Modernize Your Higher Ed Shopping Cart with a Next-Gen System

Modernize Your Higher Ed Shopping Cart with a Next-Gen System


Most higher education registration systems are designed to be iterative, not innovative. That means they were built to digitize paper and pencil processes, instead of actually taking advantage of being digital assets.

“Most online enrollment registration systems in higher ed grew up around the physical structure of the college or university, and were built with an administrative focus in mind rather than the needs of the student,” said Mark Mrozinski, a CE leader at Harper College for over 30 years.

That means your institution is probably making students jump through all kinds of hoops to get what they’re looking for. And that’s your best-case scenario!

Students today think and act like customers. It’s more likely that prospective students give up on your website and seek out a digital experience that matches their expectations more closely.

“The harder we make it for students to jump through our hoops to get to their goals, the more likely they’re going to leave and choose another institution for their educational needs.” 

Lesley Nichols | Executive Director of Professional Studies, Emerson College

The Dropoff: Why Your System Isn’t Bringing Students Through

Most registration systems expect everyone to go through the same process. The student comes to the website, they add an offering to the cart, and they checkout.

Three steps. That’s it. 1-2-3. 

The problem is that there’s a whole world of folks out there and a whole range of pathways and experiences that your system is probably missing.

Today’s online shopping environment is incredibly complex. Today’s consumer is looking for an experience that’s tailored and personalized.

 Your registration needs to deliver on both!

 “We could improve the student registration experience by modeling it off of similar features in Amazon.”

Emily Joy Bembeneck | Associate Director of Pedagogical Innovation in the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, University of Chicago

Meeting Expectations: A Next-Gen Registration System

A modern registration system should make the most of being a digital asset. Not only should it deliver an online shopping cart (which, let’s be honest, is table-stakes in the 21st century)—it should go beyond that.

Does your registration system help people find what they’re looking for?

Your next-generation registration system needs to make your website SEO-optimized. Beyond that, it needs to make your website easy for students to navigate! They need to be able to browse programs, certificates, courses and badges to find what’s right for them. OR, if they know what they want, you need to offer an advanced search that helps them find it quickly and easily.

From either step, students then expect to arrive at a landing page for their selected offering that provides them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.

A superior user experience can help universities attract learners to their programs and provide an education that is conducive to learners’ needs and lives.”

Quentin Ruiz-Esparza | Associate Director of Online Duke, Duke University

Does your registration system make life easier for students?

So many factors go into the decision of when and whether to run a particular course or program (check out this exec guide for more on that!). But just because something’s not being offered right now doesn’t mean people aren’t looking for it!

If a student gets to your offering landing page, but the course isn’t being offered… what does your registration system do?

More than likely, it suggests students come back later. Do you really think—in a market with over 8000 competitors—your prospective student is going to put an alert in their phone to navigate back to your website?

Clearly not. You need to make it easy for them!

Your next-generation registration system needs to provide Remind-Me functionalities when a program isn’t available, and automate your waitlist if it’s full!

This way, when the course opens up—or when a spot opens up—the system automatically notifies the right people that they can register.

The more things you can do to leverage technology to simplify the education shopping experience, the better!

“After Destiny One sent the automated emails for the first time, 25 percent of the recipients signed up for courses right away.”

Carolyn Young | Director of Continuing Studies, Western University

What more can your shopping cart do? 

There’s no reason for a digital shopping cart to be a static thing, but in most higher education registration systems that’s all it is. The shopping cart does nothing more than collect offerings and allow students to process payments.

But it can be so much more! Think about your Amazon shopping cart. It:

  • Provides visual cues to remind you what you’re purchasing
  • Allows you to input discount codes and shows you, right on screen, your adjusted price
  • Saves items for later, so you don’t lose the products that interest you
  • Reminds you when you’ve left things in your shopping cart, so you can come back and make the purchase
  • Sticks with your account, so when you add items to your cart on your phone, you can see those same items when you log in later on your computer

A next-generation registration system should do all these things too! You should be offering your prospective students that exact engagement—because it’s what they expect.

“Within the first three months of implementing Destiny One and abandoning the Banner product, we increased online registrations by 63%.

Scott Cashman | Manager of Continuing Education, Harper College

And it makes a difference in the dollars and cents, too. Through the abandoned shopping cart recovery feature, Modern Campus customers generated an average revenue boost of 17% in a single year! 

Stop Playing Checkers, the Market is Playing Chess!

Destiny One is the next-generation registration system you need to expand your reach. Your traditional registration system just doesn’t cut it anymore.

The system streamlines and simplifies the registration process to deliver a checkout experience built on eCommerce best-practices. But it does so much more… because it’s a next-generation system!

It makes your website findable from search engines, and makes your website easy to navigate. That way, prospective students can find you, and then easily find the offering that suits them best.

Then, it makes the website work for the student by providing them the information they need to progress through the checkout process. It even automates waitlist and reminder functions to make sure they can access the offering if it’s unavailable!

Finally, it puts the shopping cart to work—taking it from a static piece of code to a living engagement mechanism that’s persistent and impactful.

If you’re not using a next-generation registration system, it’s time to take the next step. Put your system to work for you!

Book a demo to learn how Destiny One serves as the next generation registration system your institution needs.

Book a demo today


Enrollment Growth Student Experience

Last updated: February 1, 2021


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