May 20, 2009, 12:00 AM

Online community becomes Overstock.com’s sounding board

The 300-plus member Private Lounge has helped revitalize Overstock.com’s Club O loyalty program and provided Overstock feedback on its television advertising campaigns.

Overstock.com Inc. has turned its online community District O Private Lounge into a sounding board on how it can improve its service and products.

The 300-plus member Private Lounge has helped revitalize Overstock.com’s Club O loyalty program and provided Overstock feedback on its television advertising campaigns.

Overstock, No. 29 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, first approached Private Lounge members about changes to its Club O loyalty program, says Stormy Simon, senior vice president of marketing and customer care.

“Our Club O was just kind of a discount program,” she says. “What you’ll see coming up this summer will be a revised program that we bounced off our community members.” The new program will replace discounts with a cash-back feature, Overstock says.

Overstock also previews television commercials to Private Lounge members before launching ad campaigns.

“We just get their input, listen to their feedback,” says Simon. “We compared them to our past commercials and said ‘what do you like more?’”

Informally, Overstock monitors the online community for any information that might help the retailer better meet the needs of customers, she says. Overstock also maintains a presence on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

“Social media is happening and we try to be involved,” Simon says.”If people want to interact with us on Facebook or Twitter, that’s a great way for us to talk with people who are using that form of communication.

Overstock.com’s online community runs on the Communispace Corp. platform.

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