CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 24, 1999
UI Book Store e-commerce feature allows textbook purchases
via the Web
IOWA CITY, Iowa --
The University Book Store in the Iowa Memorial Union this week debuts its
e-commerce Web site, allowing UI students to purchase or reserve textbooks
online, making the on-campus bookseller a competitor in the sale of textbooks
via the Internet.
George Herbert, Jr., manager, University Book Store,
says yesterdays unveiling of the new Web feature provides previously
unavailable services to students who will now be able to buy online new and
used textbooks, reserve and search for texts required for various courses.
The site, which contains secure transaction features, will allow students
to charge their purchases against their credit card or reserve books for in-store
pickup. Students will be able to charge online purchases to their U-bill at
a later date.
The e-commerce move is in response to the evolving
consumer online shopping preferences created by the Internet. The e-commerce
feature is the latest enhancement to the Book Store's Web site launched nearly
five years ago, which until now, has only listed textbooks and limited online
patrons to buying UI apparel.
The Iowa Memorial Union marketing department will
begin a marketing campaign: "Why So Many Smart Students Buy Their Textbooks
From Us" this fall to inform the UI community about the new service and the
benefits the store provides with both a physical and virtual presence.
"This is a large project for the Book Store. Within
the last year we've seen major online textbook providers go from zero to perhaps
as many as eight," Herbert says.
"We'll offer one-stop shopping, convenience of returns,
and buybacks. There will be no charge for in-store pickup, and online patrons
can have their books shipped to them at a nominal cost. The number of days
between online purchase and delivery will depend on whether a book is in stock,"
The online sales feature is critical to the Book
Store increasing its service levels, and it is a good way to meld the "brick-and-mortar
store" with the online store, Herbert says.
The success of the online sales can't be judged in
terms of dollar amounts, Herbert says, adding he doesn't know how much revenue
he expects the e-commerce site to generate.
"If the site assists our students in getting their
textbooks or brings additional people to us, that's a success," he says.
The site can be accessed at http://www.book.uiowa.edu