Is QVC about to be Amazon’d?

Discussion
Mar 09, 2016

Think QVC — except its online and much more focused on younger consumers. Amazon.com has launched its first live, interactive show online — Style Code Live — that, as its name suggests, is focused on using entertainment to sell consumers fashion and beauty products.

The show, which made its premiere at 9:00 PM ET last night, is seen as a forum for Amazon to aggressively promote its own private labels. As reportedly recently by Quartz, Amazon has launched seven different own brands for men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories. The show will stream live Monday through Thursday and run a “best of” show on Friday nights.

The show’s cast features three young hosts: Lyndsey Rodrigues, Rachel Smith and Frankie Grande.

Ms. Rodrigues, whose fashion sense is described as “edgy yet totally approachable” and influenced by New York has served as a host of MTV’s Total Request Live.

Ms. Smith, a former Miss USA winner and an entertainment correspondent at ABC News and for Good Morning America, sports a style that Amazon describes as “classic and feminine.” She does admit, however, to “loving a gutsy look and spending her weekends in harem pants.”

Finally, Mr. Grande came to national fame following his appearance on the CBS network’s Big Brother 16. It was revealed during the show that Mr. Grande is the older half-brother of recording star and actress Ariana Grande.

“Style Code Live gives viewers a first-of-its-kind daily style and entertainment experience. We’re live, interactive, and covering the latest trends in fashion and beauty each weeknight — with guest experts, celebrities, and viewer tips,” said Terence Noonan, the show’s executive producer, in a statement. “We are building a community and are super excited for our viewers to be part of it.”

Style Code Live emphasizes interactivity with live chat that include chime-ins from the hosts, style links and a “love bag” where viewers can “applaud” segments of the show.

Source: amazon.com/stylecodelive

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How great an impact do you see coming from Style Code Live on Amazon’s fashion and beauty sales? How will it affect other retailers in the same categories? Do you expect Amazon will expand streaming shows into other product categories, as well?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"QVC and HSN have their own problems. Amazon is the least of it. In fact, their very problem is that their customers are growing out of their discretionary spending years, and the social aspect of the networks have been supplanted by Facebook anyway."
"I’m not sure that a live show is the way to reach young Millennials (as the hosts seem to be targeted for). They would be better served by using Instagram/Vine or creating an app with style suggestions."
"Amazon is already broadcasting more than a dozen scripted series on Amazon Prime TV. Style Code Live will surely be less expensive to produce, and it has the added benefit of generating private brand awareness and possibly a few purchases."

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12 Comments on "Is QVC about to be Amazon’d?"


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Tom Redd
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

I am sure with the Generation Z and low end (younger Millennials) they will have some success and lots of returns. They are NOT a threat to QVC/HSN ops. Amazon will for sure lose money on this effort. In the TV shopping business the merchandise must move at blinding speeds and the scheduling must map to the right audience. Very critical in this space is the returns logistics. Massive effort that I am confident that Amazon TV cannot handle. I would consider this KIDS TV and Generation Z will like to watch it but they spend LESS than Millennials.

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

QVC and HSN have their own problems. Amazon is the least of it. in fact, their very problem is that their customers are growing out of their discretionary spending years, and the social aspect of the networks (which was a VERY big deal early in their history) have been supplanted by Facebook anyway. Back in the day, it was something of a revelation for people in small towns to get on TV and talk to others about their great buys and experiences.

In fact, that’s one reason QVC bought Zulily — to try to attract a younger audience.

I never count Amazon out of anything, but there’s really no evidence that shows its target demographic has any interest in this format at all. I think it’s a “meh.”

Zel Bianco
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

I’m not sure that a live show is the way to reach young Millennials (as the hosts seem to be targeted for). They would be better served by using Instagram/Vine or creating an app with style suggestions.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

QVC and HSN skew to the older demographic, that’s for sure. Visit any retirement home and check on the residents if you’re not sure about this.

That said, listening to people standing around talking about a product is very time-consuming. Not sure that Millennials will want to buy that way. Time will tell.

Jonathan Spooner
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

Amazon is very good at finding out where customers want to interact with them and building a platform to enable that. Alexa, Dash and Prime are all great examples of their building out infrastructure to support new ways for customers to interact with them.

This is a surprisingly backwards-facing approach as the TV shopping channel is an outdated sales model (pre-internet) that doesn’t fit in to the current media landscape in the same manner. This is more akin to Amazon trying to engage shoppers in AOL chat rooms.

Dan Raftery
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

It seems to me that Amazon doesn’t do anything without a clear understanding that something will come of it. If that doesn’t sound very focused, you’re right. I believe Amazon is one of those companies that includes a large percentage of experimentation in its overall strategy. As a result, they’re pretty good at expanding the boundaries of retail and being in tune with their customer.

Dimitris Tsioutsias
Guest
Dimitris Tsioutsias
6 years 2 months ago

Could Amazon create a competing outlet to QVC/HSN? Sure, if they attract the right celebrities/products to push their (subsidized) product in a way that steals some SOV away from the incumbents. Will it be successful in penetrating Millennials? Highly questionable, and even if they can get some traction, it is unclear how scaleable this endeavor would prove to be. Personally I would prefer Amazon spending some of their money on “cleaning up” their Bazaar-like marketplace-cum-entertainment website customer experience, but I understand the ROI is not there. So they will keep on testing new waters to find new sources of revenue.

James Tenser
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

Why shouldn’t Amazon dip its toe into direct sales programming? It is already broadcasting more than a dozen scripted series on Amazon Prime TV. Style Code Live will surely be less expensive to produce, and it has the added benefit of generating private brand awareness and possibly a few purchases.

QVC and HSN have little to worry about from this incursion. There will be little or no audience overlap. For newer consumers whose habits are not yet ossified like mine it may be a welcome diversion. Just don’t expect them to spend very much.

Brian Kelly
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

It’s another channel from which Amazon may learn.

Amazon has great consumer instincts so it will probably be executed in some relevant, disruptive way. That’s an informed hunch. Amazon’s scientists will test, learn and adjust. Category buying will inform channel deployment.

But what’s the value of the channel in OTT viewing? Who knows….

It’s why we like to say, “retail ain’t for sissies!”

Shep Hyken
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

Competition can be good, forcing all online retailer shows to be better — better value, better merchandise and a better customer experience. This is good for both the customer and the retailer. Competition forces a rising tide that can lift all boats.

Lee Kent
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

Being online and interactive? I think it has potential legs. If they do it right, keep it focused and short, listen to their customers, it just might work.

For my 2 cents!

Gordon Arnold
Guest
6 years 2 months ago

With or without Amazon, this was inevitable. The fact that nobody else is willing to blaze e-commerce trails is still what is news. If they can get this to work along with the limited shipping cost deals, the holiday season in 2016 might see significant real growth. Walmart might wish to revisit acquisition planning while they can still afford to do so.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"QVC and HSN have their own problems. Amazon is the least of it. In fact, their very problem is that their customers are growing out of their discretionary spending years, and the social aspect of the networks have been supplanted by Facebook anyway."
"I’m not sure that a live show is the way to reach young Millennials (as the hosts seem to be targeted for). They would be better served by using Instagram/Vine or creating an app with style suggestions."
"Amazon is already broadcasting more than a dozen scripted series on Amazon Prime TV. Style Code Live will surely be less expensive to produce, and it has the added benefit of generating private brand awareness and possibly a few purchases."

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