Patrick Byrne originally launched Overstock in 1999 to sell excess inventory from failed eCommerce businesses at deep discounts. Today overstock features both excess stock as well as exclusive items manufactured for Overstock. Overstock has made a name for itself in the eCommerce market and it is considered a competitor to giant amazon, especially when it comes to home goods.
It’s no coincidence that Overstock’s 4th Quarter revenue for 2018 clocked in at $452.5M. A few key factors have lead to Overstock’s success including a comprehensive loyalty program, technological integration, and social responsibility.
Overstock launched Club O in direct competition to Amazon’s Prime membership program. Anyone can sign up for a free 30 day trial after which a membership costs $19.95 per year. Membership includes free shipping regardless of the size of the item. It also includes 5% rewards back on each purchase. Free returns are also included as well as a price match guarantee.
In addition members get exclusive access to the Club O extra rewards store which offers additional products and savings not available on the standard site. Members are also offered up to $40 in credit for each product review that they leave. This loyalty program really rewards it’s members through exclusive products, cashback , and most importantly peace of mind when shopping. As a bonus Club O is free to military members active or former.
Overstock offers its own credit card for shoppers and is not exclusive to Club O, the card is only available for use on Overstock.com. This card is particularly attractive as it boasts no annual fee. Card members are eligible for 24 month interest free financing on eligible products if paid within the promotional period.
In addition, there is a special 60 month financing period available on some mattress purchases with no interest if paid in full during the promotional period. Those with cards are offered customized rewards based on their shopping habits. In order to entice new card members Overstock offers a special welcome reward. Those who sign up for a card get $30 off their first purchase totaling $300 or more without special financing.
Overstock prides itself on customer service and uses the Trademark “More than a Store™”. Overstock promises, “Shop overstock.com and find the best online deals on everything for your home. We work every day to bring you discounts on new products across our entire store. Whether you’re looking for memorable gifts or everyday essentials, you can buy the here for less.”
They also recently launched the beta version of their virtual assistant Chloe. Once launched in the full version Chloe will be available for sutlers to chat with 24/7 on the site or app. Chloe can help answer basic customer service questions and point customers in the right direction for any necessary troubleshooting.
In 2018, Overstock overhauled its website and apps. The company decided to take a more personalized approach.
“We believe that if we can personalize a consumer’s page to her style, with the colors she likes, with items within her budget, Overstock will be top of mind for her the next time she’s looking to make a purchase.”
-J.P. Knab, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Overstock.com Inc.
Now Overstock features customized pages that include a selection of curated products based on customers’ browsing and shopping histories. But, the biggest biggest improvements and completive edge comes from Overstock’s integration of Augmented Reality.
Despite being first utilized in the 1990s Augmented Reality (AR) has only come into popular consciousness since the launch of the successful gaming app Pokemon Go. According to augment.com, “AR is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it.” Overstock uses AR to allow customers to see what different products would look like in their own home.
“If I were to buy a Sharpie, I know how big a Sharpie is, what color it is. It’s all standard. Any fast-moving consumer goods are easy to buy online. But when it comes to home goods, like if you were to buy a couch, the dimensions are written on the website, but you don’t know how big it is compared to the rest of the items you have in your room. Our goal is to use technology and innovation to help make the customers make the right choices and make it with confidence.”
-Sumit Goyal, Chief Digital Officer of Overstock
According to Goyal, customers using AR make fewer returns and actually end up buying more products.
After a trip across Southeast Asia in 2001 Patrick Byrne was inspired to create Worldstock. This would give artisans from all over the world a chance to sell their goods on a large e-commerce platform. All the products sold on the Worldstock section of Overstock are handcrafted.
Each item is fair trade which means the artists are properly compensated, no-forced child labor, and a commitment to cultural preservation. In addition these products are shipped carbon neutral for no extra cost. Through Overstock’s partnership with carbonfund.org over 24 million pounds of carbon have been offset.
Overstock strives to be a social responsibly company. Overstock features several areas of outreach where the business connects with the community. Overstock has partnerships with The American Red Cross as well as Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
In addition, Overstock has partnered with the Best Friends animal society to help connect prospective pet owners with shelter animals in their local areas. Customers can actually search for available pets online using overstock.com. In addition Overstock is a proud ivory and fur free retailer committed to animal wellness.
Overstock has found success in eCommerce since the 1990s and still continues to thrive in a competitive eCommerce economy. Are you looking to take your company to the next level? Annex Cloud can help you utilize a comprehensive loyalty program, integrate technology, and look for socially responsible methods to build and attract loyal customers. Talk to us today!
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