QVC Pivots To Data-Driven Ecommerce

TV-based retailer QVC has expanded its ecommerce capabilities with a new analytics platform that extends the company's marketing services from television to email and beyond.

QVC began in 1986 as a video retailer, but has expanded to position itself as a direct marketing and ecommerce company. QVC can understand how TV influences digital trends and vice-versa using the company’s new proprietary technology.

A year ago, QVC launched Data Analytics Response Technology (DART), an analytics platform that combines over 30 years of historical company data with real-time customer insights. 

QVC’s treasure chest of data includes customer engagement and purchase history, transactional data, social media posts, reviews and site viewership. The retailer also tracks demand-oriented information, such as a rise of demand in search trends or product purchases.

DART combines human analysts with automated technology; QVC believes “human intuition is always going to have a value factor,” says Peter Goodnough, head of consumer insights and analytics at QVC. “We’re not averse to automation, and we’re moving towards that just like the rest of industry, but were starting with human interest and judgement as our foundation.”

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An example of this hybrid approach is when DART identifies an increase in search volume. QVC will then have human analysts choose a product that is closest to the rising demand, and populate that item across search results. Products identified as trending can be deployed through TV, Internet or email.

QVC’s subscriber base is in the millions, per Goodnough, but he says all-inclusive email blasts are relatively rare. Instead, QVC applies data from DART to target consumers who are most likely to be interested in a product.

Goodnough believes behavioral data is “much more helpful than demographic attributes” because the data is something that “has happened in the recent past, rather than an attribute that you carry around all the time.” 

QVC also incorporates weather- and location-based testing to evaluate where in the world certain products would see the highest demand.

For example, QVC identified certain Zip codes in the United States with high rain totals in February to market the Revers-a-Brella, a no-drip umbrella. DART showed sales were over-indexing in the Southeast and in California during rainy weather, and utilized this information to sell more than 169,000 units on QVC in a special daily sale.

 

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