Saturday, December 19, 2009

QVC Goes All Web 2.0 On Us

Watch out, QVC – the shopping channel juggernaut – is finally pushing itself into web 2.0. Is this a good move?

QVC’s core audience is not that involved with social media; however, they have a large diehard base of bulletin board members. Plus, they love sharing YouTube videos of their favorite pitchmen and women messing up on TV. So, in a way, social media is a natural fit for these people.

In addition to the new channels for current fans, this could be the best way to introduce the QVC brand to a younger generation who still thinks that the channel is for Grandma. It will all come down to two things for this to be successful for this new demo/psychographic: 1) product offerings 2) online experience.

Some of the on-air products will work for younger aged women who are on social media and like to shop on the web, but there has to be more than the occasional product to maintain their interest and repeat visits to the website.

This leads to the online experience. One of QVC’s core values to its customers is the perceived relationship between the hosts and the shoppers who watch. The retailer needs to figure out a way to transition that relationship to the digital universe without talking to them like they are the TV audience.

First and foremost, why not try to grow the core audience / consumer base with tactics that are more likely to appeal to them. I doubt that QVC will be able to move merchandise (they have an allegedly amazing inventory turnover rate) at the same pace with an online format without changing the channel itself.

Changing the channel will really anger the current base that is extremely loyal to the brand. This could be tantamount to slapping them across the face and saying that their time is over.

In addition, the wider product offerings could dilute their ability to create demand for the products that they are pushing that day. A key strength of QVC has been their ability to manufacture demand for products that may or may not be the best deal in the world.

I think the pros have it. Why? Because the brand needs to be introduced to a younger generation, who may or may not be watching television in the same way in ten or twenty years. If you can breed loyalty through good products, good deals, and good customer service young shoppers may flock to the Q.

No comments: