Producers behind the scenes at QVC's studios monitor high-tech control boards, gauging which aspects of segments send shoppers to their phones and computers and directing hosts and guests to do more of the things that boost sales. Online sales now account for 45% of QVC's total, and the multichannel retailer's mobile sales are on track to rival Wal-Mart's this year.
E-commerce sales grew 14.8% last year, and online retail's growth rates are expected to continue outpacing overall retail growth for at least the next five years, according to reports. Several trends are fueling growth, including brick-and-mortar merchants' improvements in the multichannel arena, a tablet-driven jump in mobile commerce and expanding international efforts, Marcia Kaplan writes.
J.C. Penney is returning to its deal-offering roots -- online at least -- with Web deals more than doubling compared with last year, when former CEO Ron Johnson looked to transition away from discounts, according to Hipiti. But year-over-year online traffic in February and March was down 14%, according to comScore.
Online video is proving to be a strong digital marketing tool that comes with the ability to measure return on investment. "The beauty of video is we can say exactly what we want to say -- it's like being a movie director. You choose the cast, the script and you know the ending. That's powerful for us," Topshop marketing chief Justin Cooke said.
Bob Myers, senior vice president at QVC.com, discussed the multimedia aspects of QVC's operations during his keynote speech at Shop.org's Strategy & Innovation Forum. A major new initiative on QVC.com is the "Item on Air" feature, which shows Internet users the item on sale and offers a webstream of the video, with inventory numbers updated every six seconds.