The process of ordering books is an inevitable part of higher education yet, each semester I cringe at the amount of money spent on textbooks. As we progress through college, our textbook prices seem to rise with us. While many of us blame our professors for requiring certain books, the flaw is in the publishing industry. Knowing that students are forced to pay the price, publishers drive up prices without fear of repercussion.
The College Board recently stated that the average college student spends $1,200 per year on textbooks and supplies. This equals out to about 14% of tuition and plays a significant role in the debt burden of students. This chart from College Insurrection gives you an idea of how inflated the cost of textbooks has become since 1978 and the rapid rate at which these prices are increasing.
While buying our books in stores or on campus has become almost impossible with the prices we would need to be willing to pay, the Internet has answered our cry for an affordable option. With websites like Chegg, we have the ability to buy and even rent both used and new textbooks. By shopping online, it eliminates the role of wholesalers, retailers and distributors. As a result, students save money.
Websites such as Chegg are targeting college students who want to save big bucks on textbooks but now, Chegg is finding ways to keep customer retention by branching out and becoming more than just an online book shop. The website has successfully implemented Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, into their interactions with customers. New Directions for Institutional Research explains how CRM works when an organization or company can find new avenues to pursue, in addition to, ways to interact and better serve the customer.
Chegg has anticipated the needs of their customers well and this is apparent right on their front page. The website offers help with homework at the same place the students buy their textbooks, as well as, step-by-step solutions for your courses, scholarship connections and course scheduling and reviews. All of these benefits keep their current customers engaged and coming back for multiple reasons. By attempting to be more than just an online bookstore they strengthen brand loyalty and ensure a lasting relationship with students.
If all of this textbook talk is stressing you out… Rest easy knowing that there are companies like Chegg out there trying to correct this problem. Congress is even getting involved with the Affordable College Textbook Act, which alleviates some of the financial burden. Though textbook prices will remain an issue for students in the foreseeable future, there is help on the way. What would you like to see done to put a little more money back in your pocket?