5 Ways to Redefine Your Campus Store as the Central Hub for Learning

5 Ways to Redefine Your Campus Store as the Central Hub for Learning

Your campus store is one of the most essential players in campus success. But in recent years, many challenges have emerged that can negatively impact both students and store revenue. As higher education institutions switch to more affordable options like equitable access programs, the campus store business model must adapt. 

In response to these changes, let’s explore some of the ways your campus store can become not only a thriving operation but a central hub for academic success.

1. Reduce Direct-to-Student Publisher Sales

One struggle many campus stores continue to face is the sales competition with direct-to-student publishers. While campus stores once offered used textbooks to students at preferred discounted rates, the rise of digital materials has flattened the demand for this system.  

Additionally, publishers release new editions more frequently than ever before, resulting in a rapid change of course material requirements each new term. Since every new textbook edition increases costs by 12%, students and campus stores experience financial strain. 

  • Students feel pressured to buy the latest textbook edition which is more expensive. It’s also typically offered directly through the publisher, which means… 
  • Campus stores experience a drop in sales as students turn to the publisher or third-party distributors to find the best price. Your campus ultimately loses essential revenue. 

There are relevant solutions to this issue. It’s mostly thanks to equitable access and inclusive access programs. 

With inclusive access, students and campuses can get the best of both worlds: the latest course materials are offered at the best price, all made available through the campus store. Students receive digital access on day one of the class without having to purchase directly from publishers.

2. Protect Student Data, Privacy, and Cybersecurity 

As campuses implement more digital access options, there is one major risk students and instructors face. Student data and privacy is not always adequately insulated.

For example, across community colleges in California, more than 65,000 fake students applied for financial aid. Fortunately, the scammers were caught before funds were distributed, but it greatly interrupted the institutions and their students who were in need of financial aid approval.

Campuses hence search for safer and more secure options. Sometimes, publishers obtain student PII (personal information identifiers) and use it to solicit marketing materials from students without their consent. 

Other common security concerns include data breaches, fraud, phishing, and ransomware. In 2021, more than 1,043 schools reported ransomware attacks where sensitive information was breached. Institutions that use multiple LMS logins are at higher risk of these attacks, which is why campuses are turning to SSO (single sign-on) authentications to encourage privacy.

How does this relate to campus stores? When your online storefront navigates students through multiple software to simply access the courseware and learning materials they need, it puts their data at risk. 

Ideally, there’d be a single connection powerful enough to protect all LMS integrations, access program data, student opt-outs, and store management information all in one place. Luckily, there is — with Willo.

3. Equip Students to Leverage Financial Aid, Online and Offline

Students no longer have to decide between spending essential financial aid in the campus bookstore or venturing to a third-party retailer for the cheapest price. With online digital access solutions, your campus store can empower students to make good use of their scholarships and assistance funds. 

With Willo, your school’s digital materials can be instantly purchased and delivered to students, no matter their financial background. The inclusive access model includes the price of course materials in the student’s tuition and fees, making it possible for them to apply their preferred payment method toward everything they need. 

Whether a student prefers discounted eBooks, used textbooks, or other campus-delivered materials, they can conveniently choose how to directly pay the campus store.

4. Provide Resource and Technology Support to Campus Employees

Bridge the gap between your instructors, IT department, and campus store employees. With a universal LMS integration platform, IT teams can:

  • Automate all LMS integration processes into one software
  • Provide students and instructors with codeless access to materials
  • Work synergistically with campus store operators
  • Ensure data privacy and protection throughout the campus

The average university has at least 100 LMS integrations set up, making it increasingly difficult for IT employees and campus stores to get their jobs done. This becomes especially challenging when issues arise and the two teams need to collaborate toward a solution. 

With the all-in-one inclusive access platform Willo, campus employees receive access to all digital content providers in one single connection. IT teams are equipped to better support the campus store, cybersecurity efforts, and student access options, therefore encouraging academic success. 

5. Transform Your Campus Store into an Approachable Learning Ecosystem

What would it be like if your campus store served as a frictionless, all-inclusive learning center for your campus community? 

Using Willo Labs, campuses throughout North America are taking back control of their store while empowering eLearning at scale. Current partners include Oklahoma State University, Georgia Southern University, St. Thomas University, York University and University of British Columbia.

Willo is the first and only platform that equips campus stores with total digital access control. No matter how many LMS integrations your campus relies on, Willo combines all of them into a single connection and then delivers everything in one platform. 

  • Effortlessly catalog and deliver digital course materials
  • Ensure day-one access for all students
  • Manage and organize all LTI content in one place
  • Safeguard against data privacy and security risks
  • Offer course materials at the best price while keeping transactions on campus
  • Enable students to use financial aid for course materials
  • Support every student’s academic success 

Learn what’s possible for your campus when you switch to Willo. Sound too good to be true? Schedule a free demo to see how all the features work.