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Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

SGA Bookstore Offers Students Instant Information

Posted by admin on 7/6/11 11:00 PM
Topics: buyback, textbook rental, retail technology, college store stories, MBS Rental

Growing up in a generation raised on computers, students expect information at the speed of now. But with tight budgets and a never ending to-do list, it can be hard to staff enough employees to provide instant answers for each customer. New technologies, such as QR Codes, however, offer an easy solution.

The SGA Bookstore at Slippery Rock University recently implemented this approach at their buyback with great results.

“One of my student employees showed me a QR Code in a magazine and commented on how neat they were,” explained Joe Flynn, SGA Bookstore manager. “I immediately started thinking of ways we could apply them to our business.

Placing QR Codes on their printed promotional pieces, the store hung posters adorned with the 2-D barcodes in bus stations and residence halls on campus. They also set table tents with the same information on each table in cafeteria.

“When the students scanned them, they were directed to our retail list within our website,” said Joe Flynn, SGA Bookstore manager. “We found the most effective place to put them was in the cafeteria. I saw so many students scan the barcodes while they were eating and look up the price of their books right there."

Using this strategy, store was able to provide information to students across campus with very little effort.

“We not only found that the QR Codes drove traffic to the buy, but that they helped promote price awareness, as well,” added Flynn. “A lot of students came up to the counter knowing exactly how much they were going to get back for their books.”

Seeing the simplicity and success of using QR Codes at buyback, Flynn now plans to expand the effort to their rental program.

“We’re going to put small signs at each table in the cafeteria again this semester. Only this time, the QR Codes will link to a webpage that lists our details about our rental program, as well as our available titles,” he explained.

To other stores considering using QR Codes, Flynn suggests, “explore it!”

“It’s so easy to set up and incorporate into a marketing plan. There are lots of new technologies out there and if you’re not tapping in to those resources, then you’re missing out on communicating with your students.”

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