The SARS Covid-19 Pandemic has made us go digital in almost every walk of life. From toothbrushes to books, we order everything online. In the virtual market, purchasing is just one click away. But this virtual shopping has badly affected many markets around us.
One of the worst affected markets is books. Students order books online that are easily accessible to them. So, what happens to the campus bookstores? Will they be shut? How will they compete in the digital era, where students prefer ordering books online? Well, where there is a will, there is a way! Other than books, there are free online classes for small business marketing.
One suitable example is publishing giant Pearson dived into online textbook subscriptions after all the digital gigs that transformed shopping on the internet. Similarly, to embrace the changing times, the University of Alaska Anchorage has converted its campus bookstore into an online bookstore, Akademos.
The shift was made two years ago, where the faculty posted their requirements of books, and the students could order their books online. The University's online book store also keeps affordable textbooks for students and faculty for reference.
This online bookstore stands different because the students can check the cost of the textbooks they will need for courses before enrolling in that course. It also offers the distribution of open educational resources, OER’s and books for free.
Campus bookstores feel the ‘Tower Records Effect’ where eCommerce has negatively affected the physical storefront.
Officials at the University also believe that this shit can be more beneficial for students than traditional conventional methods.
The discussions on having an online campus bookstore commenced around 5-10 years ago. According to sources, students voted with their wallets and purchased study materials and books online. However, the problem was only 8-10% of the books were available online back then. Now, however, the percentage has increased to 40%.
“Historically, we had a nice beautiful brick and mortar bookstore,” David Weaver, executive director of Campus services for the university, says. “The sense of place was lovely for people my age, where that was a part of my undergrad and graduate experience. As time went on, the bookstore came closer and closer to just breaking even.”
According to Niraj Kaji, CEO Akademos, “More universities will follow Weaver and this example in the future.”
Moving the campus bookstores on online platforms is truly beneficial for the university and the students.
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An artist by heart and a writer by profession, Prachi is a vivacious reader. She believes in hard work and her dedication has never let her down. She puts her heart and soul in everthing she does. Though life has not been a bed of roses for her, she affirms that the best way to live it is to maintain an equillibrium between the tunes of life.