February 8, 2012

Cornell Store Adapts to Evolving Market

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The Cornell Store has recently changed several of its marketing policies in an effort to make textbook prices more competitive to combat the growing number of students who have begun purchasing textbooks from outside sources, according to Margie Whiteleather, strategic projects manager for the Cornell Store.

The Cornell Store has recently changed several of its marketing policies in an effort to make textbook prices more competitive to combat the growing number of students who have begun purchasing textbooks from outside sources, according to Margie Whiteleather, strategic projects manager for the Cornell Store.

Whiteleather said the campus store implemented several new initiatives, including an online system to compare prices and an increased number of used books for sale, to make up for sales lost to vendors like Amazon.com and local bookstores.

“We’ve known for a while [that] students have been shopping at a variety of sources because we understand the investment in textbooks is expensive … So we have been working hard to make the process more affordable,” Whiteleather said.

In January, the store enacted an online price comparison tool, which allows students to compare textbook prices at the store with those of other online vendors in order to ensure that they are being offered the best available price.

Whiteleather said that the store has received “a lot of really positive comments about the online price comparison tool.”

The Cornell Store has also increased the number of used books available for purchase, which guarantees that students will receive the correct edition of books at a discounted price, Whiteleather said. The store’s textbook rental system is also currently in its fourth semester and provides a significantly lower price than both new and used books, according to Whiteleather, who said the store has rented out more than 7,000 textbooks to date.

In order to market these new policies, the Cornell Store has used email, social media and posters.

While it is too early for the Cornell Store to effectively quantify the results of their new strategies, Whiteleather said that she was pleased with this year’s sales so far.

Original Author: Erica Boorstein

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