January 24, 2008, 12:00 AM

More video turns up the sales volume at QVC.com

The web site tied to TV shopping channel QVC expanded use of video in a site redesign that went live Nov. 1. With more use of video throughout the site, sales directly from videos are up 56% from a year ago.

QVC.com, the web site tied to television shopping channel QVC, expanded use of video and of social shopping features as part of a site redesign that went live Nov. 1. Both are paying off, say QVC.com executives speaking this week at the Shop.org Strategy and Innovation Forum in Orlando.

Whereas the old site featured video viewers on product pages, the new site’s home page provides buttons in the central window that allow visitors to access a variety of videos, including what’s on the air at the moment, today’s specials and best sellers, says Robert P. Myers, senior vice president of QVC.com and Direct Response.

The video player is twice the size of the previous player and provides a crisper picture, Myers says. Video is also available on more pages, such as the program guide. As a result of the changes, sales directly from the video player are running 56% higher this month than in January 2007, he says. Overall conversion from videos is typically between 20% and 30%, he says.

The new video player launches in a separate browser, which means the customer can leave the video player open and continue watching QVC video while visiting other web sites. QVC expects to introduce in a few weeks a widget that will allow consumers to put an icon on their desktop that will give them one-click access QVC video, Myers says.

Among the product categories that have benefited most from the use of video are consumer electronics and beauty products. He says a customer who bought a cosmetic product after seeing it demonstrated online by a host named Holly, may find she doesn’t remember how it’s applied once she has the product at home. Now, Myers says, she can replay that show online or ask Holly a question through a page devoted to that product line.

QVC.com has added a number of social shopping features over the past year, including customer reviews, which has resulted in customers writing 400,000 reviews in the past eight months, Myers says.

Another feature on the bottom right of the home page is a poll, which asks questions about products QVC is promoting. After the visitor takes the poll, she sees a page with links to relevant products. Those pages are converting at between 15% and 20%, says Carol G. Snyder, vice president of merchandising, community and multichannel at QVC.com.

QVC Inc. is No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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