QVC is one of the world’s largest multi-platform retailers, spanning across the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia but, just like any other retail business, the company has had to evolve and adapt in order to meet today’s consumer demands.
While the core of the business is still broadcasting, QVC has had to harness the power of social media and e-commerce in order to enhance the customer experience.
The television shopping channel alone reaches millions of shoppers across the globe, but by keeping up -to-date with the latest digital tools, QVC has been able to build even stronger relationships with consumers and strengthen its own brand.
With this in mind, keeping up with the latest technology and how it can be used to bolster business remains top of QVC’s agenda.
In fact, the business is quick to tell customers and vendors that it is ‘more than just a TV channel’, but rather a multi-platform retail experience.
And this is true, customers can now interact with QVC in many different ways. The company says on its website: “We provide fantastic quality products that are great value and as we’re on-air and online 24/7, 365 days a year, our customers can shop when it’s most convenient for them too.
“Our resident presenters and guests are on hand to share their expert knowledge so that customers have everything they need to make well-informed decisions and absorb expert advice that they could never pick up from shopping on the high street.”
According to QVC, its customers are predominantly female, aged between 35 and 65. They tend to consume mainstream media and they love to shop.
While this demographic is not typically the first one to spring to mind when thinking about social media, many of QVC’s customers are very active online and appreciate the community aspect these channels provide.
“We’ve always used our TV platform to connect directly with our audience, and social media is a key enabler for us to give the same experience to our digital customer,” QVC UK’s buying director for fashion, jewellery and accessories, Nick Chalkley, tells Professional Jeweller. “We know that our customer loves to discover new products on social, so we’re always looking for ways to surprise and delight them.”
QVC UK currently has 63.9K followers on Twitter, over 3M likes on Facebook and 81K Instagram fans, with the latter being the company’s fastest growing social channel.
Due to the power of social media, QVC has had to think differently in order to create bespoke content for its social channels — particularly Instagram.
Chalkley shares: “We have a team of social media content producers who create content for social, allowing us to maximise our efforts on Instagram Stories, Live and IGTV. We see so much traffic coming from Stories, it’s a great tool that really fits with our 24 hour business model; allowing our customers to really feel the sense of urgency we create on our TV platform.”
He continues: “Some of our most successful video content has been driven by our efforts on IGTV — this is a destination for us to inspire, educate and entertain our customers and a new audience who perhaps are not so familiar with our TV offering.”
With the success of IGTV, the social media team has also been experimenting with Facebook Live, which allows QVC to take its TV and video offering to a different platform and encourage live interaction with the content as well as reach a new audience.
The next big focus will be on the community aspects of social media. For this, QVC will be concentrating its efforts on creating Facebook Groups and live chat destinations which will enable customers to connect with other like-minded individuals. Ultimately QVC hopes this will give customers a common meeting place to share inspirational brand experiences and incentivise them to visit the company’s digital platforms everyday.
“Our goal is to create bespoke programming, offering our audience a daily destination for discovery and a place to join in with the conversation.”
Alongside social media, QVC also has a YouTube channel with 31.1K, an award-winning app, which is used by many of the company’s shoppers, and ‘Q Community’ — a space where customers can find backstage gossip and get to know the presenters even more.
JEWELLERY AT QVC
QVC stands for ‘Quality, Value and Convenience’, and the firm’s digital innovation certainly helps make shopping even easier than before.
When it comes to quality and value, it really falls on the products themselves.
QVC is very hot on quality control, something that extends throughout all of its product categories.
When looking for new jewellery brands and products to sell, QVC says the pieces have to hold great value in order to be considered.
When asked what QVC looks for in a new jewellery vendor, the jewellery buyer says, “Quality, brand story, provenance and point of difference”.
He explains: “We are always on the look-out for different product ranges that we know will inspire and excite our customer. The product has to hold great value, but is not defined by price and what is most important is that the product and brand stories are represented by credible brand guests for digital and live TV.”
Jewellery has always been an important product category for QVC, something which Chalkley assures us definitely hasn’t changed.
“Jewellery always brings in new customers and the current jewellery customer is highly respected by us, and is very loyal to our brand, shopping across multiple categories for their shopping needs,” he affirms.
The retailer’s own brand, Diamonique, remains one of its jewellery heroes.
This year QVC is celebrating 25 years of Diamonique, which has sold over 12.6 million pieces since its launch in the UK in 1994.
To mark the milestone, the retailer has created a number of limited edition collections, including a 25 stones range and a Ruby collection, which nods to July, the month Diamonique was born.
Jewellery partnerships and designers also perform well for QVC.
The retailer has long-term jewellery partnerships with Kelly Hoppen and Lisa Snowdon, and most recently worked with renowned swimwear designer, Melissa Odabash, on a line which saw some of the pieces sell out within just hours of Odabash being on air.
“Lifestyle brands are becoming so important too, therefore it’s not just about pure jewellery brands, Lola Rose is a very good example of this, and it is performing exceptionally well for us,” adds Chalkley.
QVC is also starting to see a shift away from fashion jewellery into more premium pieces.
The retailer has seen incredible growth in its ‘Diamonds and Gems’ product category, with customers being particularly drawn to certified stones.
“I think that says a lot from an investment stand point, customers are more likely to want to spend on a classic piece of jewellery rather than something that they may only wear a handful of times.”
Understanding the importance of offering fresh products regularly and inspiring customers, QVC is always on the hunt for new brands to take on.
The next exciting initiative for the retailer’s jewellery department is the introduction of personalised jewellery, which is a huge trend in the market and one QVC hopes to capitalise on during the lucrative trading period.