Why QVC Is Brilliant
For starters, it makes viewers feel like friends
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2010 1:57 PM CDT
Whoopi Goldberg hawks her bedding line on QVC.   (PRNewsFoto/QVC, Inc.)

(Newser) – Nearly 25 years after its inception, the QVC network has become "one of the most effective retailing machines ever invented," writes self-described "closet fan" Megan McArdle at the Atlantic. The network didn't reinvent retail, but it's perfected many of its tenets, she explains. Among them:

  • Intimacy: QVC's approach is "less a sales pitch than a coffee klatch where friends trade tips on hot new products." The hosts connect by telling a story—"a story about the viewer, and the product’s place in her life."

  • Feels so good: The hosts know how to push the right buttons to trigger the pleasurable sensations of shopping. They make it clear how the product in question will make you a better person, "amping up the anticipated reward."
  • No pain: QVC makes it supremely easy to pay. "Lots of stores take credit cards. But only QVC strips away all the negative cues."
  • Real-time vigilance: Producers keep a constant eye on call volume. "Whenever it spikes, the host hears a voice in his or her ear: 'Whatever you just said, say it again. It’s working.'" It all makes its way into extensive training.
Read the full article here.