Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

A Year in Review: Most-Read Articles of 2013

Posted by admin on 12/17/13 10:00 PM
Topics: college store stories, mbs direct

This has been an exciting yeah for Foreword Online! We've grown by leaps and bounds and welcomed lots of new subscribers to our site, and we'd like to take the time to say thank you to all of our readers for their continued support! Before we move into a new year, we thought it was only right to reflect on all the great ideas our partners have helped us share this year! Take a look at our most-read article from 2013!

Most Popular Articles:

  • St. Mary’s University Bookstore Draws Attention with a Dead Book Display: 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. She decided to put her love of books on display – literally. With the help of her staff, she created a one-of-a-kind window display, made almost entirely out of used textbooks. Check out the incredible feedback it received!
  • WKU Students Go Nuts Over Unofficial Store Mascot: Every college campus has something that sets it apart, and integrating those unique elements into your store can be a very successful strategy; just ask The WKU Store at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. The campus is known for white squirrels (not albino, either!) that roam the area and, two years ago, their assistant director of Retail Operations, Jim Sears, had the idea to incorporate them into the store’s merchandise offerings. Read on to see why it was a success.
  • Kirkwood Community College Bookstore Makes Buyback a Sweet Experience: Kevin Ault, manager of Kirkwood Community College Bookstore, may be new to the world of collegiate retail, but during buyback season, he brought some of his previous retail experience to the store with the goal of creating a buzz on campus. Take a look at the incentive his store offered and why students went crazy for it.
  • Wheaton College Bookstore Reduces Time Spent on Web Order Processing: Late nights, loads of caffeine and extra stress usually mean one thing in the world of collegiate retail: it’s time for textbook rush. For one store, however, this rush season was actually easier than ever before. With the help of MBS Systems, Wheaton College Bookstore was able to streamline the book picking process and reduce the staff needed to pull orders. Find out how!
  • CSULB Bookstore Connects with Students Through Instagram: The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never held more truth. With the advent of photo-sharing applications such as SnapChat and Instagram, the way people communicate is beginning to shift. On a daily basis, thousands use a simple picture to tell a story of the day’s events or to share a specific feeling. That’s why the staff of Forty-Niner Shops at California State University – Long Beach jumped at the opportunity to integrate Instagram into their already socially-motivated marketing strategies. Take a look at how they engage with students on the platform.
  • Dickinson College Bookstore Increases On-Time Adoptions with a Sweet Surprise: On-time adoptions benefit everyone; your store, your students and even the faculty members who submit them. But that doesn’t mean receiving them is easy. Dickinson College Bookstore’s approach to tackling this tricky task is to use a simple, yet incredibly effective strategy: face-to-face communication. Check out how they increased their on-time adoption rate by over 17%!
  • Columbus State Community College Promotes Textbook Affordability: In recent years, the rising cost of textbooks has caught the attention of everyone from government agencies to the media. But, college stores have been taking action against the issue for years, ensuring they offer the lowest prices possible to their students. Columbus State Community College, located in Columbus, Ohio, has been at the forefront of the movement, doing all that they can to provide the best value; and they have faculty, students, administration and, of course, bookstore staff members, involved in the effort. Read about their Textbook Affordability initiatives and the creative video they created to promote them.
  • Dixie State University Campus Store Plays Cupid with a Cutest Couple Contest: Creating a social media page is simple enough, but getting your customers to engage with it can be no easy task. That’s why Dixie State University Campus Store continually looks for new ways to cross promote their social platforms and get students excited about interacting with them. As a prime example, they hosted a Cutest Couple Contest that encouraged students to interact with them via Facebook and Instagram. See how it worked!
  • The Future of Digital: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed: Our industry has heard about the digital revolution for years but, with adoption rates still relatively low, many are wondering if this major shift will ever come. Check out what Debbie Cottrell of UMHB Bookstore has to say about where digital content is headed.
  • Iowa State University Book Store Spreads Creativity with Pinterest Projects: We all know that college students love their social media, and Pinterest, the fastest growing social network in history, is quickly becoming their most-visited platform. One of the most commonly pinned items among the demographic is craft projects, and many students spend countless hours filling their boards with creative ideas. Recognizing this trend, the staff at Iowa State University Book Store devised a way to bring the fun of Pinterest into their store. Find out what they did.

Most Popular Marketing Plans:

  • May - Host a Geek Week: The latest craze in pop culture seems to be the supernatural; science fiction and fantasy have intertwined and quickly become a mainstream genre. With an array of popular television shows, movies and even video games all featuring frightful creatures and superhuman heroes, this trend is well-known to students and a great way to bring some humor to your store! Connect with your customers on a lighthearted level by hosting a Geek Week, dedicated to those who love the abnormal.
  • July - Increase the Impact of Price Comparison: You offer lots of programs that are designed to save students money and streamline their school experience. But those programs are only effective if students know about them. We’ve devised an easy way for you to spread awareness about your price comparison program and, ultimately, encourage your customers to take full advantage of it. Just follow our step-by-step instructions below. Take a look!
  • September - 90's Night: Most of your customers were born in the 90’s, so bring them back to their childhood with a fun flashback event! 90’s Night is the perfect opportunity to bring students into the store and show them that you’re here for much more than just textbooks and school supplies; you’re a destination for interactive events, too! We’ve come up with tons of activities you can host throughout the week or on a designated date – the choice is yours! Check it out!

Cast Your Vote: What was your favorite article or Marketing Plan this year? Is there anything you'd like to see more of in 2014? Tell us in the comment section below.

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