QVC has agreed to acquire the portion of HSN it didn’t already own, creating the third-largest e-commerce company in the US with $14 billion in revenue. While Amazon and Walmart are still ahead, QVC is gradually overhauling its e-commerce approach, suggesting that the retailer is taking steps to compete with those behemoths.
As recently as 2016, QVC could fairly be characterized as an omnichannel dinosaur. Its site was average, and multiple calls-to-action and limited personalization options made for a mildly confusing customer experience. But QVC has kept up with the times. The site now boasts a 2.5 second load time and compressed images, as well as a savvy data capture strategy including prominent placement of QVC’s sweepstakes program. The retailer gathers eight data points from the sweepstakes program, close to the industry average of 11 observed in L2’s Data and Targeting report.
On its home page, the retailer has embraced UGC by promoting user-generated content with the #LoveQVC campaign. Given QVC’s business model and video-first sales strategy, UGC can help expand brand reach and lend products a degree of authenticity. On product pages, beyond the traditional ratings and reviews functionality, QVC enables customers to sort reviews with a wide variety of options including star count and recency and offers a quick summary of those reviews as well as an analysis of product sizing information.
However, the retailer still has some work to do. Its Speed Buy option, intended to mimic the standard “Buy Now” functionality that other e-tailers boast about, is not very speedy, resulting in a four-step checkout process. One solution could be partnering with PayPal or another payment gateway to simplify the ordering process and auto-filling the user’s billing and shipping details. While these changes might not seem like much, they could make a key difference as QVC seeks to compete with Amazon and Walmart.