Barnes & Noble College Pilots Freshman ID Program

May 16, 2012

With college enrollments just around the corner, Barnes & Noble College store managers are developing creative ways of reaching out to students and encouraging them to learn more about their campus bookstore. This summer, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) campus bookstore will pilot a program to encourage student store traffic by functioning as the distribution location for student ID cards.

“The idea originated at the Clemson University Bookstore,” explained Joel Kriner, Barnes & Noble Regional Manager. “And the program involves partnering with the university’s ID center to use our store’s flex-space as a central point for freshmen to pick up their ID’s during orientations.”

Early Contact with Students

One of the busiest times of the acdemic year, orientation provides the ideal opportunity for students to build familiarity with their Barnes & Noble campus bookstore. In the case of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, store manager Brad Light is anticipating an influx of three thousand freshmen during the month of June, with orientation occurring every day. “For the first time, our store is going to be a focal part of those student orientations,” said Light. “And that provides us with a valuable first opportunity to talk to our new customers.”

In addition to the Barnes & Noble textbook rental program, UNCG students picking up their ID’s can learn about ordering online, obtaining discounts, UNCG Bookstore Bucks (a program where students can use their SpartanCard account at the store) and ways of keeping in touch with Barnes & Noble via Twitter and Facebook.

Providing Added-Value for the Campus

“It’s definitely a service enhancement for our campuses,” Kriner point out. “Typically, enrollments involve long lines in not always the best environments. Our universities are always looking for space at that time of year.” Light agrees, “The Director of the ID center was quick to see the advantages our store could offer,” he explained. “We have a two-storey facility here, located right in the Student Union, and with a coffee shop and orientation all around us, it really is a convenient location for students to come in and pick up their ID’s.”

“Our customers are always challenging us to come up with new ways of interacting with our students, and this program is a great example,” Kriner noted. “With the ability to reach out to a large number of incoming students, and most likely their parents, it’s another opportunity to talk about the great services we have to offer them, right at the beginning of their campus life.”

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