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QVC sees viewers switch on, buy online

posted 8 Jun 2012, 09:50 by Mpelembe   [ updated 8 Jun 2012, 09:50 ]

At a time when traditional High Street retailers are struggling, television shopping is gaining viewers and attracting new customers through online shopping and smartphone apps.

UK-QVC RETAIL - TV shopping channels may not be renowned for being innovative.

But that's not the case at QVC's new state-of-the-art London studios.

The retailer has been on air in the UK for almost 20 years and has just moved into this £33 million complex.

Dermot Boyd is QVC's UK CEO.

Dermot Boyd, CEO of QVC UK, saying

"As a retailer, it's the equivalent of doing a store refit programme all in one day."

At at time when many High Street stores are struggling - more people are tuning in.

QVC added 10% extra viewers in 2011 - taking the total to 7.6 million a month.

The range of items sold has also changed over the years.

Products from celebrities and guest presenters are helping to attract new, younger customers.

They're also changing the way they shop - mobile shopping now accounts for between 5 and 6% of sales.

QVC expects that to rise. They already have an iPhone app, with a Android one to follow soon along with a revamped internet site.

Dermot Boyd, CEO of QVC UK, saying 

"This is the home page. It features today's special value, each day it's the item that is a particularly good price. If for example you want to see what's on air we've got live streaming, so this shows the TV programme as it's happening. On here it will have the item that's currently on air, so if we touch the one that's on air. These days it's the quickest way of ordering."

By expanding ways customers can shop - including using smartphone and tablets - QVC is moving with the times, says Malcolm Pinkteron from Planet Retail.

Malcolm Pinkerton, Senior Analyst at Planet Retail, saying

"QVC are certainly being very shrewd because they do realise that TV shopping is not necessarily a thing of the past but that certainly the spend is transferring online at a rapid rate and it's not only online, it's also mobile commerce as well. People are using their mobiles not just to shop but also interact with retailers, as research tool when they're shopping, or even watching TV on their mobiles and that transfers to iPads and tablet computers as well."

While QVC's new studios show its commitment to broadcasting, in future the home shopping experience will be available on screens of all sizes.

Joanna Partridge, Reuters