How College Bookstores Can Stop Losing Students

In response to mobile trends, our TextbookX store design and mobile-optimized platform delivers a simple, intuitive shopping experience.

Can your students easily shop your college bookstore from their smartphones and tablets?

This is the question that every college and university should be asking today. If not there’s a good chance that the number of students finding alternative outlets for buying their class materials, or worse, not purchasing their textbooks at all will grow dramatically over the next couple of years.

2014 was a clear tipping point in mobile commerce as seen through both daily observation and supported by data through many trustworthy sources.

For example, according to ComScore, consumers now spend more time with online retail on mobile devices (smartphone and tablets) than desktop and laptop computers.

From a commerce perspective, an eMarketer study estimates that in 2014:

  • Almost 20% of US Retail eCommerce will have come from purchases made on mobile devices, up 37% versus 2013
  • This growth is expected to rise at double digital rates for the next 4 years
  • Physical goods comprise the bulk of US Retail eCommerce dollars (85% in 2014)
  • 66% of US Mobile Commerce Sales are from Tablets and 32% from Smartphones

While this data doesn’t split out the higher education student population, the trends no doubt are even stronger for this tech savvy demographic.

According to a Nielsen 2014 smartphone study, 85% of the US population 18-24 are smart phone users, (versus 71% of everyone 18+).

As a company that focuses on both driving affordable textbooks options for students and providing them best-in-class user experiences and services for textbook shopping, we have a few recommendations when thinking about your bookstore’s online access:

  1. Make it easy for mobile users to browse the bookstore and seamlessly discover all their course materials in one place
  2. Your bookstore website should be optimized for mobile with easy to use commerce functionally
  3. The user interface should be built and optimized for touch navigation
  4. The website should have a responsive design that resizes automatically across smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops

Here at Akademos we launched a new online bookstore solution in 2014 with a fully responsive design and optimized for mobile browsing and commerce.  The response from students, faculty and administrators to this new site has been outstanding. Almost 90% of all students surveyed rated Akademos powered sites both Easy to Use and a Good Online Shopping Experience. In addition, course material sales from mobile devices grew 4x versus 2013.

For more specific information on how commerce and mobile trends are affecting your bookstore and student experience, register here for a personalized 1:1 consultation with our team.

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