COVID-19 moved many college students online, which meant that in-person purchasing at college bookstores became challenging. In order to stay relevant in an online world, college bookstores can find great benefit in creating an engaging and helpful online store. Here are 4 tips to consider when incorporating your bookstore online.
1. Show Price Comparisons
Students are used to purchasing through online retailers like Amazon and they often assume the campus store charges higher prices than online or elsewhere. Swarthmore College includes a price comparison tool on its website. This tool allows students to see how the bookstore’s new and used prices for each textbook compare with other retailers.
2. Provide Popular Payment Options
Offering a variety of payment methods will help students feel more comfortable making payments on your website. Most college bookstores only accept debit/credit payments, but college students are more likely to use PayPal and other payment methods when shopping online. Providing different options makes the checkout process easier and more seamless.
Payment Option Tips:
- Allow students to create accounts that save their payment information. This will make future purchases easier, and therefore more likely.
- Give a variety of payment options that you know your students will be using so that can easily and comfortably make purchases their favorite way.
3. Ensure Your Store is Mobile-Responsive
Mobile shopping continues to rise and nearly three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases today is done so through a mobile device. Gen Z college students enjoy in-store experiences, with 80% saying they look forward to shopping in stores when they have time, but 75% prefer to do most shopping online when they can out of convenience. Whether they’re researching or buying via mobile, you need to make sure your website is fully responsive and mobile-friendly to encourage purchases made on your site.
- Use vertical designs instead of horizontal images. This will make scrolling and viewing content on a phone easier and more eye-catching.
- Test your website on a mobile device and see whether it works well or not.
- Use a mobile friendly website theme, template, or builder. You can find several good suggestions HERE.
4. Have Engaging Web Design
Today’s college students are a part of Gen Z, which means they have grown up with technology and are used to sifting quickly through the noise of the internet to find information relevant to them. According to a Kissmetrics study, 93% of buyers consider visual appearance to be the most important factor when making a purchase.
Does your store have a website? Which of these tips have you implemented? Let us know in the comments below!