizing store goals
Identifying the store’s goals and how to best serve their campus guided the redesign.
“When working with a store on a large project like this, it is important to listen carefully to all feedback, and deliver on-time updates that meet or exceed that feedback. Communication and responsiveness is key,” Peter Copus, MBS inSite Client Representative, said. “At the end of the day, our main objective at MBS inSite is to deliver a product that our stores are happy with and one that will help them meet their goals. I believe we accomplished this objective with this project.”
“I have always felt MBS really listens to their clients’ needs and concerns. They always try to accommodate our requests, but never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that we could accomplish this project within six weeks,” Clark said. “We had several significant goals for the redesign. We wanted a professional top-notch site, to increase sales, to streamline the ordering process, to reduce the number of calls to the store, add additional information concerning bookstore policy and improve our website’s efficiency. Peter’s expertise is beyond words. He went above and beyond our expectations with the end product.”
Ms. Clark suggested that if your college store is looking to redesign its website to get started right away.
“Contact your representative and set goals for the changes you want to make. Set a project timeline and make sure your store staff is able to set this as a priority. It really is a joint effort to complete the required tasks necessary to make the project a success,” Clark said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. Our team really worked hard and together we were able to accomplish our goals.”