Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Foreword Turns 5: A Look Back on Half a Decade

Posted by Dean Asher on 4/13/16 12:00 AM

When you spend five years publishing content on a daily basis, one thing's for sure: You end up with a lot of posts.

More than 1,000 posts, to be exact. That's 1,000+ articles, marketing plans and success stories from your peers in the industry, brought straight to you to help your store succeed.

While we've already taken a look back at some of our biggest posts over the years, we thought it would be fun to take a walk down Memory Lane from the other side of the street, so to speak. We've broken down our single-most viewed posts published each year, to see how the industry has changed and how Foreword Online has grown with it. We've included the headline of each post, a short description and — of course — the link so you can read it in full.

Year 1: 2012-2013

How-To Create and Implement QR Codes

While some experts argue that QR codes have already died, the trend of using special bar codes that customers with smartphones can scan to interact or learn more about a product you're advertising was really taking off in 2012. This post we wrote about how to build and use QR codes was so popular, it was actually the second-most viewed post of 2013-2014. It also reinforced a valuable lesson early on: for Foreword Online to be successful, we had to stay on top of current industry trends and provide content our readers can put to good use in their stores.

As e-commerce and social media continue to grow, one thing is clear: your customers want instant access to the information they’re looking for more than ever before. So it’s no surprise that Quick Response, or QR, codes, are quickly catching on and becoming a popular retail trend in 2011.

Scannable from any smartphone, these two-dimensional barcodes direct an audience to a designated message, website, or other piece of digital content, and can also activate phone functions such as email, IM and SMS. Though they may look a little overwhelming, QR Codes are an easy and effective method your store can implement to meet your customers’ needs and boost sales. Don’t know how? Let us help.

Year 2: 2013-2014

Marketing Plan: Marketing Made Easy


Odds Poster FillableIt didn't take long for our monthly marketing plans to really take off. By creating a comprehensive kit stores could use to promote themselves on campus complete with customizable social media images and posters, we've tried to make it easy for stores to boost their marketing on campus from the very beginning. And though this plan on how to market major events on campus to freshmen and faculty from July 2012 had been out for a year, it really took off in Year 2 — it had more views than we had subscribers at that point!

In April, we offered you Facebook Cover Photos and customizable posters that were designed with popular student trends in mind. This month, we’re expanding on that with even more options and specific themes to target freshmen and faculty as well as help you advertise during rush! Take a look at our 11 new designs below and add them to your Facebook page, today!


Year 3: 2013-2014

St. Mary’s University Bookstore Draws Attention with a Dead Book Display

This is one of our single most popular posts of the past five years, and is just one example of the unique and successful things our partner stores are doing that we like to share on Foreword Online. Take a closer look at St. Mary's University and their attention-grabbing way of recycling old books.

A book can transport its reader to countless destinations, and when it’s through, its pages can be re-purposed into just as many new uses. Just ask Kimberlee Ferris, textbook manager at St. Mary’s University Bookstore in San Antonio, Texas.


Year 4: 2014-2015

Pay it Foreword

FO Holiday Card Contest Example

We aren't all informative stories, how-tos and marketing plans at Foreword Online. Sometimes we like to have fun, too. Though the contest page is closed, the "Pay it Foreword" holiday card maker we built was a fun way to spread some cheer in Winter 2014, and also gave stores a chance to win a prize!

Check out these e-cards other college stores have created with our card generator!

Year 5: 2015-2016

[Video] The University of Central Missouri Unveils Their New Bookstore

As Foreword continued to develop, so did our content. In addition to traditional blog posts, we've also started producing more things like presentations, in-depth white papers and videos, including this one of UCM's new digs.

The University of Central Missouri built a brand new bookstore in the middle of campus that opened up this past August. In the video below, UCM Store Director Charlie Rutt walks us through the new building and talks about how the changes have boosted his business. Check it out!

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