OverstockArt.com’s 2011 Sales Paint a Nice Picture

It was a very good fourth quarter and year for OverstockArt.com — which specializes in reproduction oil paintings. The 10-year-old company registered a 43% year-over-year increase in sales during the fourth quarter and 32% for the full year.

CEO David Sasson says several factors contributed to his company’s rapid growth.

OverstockArt.com developed and executed a mobile strategy in 2011, developed an iPhone and an Android augmented reality app, and developed and launched a mobile website.

On the ecommerce side, Sasson says the company invested in technology and navigation improvements, added products, and increased inventory levels in the third and fourth quarters.

Included among the new products was a line of decorative ceramic art tiles and a line of reproduction canvas prints of artwork from the Bravo series, “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.”

Sasson says efforts were made to attract more qualified traffic to the website. In addition, he started a program — “Commitment to Wall Art Happiness” – which focuses on the happiness and enjoyment customers receive from doing business with overstockArt.com.

“The idea is a step above customer service, but an actual commitment to delight customers,” Sasson says. “This program created improvement in repeat purchases.”

Sasson added more functions and features to the site including:

a. “View in a Room” – which has been developed and improved. This is an augmented reality feature that allows customers to view selected paintings in different room environment or they can upload images of their rooms and see how the art will look on their own wall. This feature formed the basis for the iPhone and Android apps. Customers can share the image of their wall with the art displayed via email or social tools. This allows customers to receive advice visually.

b. Additional social tools in the product page that allow customers to “like” or “pin” specific art.

c. Extended zoom feature – A simple feature that allows customers to drill down and see the brush strokes on the paintings. Also they can look in fine details at specific elements they like about the art.

d. Mobile site which increased conversions and improved the shopping experience for mobile customers.

e. Added many lifestyle images to help customers envision the benefit of owning our art.

OverstockArt.com hired EY Design to oversee its product page redesign, as well as increasing and streamlining merchandise offerings. “We consistently evaluate our inventory and closeout non-performing art or frames,” Sasson explains.

Sasson says the company increases its offerings by developing new products, increasing the selection of the artists, and creating new art by modifying the originals. For example, “we might take a Van Gogh painting and change colors to match a more trendy color,” Sasson adds.

Overstockart.com invests in CPC marketing on a regular basis, and in search engine optimization. “We don’t do much in shopping comparison engines as it is not a good fit for our business,” Sasson says.

Mobile is a growth area for Overstockart.com. “We are seeing growth in Iphone, Ipad, and Android,” Sasson says. “The Ipad traffic is the most productive traffic in terms of sales.”

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