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It's Lights, Camera, Action at Bloomsburg University Store

Posted by Stephanie Kubas on 2/10/13 10:00 PM
Topics: buyback, textbook rush, college store stories

We all know textbook rush and buyback get a bad rap with students. With this understanding, Bloomsburg University Store is continually looking for new and creative ways to change perception during these events. For example, after attending a CAMEX five years ago, the store decided to implement one of the ideas that had been suggested by a colleague; they installed a camera to broadcast a live feed of the line during rush.

The store purchased a small, inexpensive camera and set it up on an inside wall of the store so that it faced the area where lines typically form. Then, they coordinated with the University to stream the video feed onto the store’s website.

“We thought it would be a unique way to show students how long the wait was,” explained Beth Christian, store manager. “But, they didn’t really use it the way we intended. They just think it’s fun to look online and see if they know anyone on the camera!”

Rather than promoting the video feed, it quickly spread by word-of-mouth. The store’s website has its highest traffic during rush because of online textbook orders, and students who saw the live stream told their friends.

“The first year or two that we did it everyone was very excited,” Christian said. “In fact, the University stumbled across the video feed and thought it was so cool that they asked if they could add it to their page, too! Once it was both on our site and the University’s, the buzz really grew. Students really got a kick out of it.”

Because of the popularity, the store soon expanded the line cam to be active during buyback, too. The camera is simply placed on the wall using a Velcro strip, making it easy to move.

Now that the line cam has been at the store for several years, the buzz has admittedly faded. In fact, the store has even considered not putting it up at all in the future. But Christian’s hope is that another store can use their idea and make it ‘new’ at their campus.

“I would definitely suggest trying new and different ways to promote your store that will gain you positive feedback and the line cam was both an inexpensive and effective way for us to do that,” she said.

Does your store use a line cam? If so, tell us about student feedback in the comments section.

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