Liberty Media Corp., parent of TV and online retailer QVC Inc. and e-retailer Provide Commerce Inc., expects growth in e-commerce through areas such as online gaming, online video content and mobile commerce, CEO Greg Maffei said in a keynote address at Shop.org this week.
Even though Liberty Media, is “not targeting digital millennials,” he says, the company is expecting growth through new e-commerce trends such as online gaming, mobile commerce combined with location-based service technology, and the spread of free video content on sites like YouTube.com, Maffei says.
Liberty generally caters to a consumer population that is more stable and affluent than the much-discussed digital millennials, or Gen Y-consumers aged 14-24-but is still finding its targeted consumers responding to new trends in e-commerce, Maffei says. Liberty’s QVC is No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites; Provide Commerce is No. 56. It also holds financial stakes in IAC/InteractiveCorp, No. 23 in the Top 500 Guide, and News Corp., which owns social networking site MySpace.com.
“We’re seeing a rise in casual online gaming,” as many stay-at-home parents are taking mid-day breaks on their computers, he says. Liberty, which shares with Sony Corp. ownership of the Game Show Network and GSN.com, is working on ways to capitalize on that increase, he adds.
Liberty, which has expertise in online video with QVC TV and QVC.com, is also looking into ways to leverage the growth of consumer-generated video sites such as Youtube.com, Maffei says. “The larger distribution of video by third-party sites is a great promotional vehicle and a great opportunity for e-commerce,” he says, adding that QVC is working on ways to capitalize on traffic to video sites.
In m-commerce, Maffei says he’s expecting to see a sharp rise over the next several years in the number of consumers using cell phones and other hand-held communication devices that are connected to GPS-enabled location-based services, which will allow retailers to send to their customers promotional alerts from stores in close proximity to a customer’s current location. “The tipping point for that will be in the next three to five years,” he says.