You could argue that a center of the online, retail art world is in Kansas. That’s where overstockArt.com is located, and in nine years it has grown to be a leading, online retailer of original art reproductions. The founder and CEO, David Sasson, has grown the business from inception to where it is today, and he’s with us to discuss it all. He joins Practical eCommerce’s Kerry Murdock.
Listen to the full podcast: [podcast]http://sassoncollection.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/david-sasson-practicle-ecommerce.mp3[/podcast]
David will share his overstockArt.com story – a story of discovering a beautiful product, an undeserved niche of customer interest, and taking his technology know-how to create a new web-based experience for art lovers.
This interview should inspire those who are reaching out with the web to sell products and services, and doing so in a way that goes beyond what brick-and-mortar can offer.
David will share his story of turning an idea into reality with successful results. What can you learn from listening to the wins of other entrepreneurs? Tune in and find out.
After embarking on an innovative social media promotion, overstockArt.com announces success and names the three winners of the “Women in Art” Twitter® sweepstakes. The three winners are Erica Best of Detroit, Mich.; Kirsten Kimball of Puyallup, Wash.; and Michelle Small of Philadelphia, Penn. Each winner won a 20” x 24” inch museum quality handmade oil painting reproduction of their choice from the popular online gallery’s Women’s Art Gallery.
The “Women in Art” Twitter® sweepstakes, held in honor of National Women’s History Month, sparked an immediate flurry of tweets and had a steady traffic of tweets throughout the promotion period. Nearly 1,500 people entered the sweepstakes, which ran from International Women’s Day on March 8 through March 31.
“We were extremely pleased with the response from our first social media promotion,” stated David Sasson, overstockArt.com’s founder and CEO. As a direct result of the sweepstakes, overstockArt.com received more than 100 tweets a day, more than 1,000 extra visitors a day to its Web site, and an increase in sales.
“This sweepstakes was an innovative way for overstockArt.com to celebrate National Women’s History Month and connect with our existing and future customers in a new and unique fashion,” Sasson said. “We pride ourselves for great customer relations, this social media promotion is just another way for us to have a direct relationship with our customers.”
Women have a special place in the art world, both as objects of great art as well as women artists who have shaped the modern art world in the past hundred years such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Mary Cassatt and many more.
This promotion was a great way to drive an important message in tandem with a small investment that eventually exposed our brand to a large online audience.
Our own overstockArt.com, one of the Web’s leading producers of reproduction oil paintings, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2009.
Top-line growth rate for the month of December totaled 75%.
Total revenue growth for the entire fourth quarter was 62% year over year.
In total, overstockArt.com’s top-line growth rate for 2009 stands at 21%.
“During the first six months of the year we were struggling to generate the growth we were seeking,” said David Sasson CEO of overstockArt.com. Sales increased substantially by year end, allowing the company to reach a revenue growth rate of 25%. Sasson said the company would have seen an even more substantial growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 if inventory purchases were more aggressive prior to the holiday season. With so many warning signs about the state of the economy the company used a more conservative approach to inventory levels, Sasson explained. This caused inventory shortage across all styles even among the top three best-selling artists – Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Gustav Klimt oil paintings.
overstockArt.com’s top-line growth rate has held steady in the past few years ranging between 20% and 30%. Over the past five years, the compound annual growth rate in net revenue comes in at 252%. “We are thrilled by our growth and success – especially when considering that we are a retailer selling luxury items during a recession,” said Sasson. “Our top-line growth is indicative of our competitive advantages in the field. We focus on serving the two groups that provide us with the best returns – our customers and our employees. If we are able to please them, we will continue to grow aggressively and profitably.”
Many luxury item retailers have not fared as well during these turbulent economic times. Sasson credits overstockArt.com’s success to the customer intimate strategy the company has developed, “At overstockArt.com we pride ourselves with our ability to serve our customers. The secret sauce to our success is our ability to drive customers back to our online art gallery again and again.” overstockArt.com has a 45% returning customer rate, “This is an astounding number for an ecommerce retailer of any kind,” said Sasson. “It is evidence to the quality of our art and the degree of confidence our customers have as they shop with us.”
The success of a luxury retailer online is great news for all retailers throughout the web as we plan our growth and strategic steps for 2010. It goes to show that if you focus your strategy in the right place and focus on your customers needs and wants you can build a successful business even during turbulent times.