The College of Business at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is planning to gather detailed feedback from customers at the school’s new retail location by exchanging goods for questionnaire feedback.
A NACSOnline.com report reveals that the new “Check It Out” store enables all UHD students, faculty and staff to activate a free account complete with 1,000 cyber-points – an equivalent of 1,000 pennies – that will serve as currency at the store. UHD cardholders simply apply the points toward the purchase of store items, food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, drinks, etc.
To make a purchase, shoppers are required to complete a brief online questionnaire detailing the item, its price and other pertinent consumer preferences. Upon completing the online questionnaire, the cost of the product – its assigned point value – is credited to the card allowing students and staff to make additional purchases.
Officials at UHD reveal that garnering the immediate feedback of students will help the school to more effectively tailor marketing campaigns for the store as well as create an overall retail experience that will better serve UHD’s diverse population.
More akin to a retail and marketing lab than an actual store, the retail location at UHD is run entirely by students from a few of the school’s business programs. Students in the supply chain management program log and fill orders from the University’s warehouse, retail management students monitor the daily activities of the store and marketing majors gather data from the online surveys, conduct further research on the merchandise and compile detailed reports that are submitted to suppliers.
To enhance the retail experience for both employees and customers alike, the UHD store is using the latest in retail technology. UHD has received a $40,000 donation from Cash Register Services for checkout equipment, Loyalty Lane has added its customer loyalty program, Total Printing Solutions has added its designed and printed signage and graphics, Grocers’ Supply provided both product and equipment and Wal-Mart offered funding and products to the University store.
The store will officially open in August to accompany the opening of the 2013-2014 academic calendar. UHD is currently seeking out additional suppliers for the retail initiative, touting it as an ideal opportunity to both provide their products to college students and gain detailed feedback of the demographic’s retail preferences.