The onset of the pandemic transformed not just human interactions but also the way several industries work. From the way we work, interact, and attain education to eating habits, and sanitation practices – everything was changed to create a ‘new normal’. The Education industry’s fate was not any different. Schools had to rapidly adapt to the changing circumstances by moving everything online. The challenges were not just limited to figuring out how to impart knowledge to pupils, they extended far into the realms of school fee payments, record-keeping, teaching material, and resource dissemination, among many others.
With EdTech tools, including online payment solutions, being heavily utilised during these trying times, schools managed to operate in a way that enabled them to still support children with their education. While EdTech tools may have been rapidly adopted by many schools as a way of coping with the pandemic, post-pandemic they are still being used by schools and are now becoming more common because of their practicality.
Online payments solutions offer much more than just reducing hygiene issues related to cash handling. These solutions can benefit the schools and community in endless ways by speeding up admin processes and offering new opportunities.
We have always strived to offer various features that help schools simplify processes, Trips, Shops and Club Management are just a few examples of this. For many of our customers, Shops is their favourite feature as you can collect payments for all types of school items and without needing a ParentPay login!
This blog will help you learn what School Shops is all about, what it can offer you and your parents, and how to make the most of your School Shop.
Collect payments for all school items
Shops is an easy and creative way to support children’s learning, generate an additional stream of income for your school, and showcase your school branding. We recognise that every school is unique and may have their own set of different needs. That is why School Shops ensures that your school can collect payments for all types of school items. These items include, but are not limited to:
- Extra-curricular activities/lettings
- School equipment/uniform
- Clubs/wraparound care
- Holiday clubs/music lessons
Easy to set up and easier to use
Flexible, scalable, and secure – that is what School Shops offers you. In seconds, you can categorise your payment items, display the quantity and size of each item, and upload photographs. To increase revenue, edit, archive, and re-list things for sale and designate them as in-stock, low-stock, or out-of-stock. Built with flexibility in mind, accept payments online from anybody to collect for exam fees, uniforms, events, PTA items, and much more.
Don’t have a ParentPay account? Not to worry! Shops is stand-alone, which means that you don’t have to be a ParentPay customer to purchase and benefit from Shops. And your parents don’t need a ParentPay account to make a purchase in the shop. Parents have the option of purchasing things with or without a ParentPay login, meaning that your shop link can easily be shared with grandparents and the wider school community to allow them to purchase things. If you are a ParentPay customer, you can include a link to your ParentPay Shop in your parents’ payer accounts to make payments easier.
Make the most of your School Shop
The reality that schools are under increasing financial strain is not new. A successful cashless payment plan not only saves time and money in administration, but also provides opportunities for your school to earn money.
School facilities have the potential to be a tremendous local resource for the larger community, and an integrated cashless payment system is a fantastic way to accomplish this. School Shops can help your school generate passive income and even allows you to assign each shop to different bank accounts to allocate different income from different items. Here are some ideas on how School Shops can help you get maximum value with minimal effort.
Uniforms with their unique branding and style make every school stand out. If your school has its own shop for uniforms, integrating it with ParentPay’s School Shops can make managing payments a breeze. If you have any other school-branded items, you can list them in Shops as well. Since there is no need for a ParentPay login, parents and guardians can even buy uniforms for their children who are yet to be enrolled in the school in the new academic year and have not been added to the school’s MIS system. Dina from St. Eunan’s tells us how ParentPay has been able to help them:
You can even give a thought to the idea of making a market for second-hand uniforms. This sustainable approach will make uniforms more affordable to purchase for families whilst helping achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions.
Schools may hold many fundraisers throughout the year, such as Red Nose Day, Children in Need, Christmas activities, sometimes for school excursions or equipment, and other times for charity. School Shops can help you raise money, and since there is no need for a ParentPay login anyone can purchase tickets or donate using the payments links. With School Shops, you can always include a payment link on your website, newsletters, and social media so that people can donate or purchase as and when they see fit.
If your school has several sports clubs and they are quite popular with the pupils, it will generate a high demand for sports equipment. Setting up a Shop could help you with this. You can share the link with the local community and encourage them to donate to support the purchase of new sports equipment that is required for the enrichment of the pupils at your school.
Stationery and Learning Materials
Aside from the obvious pen and paper, selling notebooks, calculators, geometry sets, art supplies, etc. can be a great way for your school to generate some profit. Your school can even make subject bundles or make bundles according to the needs of a particular time in the year.
For example, there could be a Maths Bundle, an Art Bundle, or a Back-to-School September Bundle. Additionally, selling revision guides and textbooks round the year is a great idea. Regardless of the timing of exam season, selling these year-round can encourage parents to invest in these items and students could benefit from it as they would be better prepared for tests and exams. Many busy families would appreciate being able to buy stationery and learning materials online from the school instead of having to go to a shop.
You can categorise each item by subjects or any other category filter, display the quantity and size of each item or bundle, and even upload images. You can edit, archive, and re-list items that are for sale and even mark them as in-stock, low-in-stock, or out-of-stock to keep a track of your stock and generate more revenue.
Learn more about how you can save time and money with a suite of shops by getting in touch with our dedicated team.