After a few weeks of non-blogging, caused by a combination of travelling and lots of internal meetings, it’s nice to be back and write for you again. I’ve got a big backlog of interesting things to tell you about, so hopefully we’ll be able to catch up again!
I read some research recently that said that one of the big times for selling PCs is what is known as the “Back to School” period, between the beginning of August and the middle of September. This came as a surprise to me, because I always used to think that Christmas was the peak time. I’d never imagined parents saying “well, now you’re going up to secondary school, it’s time to buy you a bigger computer”. Perhaps that research was swayed by students going on to college or university (that would make sense to me), but even so, a statistically significant group of students from your school will start next academic year with a new PC.
The research told us a little bit about how they choose their new PCs – and the role of the advice of others. It was most easily (and perhaps most confusingly) summarised as:
When it comes to technology, students typically don’t know what they want other than someone to tell them what they want, without telling them that they told them
Which came from the fact that they don’t have the confidence to make their own choices, nor the confidence to admit that they want the help of someone with more knowledge. Aargh, to be a parent of a teenager!
Anyway, the research also said
Students are overwhelmed and crave organisational tools – mechanisms that help them perform more efficiently.
and then went on to talk about their perceptions of Office as an indispensable assistant for them. BUT there was a big barrier to their use of Office – they simple perceived it to be more expensive than it actually is. Ask a group of students how much they’d have to pay for Office, the average answer will be over £100. (Which is odd, because you can open any Saturday newspaper and see the Home & Student version advertised for under £90). Which means that this summer, some of your students will buy a PC without Office, because they think that it’s more expensive than it really is.
However, students can pay much less than normal retail price. Through a range of education partners in the UK, students are able to buy Office through online student sales sites. It’s something that’s only been happening this academic year – mainly because we had to get a national agreement in place to let our partners sell to school students directly. (Previously, each school had to sign an agreement with a specific partner, and then promote the offer to their students).
Which means that your students (or their parents) can go online to any of our partner sites and order full Academic versions of Office 2007 or other software, for home use. And save more than 50% on the normal shop price.
Prices for Office 2007 start from under £40 for the Office Standard suite – and other versions are available which include Publisher, which is often expensive or impossible to buy in stores.
The four online stores available are: