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QVC launches multichannel beauty-centric network

Home shopping innovator QVC is continuing its growth into multiplatform retailing with the debut of a channel and accompanying ecommerce platform dedicated to beauty products.

QVC’s Beauty iQ network will go live on November 2 and will be available on traditional media through big-name distributors such as DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Dish and Roku. The network will also have a robust digital presence on QVC’s various online channels, including the network’s mobile-optimized Web site, QVC’s mobile-optimized Web site, the QVC application and social channels such as Twitter and Instagram.

“In addition to our TV programming, QVC employs a digital- and mobile-first strategy, as customers are increasingly choosing to engage with us via these platforms,” said Mary Campbell, executive vice president of commerce platforms at QVC. “According to Internet Retailer, QVC is the 3rd largest US mobile retailer and 60 percent of our digital sessions come from a mobile platform.

“For 30 years, QVC has built its expertise in developing content— including our expertise in video content— that works on the TV model. Now, we’re leveraging this expertise in content creation and relationship building to drive growth through customized customer engagement by delivering the right content, to the right customer, on the right platform, at the right time.”

Beauty iQ
The network will also have a dedicated social component, which is especially important when targeting the demographics that Beauty iQ will undoubtedly reach for. QVC sees social media as merely a continuation of an integral part of its time-honored business plan.

“In many ways QVC was ‘social’ before the advent of social networks,” Ms. Campbell said. “Long known for our direct customer engagement and testimonials via television, QVC’s social channels have fostered global communities of savvy shoppers who interact, share ideas and inspire.

“Our engagement is unique because it is not built around one voice, but a community of voices that include our hosts, customers, personalities, celebrities, brand representatives and the people behind the products. For example, QVC has over 2.4 million fans on Facebook, and in 2015 we received an average of 47,000 product reviews per month.”

The addition of Beauty iQ to QVC’s portfolio is a logical one for the retailer. In 2015, 17 percent of its global sales were sourced from the beauty sector.

And according to Euromonitor, the U.S. beauty industry generated $80 billion in revenues, with $32 billion coming from prestige beauty brands. Beauty iQ is set to feature many of these prestige brands, including the likes of Givenchy, Josie Maran, Edward Bess, tatcha and IT Cosmetics.

Users can also instantly buy products being advertised through the QVC mobile platform

Multichannel approach
Beauty iQ represents another chapter in QVC’s trajectory in diversifying its offerings as consumers increasingly are cutting cable subscriptions and substituting home shopping with ecommerce. Consumers should not be surprised if the network stands as a case study in further scaling the once-ancillary platforms of mobile-optimized online and app retailing.

Last year, the company’s acquisition of ecommerce retailer Zulily pointed to the shopping network’s desire to ramp up its mobile offerings to millennial moms and proves that mobile-optimized flash sale sites are increasingly retreating under the umbrella of larger brands (see story).

And the brass at QVC seems to be on board with consumers’ transition to mobile as well. Executives from the company revealed at CXNYC 2015 that developing mobile-first, second-screen experiences to complement live broadcasts is an optimal way for the home shopping network to increase customer engagement, and consequently, conversion rates (see story).

“Over 30 years, QVC has transformed from a single, linear, TV-only medium to a multi-platform leader— we deliver a consistently engaging, seamless and rewarding user experiences on every platform,” Ms. Campbell said. “Beauty iQ is a multiplatform beauty entertainment experience.

“Our customers can experience Beauty iQ online via, via broadcast, on the QVC mobile app and on our social platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. It’s a destination for beauty lovers, experts, influencers and brands to share their ideas, perspectives and experiences about beauty in an editorialized way.”