Lately I’ve been tuning in to a channel I’ve never watched before: QVC. Whether I’m watching while reading emails on the couch or have it on in the background while doing other stuff it’s captured my attention for several reasons. I thought that as we head into the holidays we’d take a look at this business and what they’re doing that we might be able to learn from them about success.
If you’ve never watched or heard of QVC, they’re a TV network that specializes in home shopping . They’ve been around since 1986. All day and night long there are hosts who present items that are brought in through partnerships with other companies and are products that company sells, or products that QVC has developed with the other business and are exclusive to QVC. The items are often at a discounted price and about 97% of the time the item is presented in great detail by the host and often by a representative from the company or industry expert as well (i.e. tech or beauty expert who works at QVC). Now that we’re caught up let’s take a look at a few things I’ve seen while watching.
First, they do repeat products throughout the day and over a period of time. Some are classics that they get back every season (for example popular snow cleaning tools), others are items they only have a small selection of and are only carrying that day, and others are available on the website or on previous or upcoming shows but at a (much) higher price. One of the things that businesses sometimes question is whether or not to repeat things, and whether or not customers and potential customers are OK with seeing the same stuff again. I think QVC does this well in that yes it’s the same product shown again on another show that day or in the past/future, but it’s always presented by a different host so you get lots of different perspectives on the product. It’s not just a copy/paste sales pitch sent out multiple times throughout the day even if they know that most if not all people who saw it at one time won’t be around at that time to see it again.
Second, they’re all about people. If they bring in products that were offered in previous years but have been tweaked from the initial offering they make a point of saying that they listened to the feedback from their customers and have made some of those requests happen. They also take time to speak with people who call in with a testimonial, and let them share a story, chat with them, and really listen to them while weaving in talk about the product without being pushy or impatient (especially when the individual sounds like they’re very old). They also talk a lot about how active they are in social media and how the hosts are all on it and they invite people to connect with the hosts on social media, and from time to time they share some of that activity on the show like a recipe made in one of their products. Finally, as mentioned QVC is based around 2 things: great products for sale and great people sharing about them. Yes, they could just share products in one dimension online like many companies do, but they’ve chosen to give it a very human dimension by adding people who talk about and go over the products. It’s hard to forget that there are people involved when they’re sharing about the product and making suggestions for who would benefit from the product or how it’s created especially for someone.
Third, they are great communicators. They’ve got up-to-date information on their website (including what product is currently on-air at all times), they’ve got great details on their website with each product, they’ve got a great team of people feeding information to the hosts including how many of a product or style is left or where the next shoot is happening so the host can move to that stage, and they’ve got a great crew of people organizing the scenes, cleaning up after them and stepping in if an extra helping hand is needed.
The holidays are about great gifts and about spending time with each other, so I encourage you to make the sales process as easy and friendly as possible for your customers so they can get the gifts and items they need and be on their way to their next celebration.