The bottom line is the lifeblood of all business and enterprise. It is the most general indicator of business success and health. Improving the bottom line is an age-old pursuit, which under current market conditions is getting more confusing and frustrating for college stores to achieve than ever. If stores are doing their best to keep overhead expenses low, they are left with only one other avenue for bottom line growth: increased revenue. Fortunately, these next five items make that possible.
1. Increase Reach.
One way to increase revenue is to increase market share. By broadening campus exposure, stores can sell to more people. But, this can’t happen if students don’t walk into the store or visit the website. Current tactics of campus promotions, events, and advertising require a lot of time, effort, and investment from stores but are met with varied results. Hero provides a new opportunity.
College stores can easily increase their exposure and win customers by utilizing Hero’s dynamic booklist on campus. An interactive syllabus of sorts, Hero collects campus adoptions and delivers comprehensive and personalized booklists to all students and faculty. These booklists include information like current bookstore and market pricing. When students go to view their required course materials, they are automatically shown the bookstore options and pricing for each item adopted and required for purchase.
In an early pilot program, over 95% of our partner school’s enrollment viewed this Hero booklist over the course of a single semester. When was the last time you had the attention of 95% of enrollment?
2. Improve Faculty Relations.
As displayed in the 2015/16 Student Watch survey, students listen to the recommendations of faculty. Sometimes (perhaps more often than we would like to know), that recommendation is not favorable to the college store. By putting effort into improving the store’s relationship with faculty and providing helpful tools that contribute to student success, communication and understanding will begin to improve.
Hero provides a variety of tools that aid faculty in the analysis and discovery of course materials. These tools simplify the adoption process and align faculty with stores as a team working toward student success. As faculty begin to view the store as an information source, they will be more likely to promote the college store as the destination for all course material sales moving forward.
3. Champion New Content.
Buzzwords like OER and digital have been the source of a lot of recent industry chatter due to their affordability potential. And yet, they have been able to make little traction with faculty.
The college store is perfectly positioned to embrace these initiatives in a significant way with Hero and become the content hub on campus. When alternative content like OER is fearlessly included alongside traditional content, stores demonstrate that they are the clearinghouse for all course material needs. By doing so, they build unparalleled trust with students and carve out a unique and specialized place in the course materials ecosystem that only they can serve.
4. Offer Transparency.
According to outside research, 69% of students purchase textbooks from multiple sources, and many students report purchasing from five or more sources. Students spend a lot of time each semester completing a puzzle of multi-website research, seeking course materials at the cheapest price. This frequently results in lost time, late arrivals, purchasing errors, lost sales, and general student frustration.
Hero incorporates a dynamic market price comparison for students, with college store offerings as the first listing. Deploying it not only reduces students’ need to shop around, but it ensures stores are a valid competitor in the new (and unfortunately here-to-stay) age of comparison shopping. This ultimately increases stores’ chances for success and creates a new revenue stream of commission sales for transactions that probably would have been lost anyway.
5. Address Rising Content Costs.
Last and perhaps most important, all the above points are only effective if college stores can successfully address the rising cost of content. With Hero’s three built-in, cost-cutting features, college stores can attack the rising cost of content at the root of the problem and become the entity that makes course materials a fair market for students long-term.
These five suggestions add value on their own, but optimize bottom line potential when used together, under one scalable tool – Hero. Sign up here to learn more about what Hero can do for your campus today.