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OverstockArt.com’s revamped iOS app drives sales with virtual decorating tool

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June 3, 2015

OverstockArt.com is hoping to continue an upward trajectory in mcommerce

OverstockArt.com is hoping to continue an upward trajectory in mcommerce

Online art distributor overstockArt.com is enabling users of its revamped iOS applications to virtually decorate their walls, develop personalized art galleries and transform favorite photographs into masterpieces.

The updated Oil Paintings app for iPhone and iPad functions as an extension of the brand’s online story, and allows customers to virtually decorate walls via the “View in a Room” feature, as well as curate their own art galleries. As overstockArt.com sees revenue from iPad and iPhone devices account for 82.5 percent of total mobile revenue, the online gallery sought to improve consumers’ experiences on these apps to maximize sales.

“We see mobile as uncharted waters in the wall decor field,” said Amitai Sasson, vice president of marketing and technology at overstockArt.com, Wichita, KS. “Art and decor ‘moments’ can happen and do happen virtually all the time and in the weirdest places.

“We want to be a part of those moments…you see an art piece you love, we can turn the image into a hand-painted masterpiece, just send us the photo via the mobile app and we will get you that moment, hand-painted, framed and ready to hang.”

Mobile revenue
OverstockArt.com hopes customers can receive a cohesive shopping experience on their mobile devices and take full advantage of the platform’s mobility. Traffic coming from iPads and iPhones makes up 67 percent of the retailer’s overall mobile traffic, while the devices account for 82.5 percent of total mobile revenue.

It makes sense for the brand to focus on offering customers the best mobile experience possible, as consumers have been proven to browse and shop for art in significant amounts on their smartphones and tablets.

“It’s been said many times, that phone and tablet use, even in the home, is at astronomical levels, and that you need to be where your customers are in order to create the revenue and purchase paths that they are going to use,” said Scott Michaels, executive vice president at Atimi, Vancouver, Canada.

“In that way, it’s critical for retailers including overstockArt.com to be in this space, and provide a quality experience that shows the end user the products, especially how it will look when delivered and in the home, in order to trigger the purchase.”

Consumers using the revamped app can hold up their tablet to a blank wall to visualize a piece of artwork in their homes, which may result in a future purchase if the image falls to users’ liking. Users can also tap the “Turn Photos into Art” feature to make their own masterpieces to share with friends.

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Consumers can choose a variety of art pieces to virtually superimpose over a wall

However, experts believe that the lack of augmented reality-enabled function is actually a detriment to the user experience.

“This application, actually degrades the shopping experience, as the app is clumsy, and does not actually use A/R, as it really just takes a photo of your room (that you must struggle to take yourself and find the boundaries) and then places the art on the photo, but it’s not ‘live’ like A/R should be,” Mr. Michaels said.

“What is an even bigger problem is it does not respect the scale or size of the art so, you do not get a sense of the size of the piece on your wall, which of course is going to affect your purchase decision ‘does this fit in the space that I have.’”

Jump in mobile
OverstockArt.com’s dedication to mobile certainly cannot be faulted, especially as the brand has seen what it refers to as a significant uptick in mobile sales in 2015.

In Q1, mobile traffic to its Web site increased by 25 percent, while transactions jumped up 50 percent. Mcommerce accounted for 23.5 percent of all sales last year, proving that the ability to browse and purchase art on mobile is paramount to many consumers.

Consequently, overstockArt.com must ensure it integrates more augmented reality-enabled features into the app to offer consumers a truly memorable experience.

“We are seeing brands hard at work to seamlessly integrate their offline to online experiences,” said Djamel Agaoua, CEO of MobPartner, San Francisco, CA. “But in the case of overstockArt.com their in-store experience is online – making their mobile strategy a critical part of their business.

“The features touted in the new app are an extension of the brand’s online store, and truly enhance the shoppers experience. The ‘view in room’ feature provides shoppers with a level of confidence that previously did not exist for art buyers as they usually want to see art in person before making a purchase.”

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Art enthusiasts may find the app very useful when decorating their homes

OverstockArt.com has identified a key point in the purchase cycle that is critical to convert users,” Mr. Agaoua said. “By providing value at this point, the decision of downloading the brand’s app has become a no-brainer and the app’s features make the decision to purchase much easier.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

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