Competition from online retailers pushes Don Bookstore to upgrade website and increase digital presence.
As the rising cost of tuition brings enrollment numbers down, the Don Bookstore is using a web-based approach to revamp the student book-buying experience to increase profits.
Between the 2009 and 2011 fiscal years, Don Bookstore sales have dropped from $4 million to $2.6 million, officials said, though the average number of books bought per student increased from 2.9 in 2009 to 3.2
With another tuition hike on the horizon, sales numbers could continue to decrease for the Don Bookstore during coming semesters.
To cope with the downward economic trend, the bookstore is implementing several measures to help students combat rising costs.
“Our goal as a campus bookstore is to supply the best course materials that help students succeed in their classes at a reasonable price,” Don Bookstore Manager Thomas Bonetati said.
The store’s website, donbookstore.com, will launch an updated web experience by this summer, he said.
The current Don Bookstore website is functional but simple, offering online sales of the store’s textbook inventory.
The revamped site will display Don Bookstore textbook prices as well as those of national competitors.
Sites such as Amazon.com, Half.com and eBay.com will be listed alongside the Don Bookstore’s own pricing of SAC textbooks.
“Students can go to our site and see which seller is offering the best price on the books they need and purchase those books directly from those sellers,” Bonetati said.
Along with the updated website, Bonetati said the bookstore is taking steps to give scholars a more affordable college experience, while staying up to date with the latest technology by including digital versions of textbooks. Lower-cost custom versions of books and an expanded inventory of used books will also give students additional options.
Bonetati said the Don Bookstore will continue to look for open source materials even if they do not add income to the bookstore.