In 2002, the Offices of Business Operations and Web Administration partnered together to address the growing demand for electronic commerce at the University of Notre Dame. The ideal solution(s) would serve not only to meet the demand for e-commerce on campus, but would also serve as a tool to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve customer service. In the process of researching potential options, stakeholders from Audit, the Controller, Follet, General Counsel, Licensing, OIT, Procurement, Student Activities, Renovare, and Tax, as well as 60 peer institutions were all interviewed, and more than two dozen solution providers were evaluated. Additionally, four pilot stores were instantiated.
The discovery team processed this information and presented its final recommendation for a universal and standard set of business processes and technologies. This recommendation was realized in the implementation of a virtual mall called ND Marketplace, which could support merchandise sales and registrations all within the same shopping interface. Additionally, the ND Marketplace Advisory Council (now the Credit Card Support Program Operational Oversight Committee) was established to further resolve and maintain the program's mission, to review and improve upon the program's strategy, and to provide the direct link between marketplace activities and University goals.
Since the pilot and the initial implementation of the ND Marketplace in 2003, the number of stores, orders, and revenue has steadily increased. This growth, in conjunction with the need to adhere to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), necessitated an update to the existing version of the ND Marketplace. In 2006, an effort began to identify service providers that could meet the needs of the many diverse merchants on campus, from both a data security and e-commerce functionality point-of-view. After a thorough selection process, Touchnet Information Systems was chosen as the vendor of choice for the new Marketplace in mid-2007. In January, 2008, the first store using the Touchnet platform was launched.
Today, the ND Marketplace service has grown into a comprehensive e-commerce service. In addition to providing the software, secure payment gateway and technical support that university departments need to sell merchandise, collect event registrations, and raise donations via the web, the ND Marketplace also provides a wide array of e-commerce consulting services to all campus entities. From improving website content and layout to improve conversion rates, to optimizing internet marketing campaigns in order to draw the right customers to your site, the ND Marketplace team is dedicated to providing a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform for Notre Dame and its customers.