August 8, 2012, 9:36 AM

Students Have Many Reasons to Shop Online For Back-to-School Software

Only 34% of college students surveyed shop online for academic software, a surprisingly low percentage considering the advantages to purchasing software online.

Eugene, OR August 02, 2012--According to a recent study by SheerID, 52% of college students buy their academic software in the college bookstore or through their college IT department. Only 34% of college students surveyed shop online for academic software, a surprisingly low percentage considering the advantages to purchasing software online.

SheerID’s survey results also showed that only 34% of college students even realize that they are eligible for student discounts on software. Of the 34% who were aware of discounts, 74% purchased academically-priced software. In response to their findings, SheerID is partnering with thinkEDU to enable students to make informed academic software purchases this back-to-school season.

Although thinkEDU is a relative newcomer in the B2C educational market, its co-founders, Janet Drumm and Allan Fischler are not rookies. These industry veterans are happy to share the insights they’ve garnered through 30 collective years of experience selling and marketing academic software with students who are in the market for academically-priced software this year. “We love college bookstores for their convenience to access many things including books, college apparel and convenience items” says Fischler. “However, today many college bookstores no longer carry software and those that do offer a very limited selection. I’ve spoken to several bookstore executives and managers over my nearly 20 years in the academic software industry, and they have expressed how difficult it is to offer software effectively.”

3 Reasons to Buy Software Online
1.    Wider selection According to Fischler, “Buying software online at stores like thinkEDU.com offers a much wider selection in virtually every category. Even if a bookstore wanted to, it would be difficult for a college bookstore to offer the hundreds of software products that we offer.”
2.     Access to most recent releases and upgrades “One of the big reasons most college bookstores don’t offer software is the challenge in keeping up to date with the latest releases,” explains Fischler. “Many bookstores would be stuck with old versions that could no longer be sent back to the software publisher for credit and students want the current versions.”
3.    Customer service The majority of college bookstores carry everything from snacks to insignia apparel to text books, and many employ students, who may not be knowledgeable about software or qualified to answer questions about software products.

Many online retailers like thinkEDU pride themselves on their customer service and their ability to answer complicated questions about the products they offer. “We make it very easy to shop and order online, as well as offer excellent customer service, whether it is answering questions about our products or getting our customers their products quickly.”

In another SheerID survey, 72% of students reported they would use a student discount online more if it was easier to redeem. “One of the things that makes selling software to students different than other businesses, is that most of the software publishers require proof of academic verification,” explains Fischler. “ThinkEDU.com makes this an easy process for all of our customers, but especially college students. With our verification process, we can verify most college students without them having to do anything. This makes it a win-win process for the customer and for us.”

Retailers who are interested in offering a student discount to capture an increased share of the college student market should contact SheerID for more information about their online verification platform.

About SheerID
SheerID is the creator of the technology used to transform existing, protected private data into a service that benefits commercial enterprises and the public, while still keeping the information safe and secure. By acting as a bridge between secure databases, SheerID allows commercial enterprises to accurately, instantly verify whether or not their customer qualifies for a special discount or offer, such as a student discount- protecting the discount and eliminating fraud. SheerID’s verification plug-in can be configured for any e-commerce website, internal customer sales system, mobile application, or POS. For more information on SheerID’s services call 855-SheerID to speak directly to a representative, email info(at)sheerid(dot)com, or visit http://www.SheerID.com.

About thinkEDU
Based in Carrolton, Texas, thinkEDU offers everything for students, faculty and staff including academic discounts on software, hardware and more. thinkEDU is a one-stop shop for students, faculty and staff to purchase their software, hardware, collegiate wear, textbooks, art supplies, dorm supplies and more. Contact us at PR(at)thinkEDU(dot)com or go to http://www.thinkEDU.com to learn more about our free marketing materials, affiliate program and more.

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