In a move designed to coincide with the start of the new school year, Student Advantage, Inc. (Nasdaq: STAD) is expanding its Internet sales operation by bringing in five new online retail partners. The company is also expanding its marketing efforts through the brick-and-mortar stores of its current partners.
Student Advantage added textbooks.com, ROXY.com, Staples.com, Champs Sports and Franklin Covey as partners in its online venture. Student Advantage is a membership and media company that is focused exclusively on the college market, offering discounts on textbooks, school supplies and other products and services college students need. In addition, the site provides news and information for college students and hosts student home pages.
All of the company’s merchant partners now have commerce links on the Student Advantage Web site, which was recently redesigned. “We have 1.3 million Web-savvy members who constantly provide us with feedback about what they want from their memberships. As a result, this year we have fully integrated our resources by bringing our entire network of partners online,” said CEO Ray Sozzi. By putting its partners online, Student Advantage feels that its services have become more valuable to both students and the other merchants.
To further expand its student membership roster, Student Advantage is working with Barnes and Noble, Franklin Covey and Greyhound to sell $20 Student Advantage Memberships in stores. The stores will get a percentage of revenue generated from membership sales. Students will get the program’s discounts instantly upon registering.
Discounts for Big Spending Demographic
Student Advantage’s partners offer discounts of 10 to 50 percent exclusively to Student Advantage members. Those members can get the discounts through online purchases or by showing the Student Advantage membership card at retail stores. Student Advantage’s total partner network includes more than 50 national and 15,000 local stores, restaurants, entertainment companies and service companies.
Student Advantage believes that college students, with more than $100 billion in discretionary spending money and the newfound freedom of being away from home, are prime targets for e-commerce. In addition, Roxy.com Founder Keith Clougherty notes, “College students are the most wired demographic.”
Founded in 1992, Student Advantage is based in Boston, Massachusetts. The company has members on 3,000 college campuses and marketing relationships with more than 800 colleges and universities. In addition, Student Advantage works with businesses in 125 U.S. cities.