Why is the campus store a great place for students, and the rest of the campus community, to shop? With the increase in competition, both on and off campus, it is important to remind your students, faculty and staff why the campus store should be their top choice.
Three ways college stores support the campus community
- College stores give back
College stores give back to their campus in a variety of ways. With some schools, campus store profits go back into the facilities, support student groups, or even scholarships. Other stores give back by supporting the community through donations to campus events or student groups, hosting charitable collections (food, clothing, etc.), and/or providing students with valuable work experience.
When customers shop in the campus store, they are directly supporting campus life and ensuring many resources are available on campus. Try to make sure students and faculty are aware of the many ways your store gives back to your campus community.
- College stores provide unrivaled service
What happens if a student orders a textbook from a large impersonal textbook marketplace that is plagued with shipping delays? When the book eventually arrives, what steps can a student take if the quality is subpar, and it is the wrong edition? What resources are available for that student to make it right? Chances are the student probably has few options available to them.
College stores provide expertise into the sometimes-complicated process of buying course materials, helping students save money and time; they ensure students have the correct materials they need for class; and they offer person-to-person customer service to resolve any issues or troubleshoot a student struggling with digital access. Many stores offer programs that enhance course material affordability and convenience, such as price matching, textbook reservations, counter service, dorm delivery, curbside pickup, accessible SFA funds, etc.
The service available to both students and faculty is simply unmatched outside of the college store.
- College stores offer more than just retail
College stores are a fantastic place for textbooks and school merchandise, but they offer so much more. We have spoken with innovative stores that offer a convenience store, handle food services, manage an on-campus farmers market, support students with a technology store, hosts a heritage reading program, etc. The innovative services and programs that stores offer their communities often fill a void in campus life.
What additional steps has your store taken to better serve your campus community?
How can the MBS system help college stores maximize their advantages?
The MBS system is built for college stores to ensure they can always efficiently manage their unique retail position. In addition to helping strengthen your store’s competitive advantages, the MBS system offers:
- 24/7 system support
- No hidden fees or additional service charges
- Expert eCommerce assistance on anything from small updates to redesigns at no additional cost
With the MBS system, your store can offer students:
- Access to SFA – College stores are the only place where students can use their SFA funds. This means any students who intend to purchase textbooks with SFA are automatically going to become a customer. From here, you can further engage the student by asking them to sign up for your email list or to receive text messages, follow you on social media, and show them other great deals they can get in the store.
- A simple way to sell back books at the end of term – A lot of students choose not to keep all of their books. Your store offers them an easy place to get a little money back on their textbooks. Send buyback alert email/text messages to make sure students know their end-of-term options and provide the full range of customer service that college stores are known for.
- Personalized service – College stores have a more limited market than most other retailers. This means you have the opportunity to provide customers with more personalized service that exceeds their expectations. With tools like MBS Customer Relationship Management (CRM), custom loyalty programs, etc. college stores have all the necessary tools and information at their fingertips to amplify service.
- Pinpointed marketing – System tools like MBS’ CRM gives college stores easy access to the information they need to create personalized marketing campaigns. Get a list of the alumni who have shopped in your store, create a sale for incoming freshmen, let shoppers know about sales on items that they have bought in the past, etc. The options available are limitless. Once you extract the list you need from CRM, it can be used to send messaging through your favorite platforms.
- Simplified business intelligence – Business intelligence and reporting are fantastic tools for understanding your customer interactions and preferences. The MBS system offers customers a variety of reporting options, including Arc Report Builder which helps stores easily create and customize reports to their exact specifications.
- Simple ordering – Because campus stores are part of the school, your store can use features that connect students directly to their schedule-specific course materials. MBS Registrar Link, for example, links students directly to their schedule-specific course materials on your website, making sure students order the correct materials that they need for class.
- More distribution options - From curbside pickup to home and dorm delivery, college stores have gone outside the norm to better serve students. Evaluate what distribution methods will best serve your store and your campus community. Then look at the technology that can help you streamline the process. MBS Store Technology Solutions partners expertly manage increased web orders with MBS’ tools, including our mobile order fulfillment tool.
If your current system doesn’t provide you with the options you need to compete, contact your MBS Store Technology Solutions Sales Consultant to learn more about the MBS system.