The NCAA basketball season is in full swing, and Marquette is ranked #16 and is battling for the top spot in the Big East. How do Marquette fans help show their support for the mens’ basketball team as well as other Marquette athletes? They purchase gear from Marquette’s official online store run by Julie Mikolajewski.
Marquette’s switch to Volusion was not prompted by accident. It was prompted by absolute need. When the Men’s Basketball Team appeared in the 2003 NCAA Final Four, their online store was flooded with 2200 orders from late March to early April. From 2001 to 2002, the store saw a total of 1955 orders. “The Spirit Shop was not able to keep up with the sudden demand for Marquette merchandise. As a result, customer service and satisfaction suffered,” says Julie. In December 2005, Marquette decided to let their contract with an open source developer expire and began to look elsewhere.
Julie took her time in finding the right software for the Marquette store. “In Spring of 2006 I started to research for shopping cart software that will automate the entire web business. We needed to be completely integrated from processing and charging orders to inventory management and marketing and shipping. I looked at what other colleges and universities were using. That is when I found Volusion. Volusion gave us a secure and reliable solution to our ecommerce needs. I started with a trial store, and found to be extremely user friendly. I knew right there that this would be the best way to achieve our ecommerce goals. We signed up with Volusion in the summer of 2006, and it has been great ever since. I am not a web designer, but I am able to make a professional website that has received many compliments from our customers. It’s just that easy!”
Marquette’s method for getting traffic and sales is a bit different than the average online store. “Our business is also tied in closely to how our Men’s Basketball team is doing. Whenever the team has a big win, we always see a spike in sales. During a winning streak, business can rival the Christmas season.”
Julie offers sound advice for merchants starting off. “Really pay attention to feedback from your customers. You can come up with some really great ideas for new merchandise to offer on your site.”
#16 ranked Marquette will be traveling to South Bend to take on #21 Notre Dame on Saturday, February 9th at 11:00 CST. Check out Marquette’s 2007-2008 schedule and support the team by purchasing a Marquette jersey, the only Converse jersey in NCAA basketball.