Scholastic Inc. is conducting e-mail and other marketing efforts to promote its first online store for teachers in grades K-8 as a buildup to a major campaign in August.
The online store offers more than 2,000 products including professional books, teaching resources, supplementary materials and books organized by grade, curriculum, theme and specialty areas.
“This is an online extension of our catalog,” said Donna Iucolano, president at Scholastic Internet Group. “The online store is a professional resource for classroom teachers. The product assortment includes everything from rewards programs for kids to quiz books, and more. The teacher store is very much in support of the teacher as a professional.”
Scholastic has offered the catalog for about 10 years.
To get the word out about the online store, Scholastic had a soft launch in February, where thousands of current Scholastic.com customers were sent an e-mail message over the course of the month in batches alerting them to the new site.
“We had a 'Coming Soon' promotion, where we invited people to tell us if they wanted to be among the first to be told that the store was live,” said Iucolano.
Iucolano would not provide any numbers on how many e-mails were sent or how many visitors the store has received, but said that the launch has exceeded expectations.
Scholastic.com promotes the store on its home page. A headline on the right side of the page reads, “2 New Online Services!” Below are boxes for the teacher's store and a new feature for placing book and software club orders online
Scholastic, New York, will promote the online store this spring at educational conferences. In August, “we will open the floodgates on marketing,” Iucolano said. “We will be doing e-mail marketing, traditional direct mail marketing, and we may place ads in our magazine products.”
For direct marketing, Iucolano said Scholastic will rely on its own list of names of teachers in grades K-8.
Iucolano also said the new site takes advantage of the company's existing warehousing and fulfillment capabilities to enhance customer experience.
“The online Teacher Store leverages Scholastic's state-of-the-art distribution and customer service resources, including nearly 1.7 million square feet of warehouse space, a fulfillment center capable of shipping over 1 million units per day, all which is supported by more than 1,100 in-house customer service representatives,” said Iucolano.
Iucolano said the company decided to open the online store because more teachers are online now, and even more will be online over the next five to ten years.
“We want to be ready that we are ready to support the next-generation of teachers however they want to interact with us,” Iucolano said.
The Scholastic.com Web site also has been improved, and features a faster, easier streamlined navigation system for users. The new Web site and the teacher's store were developed by Digital Pulp, a New York-based Web development firm, and by Scholastic.