January 3, 2007, 12:00 AM

Follett’s online lesson plan pays dividends

Helped by a number of new online initiatives, Follett Higher Education Group, which operates eFollett.com, expects web sales to increase about 20% for the 2007 fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2007.

Follett Higher Education Group, which operates eFollett.com, expects web sales to increase about 20% for the 2007 fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2007.

For FY 2007, Follett expects web sales to reach $174 million, up from $145 million in the prior fiscal year.

In the latest fiscal year, eFollett.com, No. 71 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, also received more than 2.5 million monthly visits and added more than 14,000 new products. The new merchandise included more computer products, dorm room supplies and trade books, the company says.

“We made several enhancements to improve order processing and we made infrastructure improvements that include new servers, a database upgrade, additional disk and storage capacity and security improvements,” says Mark Hammerschick, director of e-commerce operations and online product marketing, Follett Higher Education Group. “We also implemented our first search engine optimization project, which resulted in improving our site visibility to search engines, and we also drove significant online traffic using paid keyword campaigns.”

Follett also says that the number of digital images added to eFollett.com in the last year increased by more than 400%, while the sale of gifts and apparel grew by 21%. “EFollett.com is one of our strongest tools in competing for the Internet textbook dollar,” the company says.

The Follett Higher Education Group, a business unit of Follett Corp., is a fourth generation family owned company that operates more than 700 campus bookstores. The company began selling textbooks online in 1995 and introduced eFollett.com in 1999, which now serves more than 1,000 campuses nationwide.

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