Case Study: Granite State College

Because of Granite State's nontraditional, nonresidential student body, school officials felt the four year school's Online Bookstore had been used more as a price-matching tool than a retail venue. But that all changed when Granite State added the MBS Direct Marketplace to their Online Bookstore about a year ago. Since then, Granite State has been one of MBS' most successful leaders in Marketplace sales, with student savings of more than several thousands of dollars in the past 12 months.

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Marketplace Savings Boost Granite State Textbook Sales significantly

An older, savvier student body

One of Administrative Coordinator Kevin Scully's many responsibilities is overseeing Granite State's bookstore, but he couldn't devote much time to it with his attention needed elsewhere.

The move to an MBS Direct Online Bookstore lessened the school's burden, but Scully said it wasn't enough to promote strong sales with the nontraditional student body Granite State serves. With the addition of the Marketplace option, sales increased dramatically in 2013.

"They're typically people who are in their mid-30s on average, they are people who typically hold down full-time jobs, they have families, a lot of them have homes, so they're adults experienced in the ways of the world," Scully said. "They're also very savvy shoppers. Typically what would happen is people come to the store to get textbook information and then shop elsewhere."

Retaining buyers with enticing prices

That's why in order to keep students from going to competing brick-and-mortar or online retailers, Granite State opted last year to implement Marketplace purchases through its MBS Direct Online Bookstore.

Scully said it worked. Thanks to sales brought in by adding more pricing options and a growing enrollment rate, overall sales were up roughly 15 to 20 percent. Granite State's Marketplace sales made them MBS Direct's sixth-highest sales school for Marketplace purchases.

"Part of the motivation for giving access to Marketplace was to provide them with another in-store option to hopefully drive them to the Online Bookstore and stay in there to place their orders, and obviously increase the likelihood of them to buy directly from us later," Scully said. "It's facing the reality that they're going to shop around, so why not keep them within our environment."

About Granite State College:

  • Full-time students: 3,400
  • Part of the University System of New Hampshire
  • Serves adult nontraditional students with undergraduate, graduate and associate programs at nine campuses statewide
  • Partnered with MBS Direct in 1999

About MBS Marketplace:

  • Adds diversity and increases offerings on partners' branded sites
  • Offers students savings of up to 95% on the listed price
  • Increases store traffic by appealing to budget conscious students
  • Includes vendor ratings for peace of mind