QVC is experimenting with how to put video at the center of its ecommerce experience. The new Q Anytime app showcases a newsfeed of product videos to scroll through, watch and buy from.

QVC is doubling down on video content, video engagement and video experiences.

QVC this week launched a new video-focused iOS app called Q Anytime. When a shopper opens the app, she is presented with a news feed featuring QVC-created product videos that she can endlessly scroll through. QVC has roughly 700,000 video clips at any time in its content library, says Alex Miller, senior vice president of digital commerce and marketing at Qurate.

A shopper can tap to watch a video, which range from five to eight minutes. Below the video, QVC displays the featured product. If she taps on that, she is directed to a product detail page, where she can read more about it, while the video still plays in the corner of her smartphone screen. If she clicks Buy, she is then taken through checkout flow in the app, Miller says.

Every time the shopper opens the app, new videos appear in her feed. Shoppers can also favorite videos to save and watch again later. The retailer purposely did not enable a search capability in the app, as it wants the focus to be on consuming video content and not searching for products, Miller says.

QVC decided to launch the app to create a “video-first” experience that stands apart from its ecommerce site and apps, which incorporate videos but are focused on digital selling, Miller says.

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“Even though video is an incredible asset, it is used as a supporting element and to make commerce better,” Miller says. “We really want to challenge ourselves and present a video-first experience.”

In the past decade, QVC has focused on mobile and a mobile-first approach to commerce, Miller says. Now, the retailer is noticing many consumers shifting toward mobile video.

“80% of consumers experience QVC on digital as their first window to the brand, and we needed a video-first experience that encompassed the best of our brand,” Miller says.

Beyond the first experience, mobile is where the majority of shoppers purchase at QVC.com. In the U.S., 65.9% of QVC.com orders were via a mobile device in the third quarter of 2018, up from 62.9% in Q3 2017, the retailer reported. Internationally, that percentage is even higher, at 71.6% mobile, up from 68.7% in the comparable period.

Because of QVC’s extensive mobile work across its multiple brands and in other countries, it was not difficult for the brand to set up another app. It took about 90-120 days, using part of its User Experience team, Miller says. QVC decided to launch on iOS for this pilot because that platform has higher use than Android, he says.

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QVC is evaluating how shoppers engage with the app, including how frequently she watches videos, how long she watches them and how her usage differs from the flagship app. QVC wants to get a “critical mass” of shoppers using the app to get a good understanding of engagement, says Miller, without providing a number.

The retailer wants to gather usage data and solicited user feedback through Q2 2019 before making any long-term decisions, he says. For example, QVC is considering making this video-first experience the way its flagship app looks or may keep it separate.

Right now, the app is using content that it has already created for its other platforms, such as the website or flagship shopping app, but eventually QVC might create specific content for this app, he says. As of the end of 2018, the QVC flagship app has more than 9 million downloads across Android, iPad and iPhone devices.

Digital and TV retailer QVC is a part of Qurate Retail Inc., which also includes online and TV brand HSN, flash-sale e-retailer Zulily.com and the Cornerstone Brands. Qurate is No. 11 in the Internet Retailer Top 500.

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