Why an Online Store is Your Ally in University Surplus Revenue Generation


The First Line of Defense

Ask yourself this question, when you are unsure, or looking for information where is the first place you check? For many that place is Google (or another search engine) and that number is going up. In 2012 offline sales accounted for up to 92% of total retail sales, but today that number is down to 80%. Even more striking is the fact that 81% of shoppers prefer to research the product they desire online before committing to buying it. If a shopper is looking for a product that you have in your inventory, it is safe to say having a website will aid that shopper in finding the product. For this reason, publishing your inventory online increases the chance you get a sale, in-person. Add the convenience of providing an online shopping experience and the chances of a sale go up further…

How to Create a University Surplus Web Presence

Starting an online store may seem complicated, especially for university surplus operations that do not have a web presence to start with. A less daunting place to start is to first launch a website that only shows active items for sale in the university surplus store (or available for pickup from the warehouse) and general policies and information. This is a great first step to grow your web presence and let potential shoppers know that you exist. Assetworks’ Recoup Promote tool can help. Our team can import your surplus asset data directly into a user-friendly online warehouse site and help you populate pages with information like hours of operation or pickup instructions.

Why is SEO important for university surplus stores?

These pages are automatically SEO optimized way that is designed to bring potential shoppers to your store. Why is this necessary? Unfortunately having a website will not bring users to your university surplus store. “Optimizing for SEO” means your website is more likely to show up in Google search results. Luckily, this work is made easy with Promote and our team can help, too.

Another way you can use SEO to bolster your web presence is by adding terms that are commonly used by customers to search for your product. Discovering new terms or trends can help your organization shift to the needs of the customers around them with little effort. You can find search volume for various search terms on many websites, try it out yourself and see what your customers are searching for

Images and Product Photos for University Surplus Stores

Studies show that 75% of online shoppers mainly rely on product photos when they’re deciding on a purchase so it’s essential to include images with item descriptions. Consider standardizing all your product photos as this will help users find your store and create a professional feel like other online stores.

AssetWorks’ knows taking photos is very time consuming for university surplus teams, so we’ve built an app called AssetWorks Image Capture. The app works on mobile devices and will automatically sync a photo with an asset in your surplus database. Recoup Promote can automatically pull that image on to the item’s detail page so the public can view the photos within minutes of them being taken.

Using Social Media to Bolster University Surplus Store Sales

Social Media can be your best friend for driving awareness and traffic for your university surplus store. Much like SEO optimizations, it can seem time intensive and complicated, but the benefits speak for itself. Social media can connect your store directly with customers so much so that around 40% of US based shoppers have bought an item they first saw on social media, so we can assume by not having a presence a store is limiting its potential reach and hurting its long-term goal of sustainability.

Taking the Next Steps

Launching a full online store might be impossible for your organization now, but taking just a few first steps can have your university surplus operation on the path to increased revenue. AssetWorks have developed solutions to help. We’d be happy to show you have Recoup Promote can create an easy-to-maintain online inventory website. If or when your university is ready, you can upgrade to Recoup Buy, which features a PCI-compliant, integrated credit card processor.

Take advantage of online tools to help your university surplus operation grow, generate more revenue for your university and better serve the community. The biggest university surplus stores are doing one if not all the above recommendations and they are truly taking advantage of this ever-changing retail landscape.

For information on how to get your university surplus store online, please give us a call or email. We’re here to help you become a university surplus department that ends each year as a revenue generator!

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