(PRWEB) June 22, 2005
Overstock Art LLC, the leading online retailer for hand made oil paintings, was ready for a change; the company has been displaying organic growth for the past three years and it was time for a push. Company CEO, David Sasson, was faced with the difficult decision of where to invest the companyÂs resources.
ÂWe were excited about our inventory position and felt that our order process was well refined. The two areas that needed our attention were marketing and our technology,Â Sasson said.
Sasson opted to invest in OverstockArtÂs research and development, but he wanted to base design and technology changes on his customers.
In March, OverstockArt received research assistance from the Center for Media Design at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Jackie Martinsen and Suzanne Plesha, Project Managers at the Center for Media Design, guided the construction of a customer-focused usability study for OverstockArt.
ÂWe created a study that focused specifically on OverstockArtÂs client needs and preferences as a way of enhancing the online shopÂs search-ability and usability,Â according to Jackie Martinsen, Testing Project Supervisor. ÂThis adds another dimension to the traditional third party research conducted and gives OverstockArt new insights as to what matters to their customers when they are shopping onlineÂ.
The team built an out-of-the-box design plan that included an online survey and a usability study.
The survey was distributed to OverstockArtÂs current customer base. According to Sasson, the response was outstanding. One clear reaction was that OverstockArt customers were happy with the way the online store looks and with the customer service. OverstockArtÂs customers were also impressed with the broad selection, low prices and superior product quality. In addition, some very interesting usability issues popped up.
Customers didnÂt notice certain services OverstockArt offered:
-40% of customers didnÂt know that OverstockArt allows you to Âtry onÂ a variety of custom frame options for your painting selections
-51% of customers didnÂt know that OverstockArt Offers free canvas stretching with each framed purchase
-45% of customers didnÂt know that OverstockArt provides free shipping
-81% of customers didnÂt know that OverstockArt has a ÂTurn your photos into ArtÂ service where customers can submit a special order of a painting just by supplying a photo (it can be a family portrait or just a favorite painting that the customerÂs having a hard time locating)
-60% of customers didnÂt know that OverstockArt offers a 30 day money back guarantee
Customers also had a hard time gauging the quality of product:
-34% of customers didnÂt know that all of OverstockArtÂs oil paintings are hand painted
-80% of customers were positively surprised by the quality of the art works they received in the mail compared to the display online.
ÂWe were very surprised with some of the answers,Â Sasson said.
In response to feedback Sasson decided to extend the company satisfaction guarantee from 30 to 45 days:
ÂSince we have already taken care of customer who had exceeded that 30 day period we decided to extend our return policy to 45 days,Â he said. ÂWe saw an immediate improvement in sales. Clients started noticing our return policy and I think it allowed them to shop with confidence.Â
Based on a content analysis of the research conducted, OverstockArt is in the midst of performing the usability study. The Center for Media Design gathered over 20 participants that fit the profile of an OverstockArt customer according to the demographic information on the survey. When the results will be aggregated and analyzed, OverstockArt will complete the redesign and upgrading of many additional features that the customers were interested in.
ÂWe are very excited about this research,Â Sasson says. ÂWe have already learned a lot about our customers and their opinions about our company and our website.Â
Sasson hopes that the design modifications will be in place for the upcoming Christmas season.
ÂWe will work hard so our customers will enjoy shopping on an online store thatÂs designed based on their wants and needs,Â he said.
To learn more about OverstockArt
Visit: http://www.OverstockArt.com or call 1-866-686-1888