The changing needs of the Education industry can mean some difficult decisions have to be made, but it shouldn’t be your students who suffer. Find out how you can maintain those important connections with the right SAP eCommerce solution in place.
Educational systems are massive infrastructures that have been ticking along happily for years, but three major changes to the industry landscape have left them needing a serious re-vamp.
Firstly, the rise in online education and distance learning has meant that the entire workings of college and university systems need to be rethought. In the current economic climate, the ability to educate yourself is becoming both an essential part of personal development in the search for a better career, and a cause of frustration, given the high associated fees. Thus, many are turning to long distance and online versions of learning so that they might better their chances of gaining higher employment, while often balancing full-time jobs, family and so on.
With such a heavy student population now relying on this form of education, it has become imperative that establishments look at overhauling their eCommerce system to deal with the higher number of transactions, queries and challenges that this brings. Add to this the second issue that today’s student expectations are very different from what they once were, and you see more challenges that need to be overcome. There is now a need for a seamless transition between all online avenues and touchpoints, in order to replicate the eCommerce experience students have in other industries.
Finally, the intensifying competition between institutions over their ability to deliver such an experience and a user-friendly interface online, means that the need to rid educational systems of manual-based transactions and lengthy buying processes is critical. If you can address these issues now with the right eCommerce solution, managing these new and emerging connections with potential students will become quick and easy.
It is vital that educational establishments allow for various transactional activity, from the sale of physical products, such as uni hoodies or sports equipment, to larger payment processes, including external exam or accommodation payments. Our omni-channel, multi-purpose eCommerce solution allows you to do just this, with a wealth of other benefits including:
1) One content management system (CMS) that can control different catalogues should you need to deliver a different set of products/services to different users; for example, a student will often need to see different information from a faculty member, and this could differ again for a member of the public
2) Enquiry management on the availability and price of anything from courses and excursions to physical products.
3) Click/reserve and collect ability, from the Student’s Union for example.
4) Ready for use on any device.
Many of these transactions are still occurring purely in a manual setting, like those hidden financial departments that seem to be staircases away, which can annoy both students and staff alike. Something as simple as paying for an exam should not annoy the student, and will have a big impact on your relationship with that individual. However, all of these can be delivered in an accessible and easy-to-read format which still maintains the required image of your institution – but with the functionality that your student body expects, deserves and desires.
We can help you face the challenge
We know the kinds of issues you come up against on a daily basis, and we can help! When we discuss these issues with universities, they have huge concerns over the storing of certain data types – for example, they don’t want to hold on to people’s credit card information. With our secure, PCI-compliant process, you don’t need to hold any important client details, but there are still options, such as tokenisation, which will allow for a recurring payment scheme. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing track of what information you have either. On receiving payment, the system allows payments to be automatically posted to your ledgers and even match and clear the associated sales invoices.
Other establishments are concerned about the difficult processes behind graduation. For example, outdated services for robe hire can be addressed via our simplistic layout and user-friendly features, which make the click-to-cart experience accessible to all. The same can be said for the buying process when it comes to memorabilia; many universities we spoke to commented on the number of complaints they had received from consumers who had to spend hours trawling through page after page of frame choices and photograph sizes, but we can make this much more enjoyable with a presentation layer that is built on customer experience analysis.
The efficient management of these processes has never been more important to the student body, as they search for an educational establishment in much the same way as they would search for any service. They want a quick and easy experience with a smooth buying process, and of course great customer service from the people they are trusting their future careers with. So, if you would like to know more about how Weaveability can help to revolutionise your educational eCommerce platform, please click here to visit our main website.
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