Oriental Trading Company has used customer reviews to transform their business, from the outside in.


Founded in 1932 and now offering more than 35,000 products, Oriental Trading Company is the nation’s leading direct marketer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties. And while their business started with catalogs, in 2008 they embraced the Internet and have been recognized as one of the Top 50 Internet Retailers.

They won the “Organizational Transformation” award because they used customer ratings and reviews to uncover problems with products, then worked cross-functionally to make improvements. Teams meet weekly to discuss low-rated products,  and create plans that continually optimize their process . The teams include representatives from all over the company, including Inventory, Product Development, Quality Assurance, Merchandising, E-Commerce and Customer Service.

With potential problems coming to light much faster, the company is able to work alongside manufacturers to improve their offerings based on the feedback, using reviews to set standards and provide feedback directly to vendors. As a result of customer reviews, the company has changed the entire product production process, including inspecting products against the production samples more closely. Also, initial product design takes place with customer feedback at the forefront, decreasing the chance for negative feedback and potential returns.

Oriental Trading Company received their 2009 Customer Experience Excellence Award yesterday at the Gartner Customer Relationship Management Summit, where Sam Taylor spoke on their amazing results. They are also featured in the Fall 2009 issue of 1to1 Magazine, in a special issue of 1to1 Weekly and on both the Gartner Events and 1to1 Media web sites.

Congratulations to the Oriental Trading Company team on this prestigious award!

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