April 11, 2003, 12:00 AM

December conversion rates climb to 4.3% at Overstock with dynamic tool

LinkShare’s Dynamic Rich Media Links keep Overstock affiliates updated on top-seller status to present what sells best.

Overstock.com’s conversion rate soared to 4.3% in December, more than 1,000 times an industry average of conversions off standard banners, in part from its use of LinkShare Corp.`s Rich Media Links, according to LinkShare, an affiliate services provider. The tool lets affiliates serve a variety of formats including flash, HTML, audio, and more, but currently most affiliates use it primarily to dynamically update creative posted from a merchant partner’s site, says a LinkShare spokeswoman.

At Overstock, the dynamic technology distributes creative promotional content on top-selling products across Overstock’s affiliate partners’ sites. The affiliates can use the links to import creative on the selected products from Overstock to post on their site.

Through attached code, Overstock then continuously updates the status of the top-selling products on linked affiliate sites. In the DVD category, for example, “’Crouching Tiger Hidden, Dragon” was number one for about a week, then it was ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’” says the LinkShare spokeswoman. “The link constantly refreshes and updates with what is selling the best, so that’s why the conversion rates are much higher. The tool shows the products that attract consumers, and those are the products consumers are buying.” The Rich Media Links also tie into Overstock’s back end to reflect inventory levels that are current.

Overstock also reports that overall, total orders and revenue through its LinkShare affiliate program rose an average of 28% each month for the six months ended last December.

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