Having the support you need when you need it can make a huge difference in the day-to-day functioning of a college store. Like other college stores, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the importance of eCommerce for the Dodge City Community College Bookstore. While the store was managing all of the rapid industry changes, it was able to keep up with evolving eCommerce expectations and get a complete website refresh.
“Our online presence has been pretty limited here. We’re a smaller school and store, so most of our business is usually done in store, but during the pandemic, that wasn’t always possible. I don’t know if it is because of the update or because of COVID, but the online traffic has picked up a lot since the website has been redone. A few students have mentioned how much easier it is to navigate the site now,” Lora Culver, General Bookstore Manager, Dodge City Community College Bookstore, said. “Our site had been very dated and old, and it wasn’t easy to navigate. With this update and the new layout, it looks a lot better. It is more streamlined with the school’s main college website. Now, it has similar logos and colors and is more on brand.”
Even though the focus has traditionally been on students’ in-store experience, 2020 helped the store evaluate students’ online experience as well.
“It’s good for the store to have a strong online presence. Now, students don’t have to come to the store if they don’t want to. That really helped us when the campus was closed. We were able to do online orders and offer students pickup options,” Culver said. “We scheduled a lot of order pickups during that time. Students would come up and meet us outside where we could maintain distancing and still serve the campus community. So, it was very helpful to have that online presence to better streamline that process.”
The store worked with its MBS inSite representative to do a complete website redesign that focused on making it easier for students to navigate the site.
“Our inSite rep, Jerrica Leonard, is wonderful. She is amazing. She is so quick. When I email her with an issue or a question, she responds in usually 10 minutes and has a solution for everything. We had been talking about having the site refreshed in the store, but then Jerrica initiated it when she told us we needed to upgrade the site and asked what our website goals were,” Culver said. “She worked with our previous store manager, Amanda. We gave her feedback about what we wanted and then just let her run with it. What she came up with was fantastic. We’re really pleased with the result.”
As a new store manager, Ms. Culver has been happy with the store’s ongoing relationship with MBS.
“The best part about being partnered with MBS is just all the things. MBS has been very helpful to me. While I have worked in the bookstore for almost nine years, I recently took over as manager. Being able to reach out to MBS with any problems, questions or concerns has been so beneficial. Everyone is super quick and helpful, and it’s really been amazing. Not just with the website, but with everything,” Culver said.
When asked what advice Ms. Culver would give to another store looking to redesign its website, she said,
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. It’s so easy and MBS is always there.”