Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Grow Your Store’s Loyalty Program

Posted by Liz Schulte on 1/29/24 7:30 AM

Loyalty programs are common practice in retail. All shoppers, including students, are familiar with the basics of how loyalty programs operate. This knowledge also means that shoppers might have become pickier about the loyalty programs they are willing to sign up for. It is no longer enough to just offer a loyalty program. You have to ensure customers can see the benefit of being a loyal shopper in your college store.

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Clever Ideas to Promote Your Loyalty Program

Posted by Liz Schulte on 10/11/21 10:00 AM

Whether customers are shopping online or in your brick-and-mortar store, a strong loyalty program can help encourage repeat visits and more frequent purchases. Today we are going to look at how you can develop a loyalty program students will love and a few ways to promote it to the campus community.

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How to Turn Around a Customer Service Nightmare

Posted by Liz Schulte on 5/8/18 5:30 AM

I have never met a single person who hasn’t had a bad customer service experience. In fact, in a single month, I had five bad experiences with various companies, one of which I will never use again. Sadly, I can only think of one truly exceptional customer experience in the same time frame. Customer service is being left behind by disinterested staff and consumers aren’t happy about it.

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Make a Plan to Increase College Store Traffic

Posted by Liz Schulte on 3/22/18 5:30 AM

Retail markets have peaks and valleys in customer traffic. Turning the slower months into growth for your college store can be the difference between an average year and a great year. However, this is easier said than done. Start with developing a plan for the slower months. Sometimes the tried-and-true events work best. People know what to expect and how everything works. That same familiarity, though, can be an antithesis of excitement. This year, embrace change and do something you have never done before.

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What Are the Risks and Advantages of Price Matching?

Posted by Lori Reese on 3/12/18 5:30 AM

Many big box retailers do it: They don’t just engage in price matching, they price match with Amazon. Some will let you take your discount at the register. Others will throw in free shipping if you demonstrate that the eCommerce behemoth has a lower price on the same product of the same brand. Still, college stores face a different set of challenges from traditional retailers. Should they jump on the price-match bandwagon, or are the dangers of revenue loss too great?

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Loyalty Matters: How to Maximize Your Rewards Program

Posted by Lori Reese on 2/22/18 5:30 AM

Faith, devotion, loyalty: College stores need more than foot traffic. They need to take centerstage as a customers’ one-stop-shop for campus necessities. Rewards programs have become one of the most common ways retailers seek to inspire fidelity in consumers, but how well do they work?

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3 Lessons Stores Can Learn From Amazon

Posted by Liz Schulte on 1/24/18 5:30 AM

Amazon is one of the biggest retail innovators of the last two decades, arguably the 21st century. They seemingly dive into markets overnight and change the way things are done along with the public’s expectations. We watched with amazement when Amazon acquired Whole Foods, wondering what, if anything, would change. Now, the famously expensive grocery chain has seen price cuts and Prime members will get perks in the store — a clear sign Amazon is leaving its mark. What wisdom can small stores extrapolate from Amazon’s business practices to carry their college store into the future?

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UC Davis Stores: Students' Saving With Aggie Kickbacks

Posted by Liz Schulte on 3/6/17 5:30 AM

Rewards programs are a great way to give back to customers and to encourage repeat business. Knowing your customers and adjusting to what suits them best is essential to developing a long-term plan. If they aren’t using the rewards program, it isn’t benefiting them or the store. When UC Davis Stores evaluated their Aggie Kickbacks program in comparison to UC Merced and UCLA, they saw room for improvement.

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Inspire Loyalty With Your Rewards Program

Posted by Liz Schulte on 2/21/17 5:30 AM

Nearly every store and restaurant has a loyalty rewards program. Some give you a specific item for free, some give money off and others build points that you can use in specified ways. However, when everyone is running a loyalty program, it becomes harder for a programs to live up to its intended purpose: to inspire loyalty.

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Randolph-Macon Earns Loyalty with Revamped Program

Posted by Dean Asher on 6/13/16 5:00 AM

Like many stores, the Randolph-Macon Campus Store had a loyalty program. Students earned points on applicable purchases, which they could use to go online within a year of earning the points to create an order for gift cards, in $5 increments. The store would then create the gift certificate in-store on its POS, which they'd either mail to students or send the students an email letting them to know they could pick it up themselves. Those gift cards also had a one-year shelf life before expiring.

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