QVC, HSN Tout Digital Initiatives — and Baby, Outdoor and Tabletop

Well Qurate Retail Inc., parent of QVC and HSN, apparently had a lollapalooza of an Investor’s Day last week in the Big Apple.

The webcast of the dog-and-pony show for Wall Street runs more than six hours. You can hop on Qurate’s website if you want to listen.

We’re dedicated, but not that dedicated. But Qurate put out a press release Monday summarizing some of the takeaways that honcho Mike George shared.

It’s digital, digital and more digital, according to George. The home shopping channels are venturing onto new turf — baby, outdoor and tabletop. And George has five biggies on his “To-Do” list.

• Be the destination for product discovery.
• Inspire shopping journeys spanning all media platforms customers use.
• Make digital marketing a powerhouse demand driver.
• Extend the conversation through the power of social media.
• Enhance the service experience.

“The soul of the shopper, over time and across generations, hasn’t really changed,” George said in the press release. “Shopping is still about discovering great products, at great values, with great stories. It’s joyful, inspiring and built on trust. It lifts people up, helps them solve old problems in new ways, makes their lives easier, and connects them to the wider world. This is what we do, and this is why we have so many opportunities to evolve and grow in today’s rapidly changing retail and media landscape.”

We’re going to post the press release directly, from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, on the  priorities:

Be the destination for product discovery

“Our business model starts with being great product curators,” George said. “We’re committed to bringing our customers more discoveries, increasing product differentiation, driving strong values, and engaging customers of all generations.”

Qurate Retail is investing in an expanded digital store, adding 180 new digital-only brands across HSN and QVC over the past few months and entering new categories, such as baby, outdoor and tabletop. Year-to-date, the company has hired over 25 people to help drive this effort. In addition, more brands with strong cross-generational appeal are launching first on digital.

Qurate Retail also is launching Qurate D3 (for Discovery, Design, and Development), an expanded function to find or develop exclusive product lines around the world.
Inspire shopping journeys spanning all media platforms customers use.

“The explosion of digital media creates enormous opportunities for us to access, engage, and inspire consumers of all generations, over her video platforms of choice, with the right content, at the right time,” George said. “We have a strong advantage over other retailers or content programmers: We own all of our content, our incremental cost to create content is low, and we already have significant experience distributing content across emerging and other digital platforms.”

Qurate Retail continues to expand viewership across media platforms. In the U.S., TV viewership for QVC and QVC2 rose 5% year-to-date. HSN and QVC continue to increase their presence on traditional TV platforms. In addition, the brands are assessing how to optimize the positioning, programming, and scheduling of the five U.S. networks (QVC, QVC2, HSN, HSN2 and Beauty iQ) to appeal to the broadest range of consumers and provide maximum choice.

Viewership on new media platforms is also growing. From Q3 2017 to Q3 2018, minutes viewed via QVC US OTT platforms (Amazon, Apple, Roku), Facebook Live5 pages and digital platforms rose by more than 75%, while minutes viewed via the QVC US YouTube page doubled.

Early next year, Qurate Retail will build on its mobile leadership by launching a new Watch App, designed to be the daily discovery destination for today’s mobile consumer, with easy access to live shows, product videos and episodic content. By liking videos, users will be able to create their own playlists, and a click on a video will bring up product details and the ability to purchase.

In addition:

• The next generation of HSN’s proprietary Shop by Remote app is rolling out, and QVC began deploying the app earlier this month as well.
• QVC is expanding its OTT apps, including the October 2018 launch on Amazon Fire and the June 2018 launch of a new OTT service in Germany.

Make digital marketing a powerhouse demand driver

“We are rapidly scaling our digital marketing to generate demand, showcasing our best items, complementing the power of our TV distribution, and driving new generations of customers to our new media platforms,” George said.

Qurate Retail is building an in-house marketing agency to support QVC and HSN, drawing top talent from digital marketing leaders. The team is leveraging machine learning tools from zulily to create and deploy advertising intraday to maximum effect.

Digitally-driven sales are growing, driven in part by digital marketing. Year-to-date, sales for items that are promoted only via QVC’s digital platforms rose 11%, and sales for items that had not been featured on-air in the prior 24 hours rose 7%.

Extend the conversation through the power of social media

“Social platforms enable us to reach and engage new consumers, while also deepening the engagement of our best customers by fostering powerful viral communities,” George said.

Qurate Retail has built a network of influencers who can amplify HSN or QVC products and platforms with their followers. In addition, Qurate Retail has launched three social marketplaces – Ellie Sugar and Fuss Beauty in the U.S. and TILI (Try It Love It) in the U.K. – designed to reach beauty shoppers who may not be aware of the curated products and engaging experiences offered by HSN and QVC. The company also has launched its first skill on the Alexa platform, enabling users to watch or listen to HSN live and obtain information about HSN’s broadcast and products. By early 2019, users will be able to order products and check shipping updates and other account details, all via voice.

Enhance the service experience

<em>”We recently announced a multiyear plan to reduce delivery times by two days and increase package consolidation by integrating our HSN and QVC US fulfillment networks,” George said. “This is just one example of how we are investing to ensure that our service promise stays among the best.”

The plan to integrate the fulfillment networks was announced in October. The first phase includes opening a new fulfillment center in Bethlehem, PA in 2019, as well as anticipated closures of fulfillment centers in Lancaster, PA, Roanoke, VA, and Greeneville, TN in 2020.

Additionally, Qurate Retail will evolve toward a leased vs. owned model for many of its fulfillment facilities to increase flexibility and reduce longer term capital requirements.
Qurate Retail’s multiplatform approach is helping the company expand its customer base.

Over the past 12 months3, new customer counts for QVC US rose 4%, with 83% of new customers coming through digital platforms. QVC US also saw a meaningful shift among new customers to customers who are 18-44 years old. Overall, the QVC US customer base is up 2% year-to-date, with strong and stable customer retention.

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5 Responses to “QVC, HSN Tout Digital Initiatives — and Baby, Outdoor and Tabletop”

  1. Jerri Says:

    More stuff to bore us to death with…tabletop and outdoor furniture. And we’d rather pay shipping on a chaise lounge than buy it from Target and just take it home? And when I was a good customer, I always tuned out when tabletop came on. There’s enough on there already, Mike.
    Some baby stuff would be ok, but you’re not looking at your audience majority. Hello, Mike, most of your customers are 40 and over. And I’m sure most grandmothers would rather pick out gifts for their little angels in person. What is this dude thinking??
    These channels are going to be filing chapter 7 under this guy’s leadership in no time!

  2. Dave Says:

    Amen Jerri, QVC is a joke and so is Mike George. What do you expect from a guy who never succeeded in anything in his life but selling himself. Buying HSN was just another delay tactic. This form of retailing is doomed. He knows it, we know it, everyone knows it. The thing is Mike doesn’t care. He is in his mid fifties and he will ride it as long as he can, collect his million and to hell with who ever is left. Oh yeah he already go rid of the over 50 crowd (age discrimination is rampant there) so he can relax knowing the only ones hurt are younger folks. I for one will never buy from QVC, they are evil to their employees and evil to their vendors.

    • Jerri Says:

      Word, Dave. I have NEVER been a fan of QVC. And with all this info we now have on Mike George, I don’t even watch.
      Yes, this industry is dying. It was great 20 years ago…bargains galore, new ingenious products, good reliable brands, and jewelry that was well made. Now, everything is done in a hurry and overseas, and sizes aren’t consistent and most of it is crap.
      Along came Amazon, with the same crap, but CHEAPER and all under one roof. A few mouse clicks, a little reading, and $?? later, your stuff was on the way. Yes, they screw up orders sometimes. So does, and has, home shopping. What you save on the stuff you buy is the bottom line. And in this economy, of part-part time jobs (for many blue collar and entry level workers, anyway) cost of living up, raises down……that’s a very strong bottom line.
      Call me old school but I miss little one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques, etc. We have become a world of big boxes, big barns, and faceless sales transactions. Guess I’d better get on the bus because it’s going forward, not back. And leaving home shopping channels in its dust.

  3. Steph Says:

    Dave, you have that right, as one the former hundreds if not thousands by now employees you could walk in one day and never know if it was your last day. How do you live like that. Personally for me I couldn’t sleep, had to take anxiety meds and seek counseling just to get through my day. I was considered a top performer. I also had a target on my back being over 50. Kids ready for college, home to pay off, you get it, I needed a job and it wasn’t easy finding a new one. In fact it took me three years. I lost my home, my kids had to borrow to go to school and well I went into such a dark place that I considered, well I considered it. I often thought of this ruthless idiot in the corner office that spoke of his humble beginnings and how QVC had great values. Bullshit, he ruined my life and many others. I worked hard and achieved much not that it mattered. Now I work 3 part time jobs at half of what I made at Q. My home is up for sale. My retirement funds are virtually gone. This is the Company you want to buy from, think twice.

    • Jerri Says:

      I’m so sorry you were one of those affected by Mike’s stupid decision. My heart goes out to you and everyone else that happened to.
      Last year at this time we were just beginning to recover from a main loss of income in my house. And hubby and I are over 60…it was a challenge but he found something else, luckily.
      For some reason…almost intuitively, I’ve never cared for QVC. I’ve bought 1 item from them; a pair of shoes that were painfully narrow..and back they went. I’ve never liked the look of their sets, and their products seemed way overpriced to me. And now that I know who was behind the scenes, and what an a**hole he is, I’m even more glad that I never bought from them. Now, with the merger, if I do buy, it’s Evine only.
      My very best wishes to you and your family and I hope you can find a better job that you deserve, and that things start getting better for you.
      Best, Jerri

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