Wednesday evening brought together a beauty crowd to the Fairmont Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica, Calif., to hear from QVC’s Merchandising Director of Beauty, Claudia Lucas, and executives from two of the shopping channel’s top-selling brands, Liz Garrett, President of philosophy, and Mally Roncal, President/Creator of Mally Beauty. Moderated by CEW chairwoman and Chrysallis CMO, Jill Scalamandre, the discussion covered everything from QVCs reach (195 million homes) and category breakdown (beauty is 17% of business) to the secrets of selling on air. Here are the Top 5 takeaways from the evening’s event.
1. Shopping on QVC is “merchantainment”: Likened to “sports for women”, Claudia said the combination of QVC’s entertainment and education offers a great experience for the viewer. The selection of a show’s host is crucial, but there’s no one formula to follow. Appeal spans the spectrum, from featuring philosophy founder Cristina Carlino, who emotes a soothing calm, to tapping Mally’s energizing spirit.
2. Filling the white space: Claudia is always looking to see what QVC doesn’t already have, what trend is popping up. She’s also looking for a brand with a great story and said prospective brands are really auditioning to tell it to QVC viewers. Pitches should include: What makes your product different? What drove you to develop your own line? Does your item offer a meaningful difference from what is already available? Mally mentioned that solving women’s problems with her products is a constant goal.
3. QVC success tips: Size matters! Offering product sizes that are different from what you can get at retail is key because otherwise consumers won’t be driven to buy them. Small products might not make as much of an impression as big ones, said Liz, explaining that a tiny eye cream doesn’t sell as well as a giant cleanser, in her experience.
4. Social media and the consumer relationship: BeautyBanter is an open forum on QVC where women talk very candidly about the beauty lines sold on the shopping channel, both what they like and don’t like. And, as Mally says: “They tell you.”
5. The future: Claudia said the future of QVC is personalized access, such as “on demand” capability, so that a viewer can access a segment they’re interested in at any time from any place at their convenience. She also sees fragrance as a white space to fill, as well as beauty technology.