The more I learn about QVC, the more I appreciate how successful the multiplatform retailer is at engaging with its customers and creating trust. The company builds itself around the value of relationships and makes sure that every time a customer is engaging on one of its platforms, they are also a part of a two-way relationship with QVC. This creates a community where QVC knows just what customers want and, in return, customers particularly trust the company. Connectivity is their answer.
Although we may not always think about it in this way, this degree of exceptional engagement makes QVC not only a retailer but a powerful marketing tool (inventors listen up!). We spoke to the QVC team about some of the most well-known companies QVC has helped to grow.
However a customer chooses to engage with QVC, it is clear that brand experience is rooted in discovery, storytelling, and engaging with consumers.
To illustrate, I just went on to qvc.com and watched a live stream (you can watch three different QVC multiplatform networks live on its website and simultaneously shop at all times) where I found celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal presenting an item from her line, Mally Beauty. Mally took the time to highlight the ways in which this new item was different than anything else in her collection, what made it special and unique, and why her fans would love it.
Here is an engaging celebrity beauty expert who we trust and know (by first name), who speaks to us as friends–who know her–while showcasing a product. The customer feels like she is connected to Mally on a personal level, and can trust her advice both as an expert and as a part of QVC. In turn, engaged customers give lots of feedback, which means QVC enjoys a fantastic pool of product reviews and therefore an unparalleled understanding of which products customers want and love. In other words, QVC brings the experts directly to customers and provides a channel for two way communication.
QVC is not just a sales platform, it is also a marketing platform that fosters the growth of both national brands and entrepreneurs in a way that is unparalleled in the industry.
As a platform for new brands, QVC has accomplished some amazing feats. Over the past 30 years, QVC has launched and fostered the growth of some of today’s most successful brands including IT Cosmetics, Spanx, Junior’s Cheesecakes, and bareMinerals. In fact, IT Cosmetics alone sold more than 17.1 million units on QVC to date. Since the debut of her home, fashion and accessory line LOGO by Lori Goldstein on QVC in 2009, over 12.8 million units have been ordered.
How, you may ask, does QVC achieve these results? It’s a combination of scale and an incredible storytelling model, which combines the best of retail, media and social to create the most engaging shopping experience. QVC has evolved from TV shopping to a multi-platform, multi-network experience. Among mass merchants, the combined QVC Group (including QVC and zulily) is the #3 mobile retailer in the US, the #8 mobile retailer globally, and the #3 e-commerce player in North America, according to Internet Retailer.
Luckily for the invention community, QVC also uses their incredible platform to foster innovation.
For the third consecutive year, QVC joined forces with NBC’s TODAY show in April 2017 for TODAY’s Next Big Thing, a national competition to honor the spirit of innovation and invention and discover one entrepreneur whose product has what it takes to be presented on QVC’s highly engaging multi-platform shopping experience.
All winners of TODAY’s Next Big Thing quickly sold out during their first QVC appearances. In 2017, Yair Reiner, inventor of Frywall, claimed the top prize. Yair made his QVC debut on Saturday Morning Q and the product sold out within minutes. In 2016, Krista Woods won with Glovestix, a portable odor-management solution for athletic gloves, shoes, cleats and more that sold out in just eight minutes. In 2015, Leslie Pierson won with GoodHangups, a reusable magnetic display system for posters, art, photographs and more.
QVC is also fostering innovation through its collaboration with Make48. Jenne Frackelton, Senior Buyer at QVC, lent the Make48 competition her expert eye for consumer products as a judge for Season 1 of the television show. Teams had 48 hours to come up with an idea, make an initial prototype and pitch their winning product. She, along with a panel of other industry-leading judges, got to assess the contestants’ final product pitches and select the 3 winning teams whose products are being taken to market by Make48’s partner The Handy Camel.