Part of the American Dream is the ability to turn things on and off at the click of a button. In keeping with that, we've created the Vendor page in Hero, where Bookstore Administrators can enable or disable any affiliate partner that they like, at any time.
New today, we've also added a Transparency Score, to give you insight into the effects of your choices.
First, let's talk about how to get there. It's simple:
- Log in to Hero. You'll need to have Admin privileges.
- Click the main menu, then click Vendors.
- You're in!
On the left side of your screen, you'll see the Vendors you can enable. If any of these toggles are green, that Vendor will be live, and their prices will show up next to your store's prices when a student, faculty member, or coordinator looks at content.
Let's pause here for the obvious question:
Why on earth would you invite a competitor to share a webpage with you, and give them the opportunity to reach your students?
Good question. Bottom-line, because your students are checking your competitors' prices anyway. The 18-30 year old demographic is the single most price-conscious subsection of your market, spending an average of 2.5 hours per term comparing prices and providers. In that world, your goal becomes student traffic. If the students consider your store to be an excellent and equitable price comparison platform--if they learn to check the campus store first, since it does their research for them--then you win. You can adjust your prices to compete with your affiliate partners if you want to, and you collect a 4% commission on affiliate sales. It's a good thing.
So, what mix of vendors should you strive for?
You ask great questions! On the right side of your screen, you'll see the Transparency Score.
The Transparency Score will tell you how you're doing. You can enable or disable any combination of vendors you like, and check the results on the right. A Red score is bad; Orange is fair, and Green is excellent.
Here's how it works. To be healthy, you should select a mix of three vendor types.
This one's almost mandatory: if your store claims to provide price transparency, Amazon just has to be part of the conversation. Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world, provides the best representation of the dynamic market value of a book, and we guarantee that your students are checking it on their phones while they wander through your store.
It's a slam dunk. Turn it on.
Textbook rental is dear to our heart; it's also an incredibly healthy transaction for your store and your students. Since textbook rental lowers the cost of content, it allows more students to access the textbooks--and academic tracks--that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. Plus, Rental turns textbooks into living inventory, bringing you revenue for multiple terms as they're re-adopted.
CampusBookRentals is the only vendor on this list that exclusively focuses on rental (it's also a Sidewalk product! Hooray!), but Amazon and Valore provide textbook rental for your students as well, which means they do double duty if you turn them on.
We recommend adding all three rental providers, since students looking at rental are definitely looking to save money. Give them options, and they'll keep coming back to your store.
Finally, there's digital. We've posted elsewhere about how much good digital content can do for your store, both in terms of saving you money and in providing an alternate medium for your students to engage.
It's great for your store and for your institution to have a solid digital presence. You'll be at the cutting edge of content technology, and you'll round out your students' options.
However you'd like to structure your vendors (rule of thumb, we prefer to give students more choices and more price transparency), we've made it easy in this window. Clicking any toggle from grey to green will turn on that vendor immediately. Clicking the toggle from green to grey will turn it off. This puts the structure of the vendor relationships squarely in your hands at all times. Rule of our other thumb, we also like it when you have control over your own store. Life tends to work better that way.
Questions about any of this? Great! Reach out to your Customer Success Manager or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get together!