Last Wednesday Jim, Linda and I were invited to tour QVC and go behind the scenes into the “green room” so that we could better understand which of our clients might benefit from airing their products on the shopping channel network. Our invitation came from Ellie Statton, a manufacturer’s representative who has successfully placed dozens of products on air, resulting in millions of dollars of sales. Ellie is the owner of Elbo Marketing and Sales, and she has several tips to quickly narrow down products that will do well on QVC.
1) Products that are demonstrable with lots of talking points.
2) A Manufacture who can be aggressive with price to give QVC the best offer.
3) Quality products.
4) Manufactures who can take inventory risks.
5) Manufactures who are financially secure.
If you want to get in touch directly with Ellie, her contact information is as follows:
Elbo Marketing and Sales/Perfect Paper Crafting
128 Windgate Drive
Chester Springs, PA 19425
I’d recommend the QVC tour because it is a fascinating glimpse into the massive undertaking and business of running the highly successful home shopping network. The tour starts with some history and facts about QVC.
- QVC (which stands for quality, value and convenience) began in November 24, 1986 at the hands of entrepreneur Joseph Segel in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
- QVC broadcasts 24 hours a day, 364 days a year, has 300 million viewers worldwide with studios in China, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and Pennsylvania.
- At any given time 85 million people are watching QVC.
- QVC Studio Park has 58,000 square feet of space with 18 permanent sets and more than 100 portable scenic elements..
- There are 4 distribution centers in the United States to keep shipping costs as low as possible.
- QVC.com, was founded in 1996 and attracts more than 6 million unique visitors each month.
- Read more QVC statistics here.
For manufactures, QVC can be an incredible opportunity for worldwide exposure, and can lead to huge profits and brand awareness, but it has to be the right kind of product for QVC’s target market of mostly women earning 60-90K per year. The nice thing about these viewers is that they are very social and provide wonderful product reviews on air. Every week QVC showcases over 1,000 new products. The hosts and guests on the show do not use cue cards, but they are wearing ear phones used by the control center that monitors how products are selling, second by second. The operators in the control booth let the host know when to move onto another product or re-highlight a particularly important feature of a product that led to immediate sales. This way QVC stays hugely profitable, and airs many products that sell out.
76% of all products reviewed by QVC pass their criteria on the first review. QVC is very concerned about quality control and will visit the manufacturing facility to perform PGC inspections. Check http://www.qvcproductsearch.com where you can start the product review process.
So if you think you have a product ready for QVC, here are some steps to take:
1. Watch QVC to see how similar products are discussed, and check the QVC website to see how competitive products are positioned there.
2. Make sure your product is actually allowed on QVC. It will not air products such as firearms, fuel additives, tobacco, gambling products, or genuine fur.
3. Make sure you can handle mass production of the product. The typical minimum purchase order is around $30,000.
4. Have a prototype, images or video of the product.
5. Hire a manufacturer’s rep or brand consultant with experience pitching QVC for successful products. This person will help you show QVC how they will profit, how this product will appeal to consumers, how this product is unique, and they will demonstrate the product.
If you are an inventor with little inventory, you can also compete with other inventors to have your product aired on QVC for two weeks. You can read more about this opportunity at QVC Sprouts (www.qvcsprouts.com).