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Direct Response Marketing

Home Shopping: Want Your Product on QVC? 5 Things to Consider

1 Jun, 2009 By: Chris Carfagno Response


The requirements for a successful home shopping product are not unlike the things that make any product profitable. However, with home shopping — and in particular, QVC — there are specific qualifications necessary to follow if you hope to travel the road to success. So here are five things to consider:

 Chris Carfagno
Chris Carfagno

1 Is your product highly demonstrable? Of all the criteria necessary for a successful home shopping product, this one is the most important — and also the hardest to grasp. There are some great products in stores that you use everyday but are not appropriate candidates for home shopping.

For example, if you think about products that you have seen on QVC or on infomercials, the ones that come to mind are the most demonstrable. Typically these kinds of products are found in the home improvement, kitchen gadgets and electrics, household cleaners and storage categories. The reason why these products are so successful via home shopping is that they typically try to solve a problem, or improve upon an existing product. This improvement is something that can be shown to the audience.

It sends a clear message: "You need this product. Let me show you why." If your product cannot fill a need and show the audience how their lives will be better if they purchase the product, it may not be the right candidate for the home shopping audience.

2 Does your product appeal to a broad audience? The potential market for your product is also important to home shopping networks like QVC. Each product is geared toward a specific audience and speaks directly to them. When considering if your product is right for home shopping, your audience should be carefully considered. Who is this product for? If your answer to this question is a niche market, like "female truck drivers," your audience may not be large enough for a successful home shopping campaign.

3 Practice on friends, practice on strangers. I have always found a good way to determine your product's viability is to practice pitching it to people who fall within the demographics of your target market.

Describe it to friends and strangers. Are they listening attentively? Does it seem like they can picture it in their mind's eye? Do they ask you questions about how it works? Find out what about your pitch most piqued their curiosity and, more importantly, what was powerful enough to not only gain their interest but also motivate them to pick up the phone and place an order.

Once you are sure that your product is both highly demonstrable and appeals to a broad audience, you are ready to complete your free product evaluation. The evaluation process usually will take anywhere from four to six weeks. At this stage, you need — at minimum — a working prototype of your product, though it is not necessary to send it to home shopping networks with your application. If they are interested in your product, they will request a sample.

4 I have been approved to sell my product. Now what? Congratulations!

In general home shopping companies do not assist in the actual manufacturing of the products they sell. However, most (including QVC) do have resources available to entrepreneurs on their Web sites.

You should also factor in the cost of packaging and shipping when you are determining costs related to your home shopping campaign.

5 A final word of advice. Have fun with your product and with the process. Remember that there is an "infotainment" element to any home shopping campaign. This is why so many celebrities are involved in the industry, sharing everything from the latest and greatest make-up to jewelry to slicer-dicers.

Shopping — and especially home shopping — is based on an emotional reaction to products. People want to connect with the product they are buying and know they are part of something that will make their lives easier. Be creative, have fun, but always be smart — about your product, your audience and your successful home shopping campaign.

Chris Carfagno is a 20-year veteran of the home shopping industry and current vice president of direct response and home shopping sales for ShadowBox Direct. He can be reached at (215) 321-9806 or via E-mail at chris@shadowboxpictures.com.


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