Maximizing non-converting traffic is all upside for Overstock.com

Company profile

Retail Mass Merchant

Bazaarvoice Solution

Media

Client since

2010

About Overstock.com

Overstock.com is an online discount retailer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Nielsen State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report placed Overstock.com among the top five most visited mass merchandiser websites in 2011.

Web link
www.overstock.com

Summary

Retail/ecommerce sites convert only 3% of traffic to a sale, so they are missing an opportunity to make money on 97% of their visitors. In 2010, Overstock.com decided to monetize by adding advertising to its site.

Solution at a glance

Challenge

Monetize non-converting traffic to drive incremental revenue.

Solution

Optimize the value of every ad placement while bringing top-tier advertisers to Overstock.com.

Benefits

Optimize the value of every ad placement while bringing top-tier advertisers to Overstock.com.

With the proliferation of ad networks, exchanges, and demand-side platforms, the online advertising landscape can be difficult for anyone to navigate. In fact, Overstock.com began its monetizing journey with four different partners, making it difficult to tell which were performing and driving revenue. “Bazaarvoice Media helped us streamline our ad operations and strategy so there was true accountability for what was working and what wasn’t,” says Burke Johnstun, Advertising Manager at Overstock.com. “Bazaarvoice Media gives us access to great advertisers and the control we need to ensure our site maintains the quality standard we demand.”

Adding value to the shopping experience

Driving traffic to an ecommerce site is not easy. For an online retailer like Overstock.com, serving ads that could drive visitors away from its site was not an easy decision. Believing that it was a viable revenue channel that would add to the bottom line and working with advertisers that help consumers’ come to a decision during the purchase process is what swayed the decision.

Bazaarvoice Media’s ability to help Overstock.com find quality advertisers to support its monetization strategy and enhance the consumer journey was key in Overstock.com’s decision to partner with Bazaarvoice. “Bazaarvoice Media helped us shape a white list of partners appropriate to our content,” explaines Johnstun. “We look for advertisers that are contextually aligned to add value for our customers while they’re shopping.”

Optimizing ad opportunity

Generating additional revenue without impairing the visitor experience is a key pillar to Overstock.com’s monetization strategy. This strategy is continually improved by experimenting with new ad placements throughout the Overstock.com site.

“When we first started serving display ads in 2010, we only had a few placements, and no homepage ads, and no right rail,” says Johnstun. “It was important that we didn’t reduce load times or overly clutter our site.” Bazaarvoice Media worked with Overstock.com to pinpoint the placements that would drive performance without compromising its stringent design and load time requirements. Above-the-fold homepage ads, new units on the search and product pages, as well as an order confirmation page ad helped Overstock.com increase ad revenue while keeping its site easy for visitors to explore.

Realizing the potential of online advertising

For Overstock.com, optimizing site traffic to drive incremental dollars has tremendous upside—and there’s still room to grow. “If you look at where marketing dollars are being spent, only a fraction are going into online advertising,” explained Johnstun.

“The potential for growth is really bullish. Regardless of how long it’s going to take, we think there’s huge potential in display advertising.”

Improving ad efficiency is only one piece of the puzzle. At Overstock.com, proving value to the advertiser is essential. “We’re focused on how we communicate to our advertisers,” said Johnstun. “It’s important that we connect the dots from our ads to performance and show that we’re truly driving sales. We’re able to leverage Bazaarvoice Media’s retail expertise to prove how we can influence users along the path to purchase.”

Keeping the momentum going

With new ad types, video, and mobile making headway, online advertising continues to evolve. “We plan on taking the learnings from the U.S. desktop display space and applying them to other channels and platforms,” explained Johnstun. “We definitely have our eyes on mobile and video. Through continuously iterating and optimizing, we’re eager to see how we can leverage new technologies to add even more value to the shopping experience.”

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