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Qurate Goes All in on Mobile to Chase Young Shoppers

Qurate Retail Group, the parent company of home-shopping brands QVC and HSN, is gearing up for the next era of video-based mobile-first shopping with the launch of the new Q Anytime iPhone app.

The home-shopping format traditionally relies on television programming to reach viewers, who dial into the network to order products that catch their eye. Shifting consumer behavior now means 60 percent of QVC’s orders flow in via e-commerce and two-thirds of those stem from mobile devices, the home shopping brand said in a statement.

The company said Q Anytime supplements the main QVC app by offering on-demand video content in 5-minute to 8-minute lengths that are more digestible than the longer formats for which the brand is known. QVC also unveiled a new, modernized “Q” logo to go with the app in an effort to appeal to a new generation of shoppers potentially discovering the home-shopping brand for the first time.

Mary Campbell, Qurate’s chief merchandising officer and chief commerce officer for QVC US, noted that shoppers see the brand as “a leading digital destination for product discovery and inspirational shopping,” making the brand refresh, logo and app a natural next time.

“More than 80 percent of new customers are coming to QVC US via our digital platforms,” Campbell explained. “Customers recognize that our apps and website offer highly appealing products at great values, brought to life via compelling stories, vibrant personalities and personalized content.”

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QVC’s new app is the latest in a series of efforts by Qurate to bring home shopping to millennials and Gen Z, consumers often more comfortable watching videos on smart devices in the palms of their hands than perhaps on live TV—which many don’t even have, given the cord-cutting trend. Last fall Qurate CEO Mike George revealed the thinking behind the retail group’s foray into voice commerce with the launch of an Alexa skill that enables users to place a voice-based order from live TV broadcasts, search complete product assortments by voice, and looking up shipping and account details with a voice query.

Building “friendly, inclusive environments in digital” is an invitation for consumers to engage with QVC on a deeper level, according to Susan Ripke, Qurate’s VP of global brand strategy. Q Anytime app users can get more info on a product or make a purchase by tapping on a video, tailor their video feed to their preferences and interests, and create a playlist of favorite clips.

“In many cases, today’s consumers are discovering new brands through video and social apps on their smartphones and other mobile devices,” Alex Miller, Qurate’s SVP of digital commerce and marketing, explained. “Q Anytime represents our latest push into a video-first mobile experience, leveraging our unparalleled content production capacity with decades of experience in video shopping.”

Qurate did not respond to a request for comment. The company said the new QVC brand refresh will launch in international markets later in 2019.