Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

What Does Your Customer Experience Say about You?

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 12/20/16 5:30 AM

A customer comes into your store and they always leave with a something: a product, a service and always a story. Stories are told everyday–from tales about traffic, lunch or the experience in your store. Look around. What story will your customers tell about you?

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The ISU Bookstore Gives the GIFT of Great Service

Posted by Kate Seat on 2/7/16 11:30 PM

Three years ago, the staff at the Iowa State University Bookstore adopted a new strategy striving for “Excellence in Customer Service.” After evaluating their approach to the unique challenge of a store with a great deal of floor space, a large, diverse inventory and a broad range of different types of customers, they came up with a new platform for expectation for all UBS staff members.

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The Power of Personalization

Posted by Kate Seat on 11/11/15 2:00 AM
You walk into your favorite coffee shop and are immediately welcomed by the barista behind the counter.

“Want the usual today?” she asks, after greeting you by name.

At your nod, she starts making your vanilla soy latte exactly the way you like it, without needing any additional information. Which makes sense, since you’ve stopped in for the same drink a few times a week for the last year.

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How to Learn What Will Sell — Straight from Your Customers!

Posted by Kate Seat on 9/23/15 12:00 AM

Surveys are a great way to get answers from your customers about specific topics or questions. They’re relatively easy to execute, require little effort from participants and can provide valuable insights. But there’s an even better way to get the information you need, without the limited scope that comes with the survey structure — and this method only requires a little bit more planning to achieve positive results.

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The Importance of Listening to Your Customers

Posted by Kate Seat on 8/19/15 3:23 AM

It’s an age-old question: How do you know what your customers really want? Coming up with the right answer leads to satisfied shoppers and increased sales (win-win!), which makes finding the correct solution the driving force behind most successful retail ventures.

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How to Make Your Next Buyback Even Better

Posted by Dean Asher on 5/27/15 7:33 AM
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Don’t Let Bad Weather (or Worse!) Get You down

Posted by Kate Seat on 2/27/15 4:15 AM

Pipes burst. Air ducts fall. The power goes out. Do you have a plan for what you and your employees will do when one of these things happen? What about in the case of a large snowfall, bad storm or flood? Here are a few tips to help you make it through when things go wrong:

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Generator System Keeps MBS Warehouse Running, Orders Moving

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/8/14 11:00 PM

Power lines tangled and snapped throughout Columbia, but MBS was unaffected for the 3.5 hours it would have been without power. Many homes — and some trees on MBS property — weren't so lucky.

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The Blue Colt Bookstore Switches Gears During Buyback

Posted by Kate Seat on 6/15/14 11:00 PM

Buyback can be a tense time for everyone, so why not switch gears and make it a little more fun? The Blue Colt Bookstore did just that when they decided to offer their students a chance to win one of eight retro-styled bicycles, just for coming in and selling back their textbooks.

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Swarthmore College Bookstore Redefines “Lab Partners”

Posted by Kate Seat on 5/26/14 11:00 PM

Forget about “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.” At Swarthmore College Bookstore, every day is “Bring Your Dogs to Work Day.” For the past eight years, Steve Levin, the store’s book manager, has brought his pair of black labs to work with him. The dogs provide stress relief and comfort to students, staff and faculty. They have become a fixture at the store, and one of the most popular attractions for visitors to the campus.

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