QVC Group is looking to get more TV shoppers under its umbrella.
Liberty Interactive Corp., parent company of online retailer and TV-shopping giant QVC Group, No. 7 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000, announced July 6 its plans to acquire online retailer and TV shopping network HSN Inc. (No. 28), in a $2.1 billion all-stock deal expected to close in the fourth quarter.
While both retailers sell similar merchandise via similar channels, there’s little overlap among their customers.
In June, 22% of QVC.com consumers also visited HSN.com, and 34% of HSN.com visitors visited QVC.com, finds Hitwise, a division of Connexity Inc. a provider of e-commerce marketing automation technology.
Of QVC’s 8 million U.S. customers, 6 million currently do not shop on HSN, QVC Inc. president and CEO Mike George told investors on a call July 6.
Each shopping network has its own band of loyal shoppers, Geroge said. In the first quarter of 2017, HSN had 5 million U.S. customers, 90% of sales come from repeat shoppers and an average shopper purchases 13 times per year, he said. Similarly, QVC has 8 million U.S. customers as of the first quarter, with 92% of sales generated by repeat shoppers and an average shopper purchases 25 times per year. For comparison purposes, the average repeat shopper rate in 2016 is 39.2% among retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500, according to Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com.
While similar in style, QVC and HSN have different merchandise category strengths, George told investors. For example, HSN sells more in the electronics, and fitness and health categories, while QVC sells more in the fashion and beauty categories, he said.
While gaining a new, frequent shopper base, the merger is necessary to stay competitive against Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (No. 3), says John Fetto, senior analyst research and marketing at Hitwise.
“Over the past two years, visits to QVC.com, HSN.com and Zulily.com declined 9% collectively while visits to Amazon.com increased 50% and visits to Walmart.com increased 31%,” Fetto says. Liberty Interactive acquire flash-sale retailer of women and children’s products Zulily Inc. in 2015 for $2.4 billion.
Combined, however, traffic to the three websites in June reached 69.4 million visits, making it the seventh most-visited online retailer in terms of traffic, according to Hitwise data. This puts it ahead of Macy’s.com, Hitwise finds. Macy’s is No. 6 in the Top 500.