Can Retailers Put Themselves In the Shopping Conversation?
Shopping is a social activity, and promoting those interactions — rather than selling — is key to the success of retail, according to Alex Miller, Senior Vice President of Digital Commerce at QVC’s shopping network.
In a session yesterday at eTail East in Philadelphia, Mr. Miller said consumers are constantly "shopping each other" and finding a way into those conversations is key to retail success. He pointed out how people see others wearing a shirt or shoes they like and ask where the product was purchased. These interactions lead directly to sales via stores, digital storefronts and television shopping networks. "Shopping is a way to connect," he said.
Mr. Miller pointed to the unique relationship that QVC customers enjoy with the company’s program hosts and products, including the many conversations that take place on-air. "Social," he said, "has been in our DNA since the beginning." The challenge for Mr. Miller and his team is bringing the emotion expressed on air to QVC’s digital channels.
One of the initiatives currently underway at QVC is toGather, a social commerce channel that borrows heavily from Pinterest. The site, which Mr. Miller said would be out of beta "Septemberish," is a place where "like-minded customers come together to shop each other." Users create their own collection of products on the site and then peers can "heart" them. In addition to items, users can also post personal photos.
Do you agree with the premise that consumers are constantly “shopping one another” and that shopping is an inherently social experience? If yes, is there a way for retailers to place themselves in those conversations via social commerce channels?