Consumers are demanding anywhere, anytime access to products and information, especially time-starved students who need to purchase books, school supplies and other materials.
The University of Oregon Duck Store has evolved with its student base by refining its e-Commerce and mobile strategies. Following its initial venture into e-Commerce in 1994 after the University appeared in the Rose Bowl, the Duck Store has had to ramp up operations after seeing a significant rise in international brand recognition, traffic volume and sales.
“The Duck Store saw an increased expectation to provide the in-store experience to our online customers,” said Alex Lyons, Web Team Leader of The Duck Store. “We’ve implemented several initiatives over the years to accommodate this, including in-store pick up and omnichannel fulfillment.”
In 2011, the Duck Store rolled out mobile commerce tools from Volusion that enabled the retailer to streamline the mobile site layout and overall shopping experience. During the six-week period after implementing a mobile checkout tool from Volusion, the Duck Store saw average sales from mobile increase by 204%. Average order value from mobile also improved by 21% improvement and mobile cart conversions experienced a 9% boost.
“Customers appreciate how easy it is to shop our site and find exactly what they’re looking for,” Lyons said. “They have access to customer account profiles; order confirmation and shipping emails; and customer reviews.”
While investigating e-Commerce providers in 2009, The Duck Store sought a partner that was PCI compliant and also could evolve as the business grew, Lyons explained. “We wanted a platform that would provide our customers, developers and fulfillment team with an easy-to-use interface that would continue to allow us to focus on providing the best customer service while fulfilling orders with the highest level of efficiency and accuracy.”
To ensure a consistently positive online shopping experience, The Duck Store implemented Volusion, which offered security, scalability and removed day-to-day heavy lifting from the internal IT department.
With Volusion, the web team can handle sudden spikes in traffic and order volume, even when consumers browse and buy on their mobile devices.
For example, during the 2010 football season, the Duck Store experienced “record-breaking traffic and sales figures,” Lyons said. Receiving approximately 1,000 orders a day when the University of Oregon was named one of the BCS National Championship teams, the Volusion batch order processing and inventory management system “made it possible for our fulfillment teams to keep up with the extreme order volume throughout the bowl and holiday season of 2010.”
Since solidifying its partnership with Volusion, the Duck Store has “continually made operational adjustments and fine-tuned our procedures,” Lyons said. Moving forward, the retailer will “continue to expand product selection on our web site. At this time, the only department we currently are unable to integrate onto our Volusion shopping cart is our textbooks. Our hope is to be able to find an integration solution for our textbooks (digital, rentals, used and new) so that they are offered on the same shopping cart as our sportswear, electronics, art supplies and school supplies.”