The Duck Store Aces Unified Commerce

Collegiate retail is experiencing disruption as campus stores now have to compete with Amazon on merchandise sales and textbook rentals. The Duck Store, opened in 1920, needed modern technology to provide omnichannel retail to University of Oregon Duck fans across its 13 campus stores, sporting venues and malls, as well as its e-commerce site. It faced the challenge of having several primary legacy systems, based on old technologies that were not flexible or customizable.

“We wanted one system,” explains Alex Lyons, CIO, The Duck Store. “The previous system had three separate databases in one platform. Textbooks were completely separate from general books. With no crossover it was very difficult to manage.”

For years, The Duck Store faced difficulties in data access, visibility and reporting with an outdated green-screen application for financials, inventory and point of
sale (POS). 

“It was hard to get the information we needed quickly,” Lyons said. “You always felt like you had to go through 14 different menus to get one piece of data.”

To modernize its systems, The Duck Store selected NetSuite for ERP, order and inventory management, e-commerce, POS and the Bronto Marketing Platform. 

After going live in 2016, The Duck Store is now customizing NetSuite to handle the deep complexity of textbook inventory and sales. Lyons hopes the deployment is seen as a roadmap for other collegiate retailers looking to modernize with a unified
cloud solution. 

“It was a challenge, but it was really worth it because it gave us the opportunity to rethink the information we needed and what data we needed to make really critical business decisions,” says Lyons. 

Now in-store pickups and returns of items ordered online are seamless. The unified platform enables in-store personnel to see real-time inventory to better fulfill customer requests. Purchasing managers have real-time visibility into 50,000 SKUs. In addition, The Duck Store has reduced its single-page bounce rate by 25%, increased pages viewed per session by almost 40%, and increased time on site by close to 60%.  

“Being able to access items, transitions, and customer information, helps us make better buying decisions,” says Lyons. “And it helps us provide that top notch customer service that we really focus on.”

Additionally, when the retailer launched summer term textbooks for sale online this season it marked the first time The Duck Store was able to offer customers a one cart e-commerce solution. Lack of integration between ERP and e-commerce platforms previously forced The Duck Store to run separate shopping carts for textbooks and general merchandise.

“Users would have to purchase textbooks and other items separately,” says Lyons. “For the first time ever shoppers are able to buy everything in one cart!”

With a new website, shoppers can filter products by color, size and other variations. A mobile-friendly design was critical for The Duck Store with half of its traffic coming from smartphones and tablets. Providing rich, seamless online experiences on any device helps the retailer compete with bigger retailers selling Duck merchandise.

“As a unified solution, NetSuite has enabled us to make the leap towards 360-degree, customer-centric omnichannel commerce,” Lyons said. “We’re able to see customers who shop online and in stores and build loyalty in a broader sense.”