GrowthJune 22, 2018

Real-time, contextual marketing, across every channel

Overstock built a modern, best-of-breed marketing stack—with the customer at the center.

Overstock device image email mock

More than just driving transactions, the marketing team at Overstock aims to connect people with products and services in new and unexpected ways. This means delivering the right message to the right person, at the right time, in the right place.


Like most companies, Overstock’s personalization capabilities were channel-centric as opposed to customer-centric.

Without a complete view of the customer, Overstock could construct web personalization segments based on web browsing data, for example, but they could not recognize people as individuals across channels and devices, based on their entire relationship history with Overstock. To the extent they could marry data together through manual processes, they were unable to separate signal from noise and exploit that data to deliver relevant messages in the moments that matter.

As a result, media spend was inefficient and the customer experience was suboptimal.


Using mParticle, Overstock created “a persistent, unified database with multiple sources, accessible by other systems, for single viewer truth.”

Specifically, mParticle aggregates granular, event-level data from a variety of channels and source—email, web, e-commerce, mobile, device data, and more—and organizes that data around individual user profiles. Using the API connection between mParticle and Overstock's machine learning engine, each profile is given a predictive score along several dimensions, including the person's style preferences, product preferences, channel propensities, and their expected purchase conversion likelihood and value.

[mParticle provides] a persistent, unified database with multiple sources, accessible by other systems, for single viewer truth.

Brent Christensen

Director of Database Marketing, Overstock

Next, customers are grouped into audience segments, and those segments are associated with dynamically-assembled content assets (housed in an adjacent system).

Finally, customer segment memberships are distributed, along with the associated content and messaging, across executional systems—including web personalization, paid media, and email—in real time, maximizing the relevance of each and every interaction customers have with the brand.


Rather than rely on static, channel-centric campaigns, Overstock can now seamlessly serve their customers dynamically, wherever they are, regardless of channel, based on all available context—in the moment.

The results include:

  • More relevant email messaging and product recommendations, improving the customer experience and conversion rates
  • An overall 10% increase in advertising efficiency across the marketing department in the first eight months
  • Increased ability to test and learn across content, channels, audiences, and platforms

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