At the onset of the pandemic, a new reality set in for Julie Banks, bookstore director at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Julie and her team quickly realized that physical print books were creating an administrative and financial burden in this new education ecosystem. This was especially apparent within the campus store’s rental program, and it became clear the business model needed to change.
Julie recently joined us as a guest on the Verba I VitalSource Coffee Chat podcast and shared how digital course materials are helping her drive innovation in the overall course materials strategy on campus.
The University of Dayton Bookstore worked with key stakeholders at their institution and decided to scale digital delivery of course materials across their campus. The team was in luck: their preexisting Inclusive Access program and retail management system using tools from Verba | VitalSource set them up to scale quickly and efficiently. Offering increased digital options created a more convenient student shopping experience as it allowed contactless delivery of content with day-one access. Digital options also provided a lower cost option for the University of Dayton’s more than 10,000 students.
The results showed that the innovation and change made an impact on students’ purchase decisions. The University of Dayton Bookstore had over a 1,000% increase in digital unit sales in the Fall 2020 term compared to the Spring 2020 term. These results demonstrate how students quickly identified the value of digital course materials and took advantage of the opportunity.
The story Julie shares illustrates how a campus store’s agility and willingness to evolve can mean more access and affordability for students, and renewed importance for the store itself. Hear more about the innovation and strategy from Julie and the University of Dayton Bookstore in our recent Verba | VitalSource Coffee Chat episode.