Cue the drum roll because we have got a big announcement to make! Startups and the entrepreneurs behind them now have numerous opportunities to profit from our know-how and utilize our selling power. Our team traveled to Hamburg on September 20 to launch our QVC NEXT platform at the Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch conference, the leading conference of its kind in northern Germany. Here is how it went.
We were all looking forward to a day packed full of exciting ideas and people as a Startups@Reeperbahn Pitches partner. A team of QVC buyers met with ten entrepreneurs in the QVC NEXT Love Mobile. The entrepreneurs presented their innovative products to us and we explained the benefits of our business model to them. Gina Deeble, Vice President Commerce Platforms at QVC, was a member of the jury judging the pitches in the evening and a speaker at the conference during the day, where she won over her audience with hard facts confirming our organization’s selling power.
We are the global video commerce leader with a market share of 34%. Our channels are broadcasted to more than 360 million households around the world. In Germany alone the programs we air on our channels reach 41 million households. Gina Deeble also impressed the conference public with QVC’s customer numbers. We have 1.8 million of them in Germany. QVC customers are special because they are so loyal – a loyalty that we have earned over the years with our product and service excellence. The majority of them buy products on a regular basis, with an average of around 25 articles per customer.
One of the reasons why our customers keep on coming back to QVC is the great shopping experience they get across all channels and touchpoints. There’s always something new and surprising for them to discover. Our programs provide an entertaining and informative framework for product presentation, which makes them perfect for startups. Their founders are entrepreneurs who are passionate about their innovative products, so they present them in a very authentic way.
QVC NEXT as the perfect platform for startups
We officially launched the QVC NEXT initiative on September 20 to provide startups with a platform for their products. The ‘launch pad’ was Startups@Reeperbahn Pitch at Gruenspan in Hamburg. Gruenspan is a concert venue that has played host to numerous music legends. On September 20, however, the spotlight was on startups. The conference program included interesting presentations and panel discussions, an international startup contest and blind dates in the Love Mobiles.
Love Mobiles is an exciting-sounding name, isn’t it? They’re classic Airstream trailers from the USA that were lovingly restored and fitted out for the event. Five of the Love Mobiles were used for talks between entrepreneurs and experts, and one of them was reserved for the four-strong QVC merchandising team. A total of ten entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their companies and products to our buying experts during the day. These meetings also gave us the chance to present our QVC NEXT platform to the entrepreneurs and hear what they thought about it.
Reaching new customer audiences with new media and German ‘Shark Tank’
We managed to make it very clear that we are not just a video commerce company. Today we are a multichannel retailer with cross-media activities including an online shop, shopping apps, social media profiles and our own beauty blog.
That is one of the reasons why our customer base is becoming increasingly diversified. Our products appeal to women across all age groups, and people with very different lifestyles. A cooperation with TV ‘shark’ Ralf Dümmel’s company, DS Produkte, has enabled us to come into contact with many new customers. He is a familiar face to TV viewers as ‘King of Deals’ on the Shark Tank reality TV series. When Dümmel invests in an entrepreneur, that entrepreneur’s product is featured after the Shark Tank program live on QVC, and the sales figures are always impressive.
First talks were a success – now the search continues!
Perhaps the products of some of the entrepreneurs we talked to in the Love Mobile will also be featured in the QVC shows. Our purchasers were certainly impressed by what they saw. “We have encountered all kinds of exciting products, from sustainable fashions to organic cosmetics, novel food products and even pet food,” said Ronald Käding, Vice President Merchandising at QVC Germany, summing up the day. “We are looking forward to giving innovative entrepreneurs’ products the boost they need to be the next big thing with our multiple sales channels.”
Now the search is really on. Our goal with QVC NEXT is to source exciting and innovative products and present them to our customers on all available sales channels. We are especially interested in home & kitchen, fashion, jewelry, accessories, beauty and electrical products. If you would like to stay up to date on QVC NEXT, click here to subscribe to our newsletter. Maybe we will meet on TV very soon!