News redraws its site with a new e-commerce platform

October 22, 2015 03:18 PM

After two years of building and testing, an online art retailer has relaunched its website., No. 812 in the 2015 Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, unveiled its site last week. The relaunch involves a replatforming of the site, with the company taking its site to OpenCart from Yahoo Stores.

Amitai Sasson, OverstockArt’s vice president of marketing and development, says the the company found Yahoo’s platform to be limiting. “It didn’t really allow us to use very large images,” he says. “You’re limited with the number of pixels with Yahoo so we couldn’t show the art with the frame. Yahoo Stores is template driven, not database driven, so we couldn’t do a lot of getting stuff from the cart back to the store and cross-selling different items based on different interactions with the store.”

A major change to the site:  an upgrade to the retailer’s In Room View tool, a two-dimensional feature which lets shoppers upload pictures of rooms to see how their art will look on their walls before they buy it, Sasson says.

Upgrading that tool was key because that gives the upper hand over traditional brick-and-mortar art galleries, he says. “Basically you’re on a product page and you’re trying different frames and you can see how it’s going to look in a room,” he says. “It’s not close to being perfect yet. It’s one of those things with the replatforming, there’s so many details, and we are going to improve that.”’s new site, which uses responsive design techniques enabling it to adapt to the device on which it’s being viewed,  features another change—giving customers the ability  to zoom much closer on their purchases.

“It’s really easy to gauge the quality of the art and what you’re getting,” Sasson says.

The company unveiled a beta version of the site six months ago, linking to it from its existing site. That allowed Overstock Art to test the site on shoppers in real time and collect feedback to work out kinks before the site launched.

“Those six months giving our customers an inside track into the new OverstockArt helped us to develop this site into the seller that it should be, Sasson says. “We’ve learned that things we expect customers not to need, they really, really need. We removed an option to have the art stretched, so we had an option to frame the art and an option to have it gallery-wrapped. It turns out a lot of our customers want the option to stretch the painting and they have the frame at home.”

Sasson wouldn’t give a dollar amount on what it cost to develop the site, only saying it is the company’s biggest development investment to date. worked with a web development company to come up with the design and a quality assurance company to test it before the launch of the beta site.

Almost as important as the improvements made on the front end of the site were the ones made to the back end, he says.

“The back end side, the fulfillment side, the ease of updating, creating SKUs, removing SKUs, having it talk seamlessly with our inventory system, with fulfillment—everything now is much more streamlined,” he says. “We’re still working out the kinks, but we’re leaps and bounds from where we started.”




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