We helped Overstock in fortifying its online presence through setting up a complete roadmap and by creating an online catalog.
Overstock is a retail business that sells interior and garden furniture. Their USP is ultra quick delivery. This requires a large product supply and a well-organised restocking process.
Overstock selected us out of a number of other participants during a pitch. Our challenge: to renew Overstock’s digital presence. More specifically, bringing their product range online and creating an online space to sell it as well.
We divided the process into 2 main parts:
- phase 1: create a digital product catalog
- phase 2: integrate Overstock’s e-commerce activities into the platform.
Build, measure, learn
We started with a discovery phase to get to know the business, the brands, the internal structure and business processes of the company. After this learning process, we rolled out an entire roadmap, clearly defining the main milestones on a time schedule and including multiple ‘releases’.
Each ‘major’ release included the latest features we’ve been working on during the past few weeks. In-between two major releases we also scheduled a ‘minor’ release. These releases provided us with the time to process, measure and analyze the data we’re constantly collecting. This allowed us to stay agile and gave us the opportunity to adapt our course by the upcoming major release to get even stronger results. A continuous cycle of learning and improving.
The process - phase 1
We developed an API that seamlessly integrates into Overstock’s business processes. This was extra challenging because we built one application that needed to serve different touchpoints (Overstock Home and Garden).
The website automatically pulls most of its content (e.g. product info, prices, etc.) out of an external ERP- and DAM-system, so there wasn’t that much content to administer on the website itself. We chose to build the website using Symfony and built some custom content management modules to simplify content entries (such as FAQs and jobs) as much as possible.
We used ElasticSearch to merge the abstract product data (from the ERP) together with the marketing data. We chose this search technology because it was a perfect fit in terms of performance and features: the multi-faceted search and the GEO spatial dealer locator.
Given the complexity of incorporating all external connections (ERP, DAM), we’re proud of the solid service-integrated solution we managed to deliver together with all parties involved.
Phase 2: e-commerce
The most logical next step is to set up an Overstock webshop, so all their products can be purchased online as well. We’re building this as we speak. Stay tuned for updates in the upcoming months.