For the last few months, we've heard about the complex supply chain woes facing businesses everywhere. Retail decision-makers are feverishly diving-in to address these new challenges that, if not handled, may leave their physical shelves bare for the holidays and months that follow. And for those of us in the bookstore industry, these supply chain disruptions could directly impact the ability to deliver the materials students need for success.
As an extension of the school, campus bookstores continue to be students' primary source for materials. And because academic calendars are often etched in stone, learning will not wait for your shipments to arrive. Regardless of the status of freight containers lining-up on our coasts, bookstores must be ready for the academic calendar and day one of class. So what should you be doing to keep your course materials readily available during this global supply chain challenge? Consider a shift in strategy:
Lean on Inclusive Access (IA): Now is the time to launch an IA program, or to expand your current program to additional departments and courses. In addition to huge cost savings, IA provides unlimited inventory and instant access for every student.
Maximize In-Store Availability: Review your adoption list, and ensure that every one of your titles is available digitally through your store and/or white label website. With nearly 1 million titles from 10,000+ publishers, RedShelf likely has every title you need.
Secure Access Codes: If your campus adoptions include bundles (i.e. loose-leaf materials packaged with a courseware access code), consider splitting the contents. Send us a list of adopted courseware and we’ll help make it available ASAP.
Think Digital-First: Encourage faculty to make digital versions of texts the primary option for students, leaving traditional print as a secondary, special order option.
Increase Awareness: Leverage in-aisle marketing assets to capture revenue even when physical inventory is unavailable. Order free shelf tags, posters, and other digital promotional materials through the RedShelf online storefront.
As your partners in education, we’re prepared to help you fend off these new challenges. If you haven't done so already, we recommend that you start planning today.