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Chegg adds mobile components to textbook rental service

Chegg.com, an online textbook rental service, has leveraged the power of SMS and the mobile Web to extend its reach and become more accessible to students on the go.

The fall winds are blowing in the school season at full-force and in the midst of the economic downturn, textbooks have never cost more. So Chegg.com, in its mission to provide cheaper prices to students, has developed a quicker way for students to get prices on the go.

?Mobile is a great platform to promote Chegg because it gives immediate access to our more than 2.4 million title textbook collection and savings at the consumer's fingertips,? said Tina Couch, vice president of public relations at Chegg.com, Santa Clara, CA.

?As consumers rely more on their mobile devices, Chegg's partnership with mobile provides another way to reach the consumer's needs and help the company grow,? she said.

Chegg.com is an online textbook rental service that provides textbooks to more than 6,000 college and university campuses nationwide.

Chegg called on the help of Waterfall Mobile to power its mobile initiative.

Any student who is looking for textbooks at a cheaper price can now text the keyword ISBN followed by the textbooks ISBN number to the short code 44144 and receives the rental cost for both quarter and semester.

Upon receipt of the reply text message, users can follow the link at the bottom of the message that will send them directly to Chegg?s mobile site.

The landing page for the link is unique to each visitor's ISBN number request.

For example, if a user is interested in Charles Dickens? novel "Bleak House," they text the ISBN number to Chegg and receive a quote and a link to the same quote on Chegg?s mobile site.

From the mobile site, users have the option to choose which time period is best for them and add to cart.

Chegg?s mobile site also offers search outside of just the ISBN number.

For consumers who are on-the-go and don?t have immediate access to an ISBN number, Chegg.com?s mobile site offers them the option to search by book title and author.

Another fun fact about Chegg is that for every book it rents out to students, it plants a tree in cooperation with Forests Global ReLeaf Program.

Chegg isn?t the only textbook provider that has made its way into the mobile space.

Earlier this month, CourseSmart, a digital course materials supplier, launched its eTextbooks application for college students (see story).

The application for the iPhone and iPod touch gives students and professors full access to the CourseSmart eTextbooks they buy.

Chegg also isn?t the first to corner the coveted college student demographic this back-to-school season.

Also in August, Hothand Wireless gave advertisers targeted exposure to the back-to-school college student market via a mobile advertising and coupons platform (see story).

Students, like those at Arizona State University, UCLA and Cornell University, can sign up to receive messages and updates from their schools about recreational sports and other alerts.

The service combines the mobile Web with text messaging and email, allowing for students to be reached anywhere.

?At Chegg, we want to offer students as many possible ways to rent their textbooks,? Ms. Couch said. ?We believe increasing accessibility to the services on mobile devices will allow quick and convenient access to Chegg and those incredible savings that we offer.

?We not only want to help students save a ton of money by renting their textbooks, but we want to provide them with a variety of options to do so.,? she said. ?Working with Waterfall Mobile on this platform has given Chegg one more way to engage with students and provide them with the best service possible online and off.?