Postalmarket and telesales: this is how ecommerce speaks to the over 50s

Postalmarket and telesales: this is how ecommerce speaks to the over 50s

Postalmarket and telesales

The new edition of the famous mail order sales catalog and the digital initiatives of the Qvc channel explore new worlds for online shopping

The new Postalmarket (Postalmarket press office) May the way we shop have changed during the various lockdowns, it is obvious. But when of what we've experienced will it affect our future, in terms of shopping experiences? Above all, how will traditional shopping channels change after two years of digital revolution?

The first data is the magnitude of the phenomenon: according to the Salesforce Shopping Index data, in the first quarter of 2021 there was a strong increase in ecommerce, which grew globally by 58% (compared to 17 % of the first quarter of 2020): Italy in particular recorded a + 78%, the fourth country with the largest percentage increase after Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. But to what extent are these data a simple result of the emergency and to what extent will they remain so? According to the Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey published in June by the consultancy Pricewaterhouse Cooper, between self-isolation and work from home, the impulse to digital consumption has been strengthened by the attempt not only to find the best price, but also to shop locally. healthy or ecologically sustainable. Therefore, according to the report, consumers will not return too easily to their old shopping channels once the pandemic is over.

Paolo Penati, CEO of Qvc Italia

Qvc: between TV and WhatsApp

Given the situation, some of the more traditional channels are looking for digital solutions to support their business, relaunching it or embracing new paths . "The pandemic has accelerated the digitization of people and the growth of ecommerce: in 2020, Qurate Retail Group [of which Qvc Italia is a part, ed] generated $ 14.2 billion in turnover, with ecommerce representing 63% of total sales, equal to 8.9 billion dollars ", explains Paolo Penati, managing director of Qvc Italia, who has just launched a series of new interactive features.

" Our case is different compared to that of other players that have turned to digital to compensate for the decline in sales in physical stores. During the pandemic Qvc has always been close to its customers, using social channels as a means of entertainment to offer its community moments of lightness and lightheartedness ”, he adds. A strategy, he explains, that has brought new customers and strengthened the link with existing ones.

Today, the further step: on the one hand, the choice to send social content published on Facebook on the air in real time with the 'hashtag #DilloinTv. On the other hand, a new integrated digital tool opens up the opportunity to create surveys and competitions capable of increasing audience and customer engagement and interaction, to enhance storytelling, increase views and feedback and increase the engagement of live shows and social platforms. Finally, the evolution of the classic formula of the live phone call with QLive and the introduction of instant messaging live on TV through WhatsApp. "In Italy we launched ecommerce exactly 10 years ago, one year after the debut of the TV channel. Digital was immediately one of our priorities because QVC, despite being born as a TV shopping player, immediately positioned itself as a multimedia platform that embraces TV, website, social and mobile ", says the CEO.

It's not TikTok

Mobile accounts for 80% of Qvc Italia's overall online shopping business and digital is certainly the way to maintain strong ties with the community, but tech news, Penati points out, they are placed in a broader context of digital renewal that also concerns the evolution of TV show formats, starting with the use of QR codes: "Furthermore, the evolution of the television system in Italy, with the new protocols broadcasting, will expand the offer and Qvc will also enter the on demand mode ".

The entry on the scene of competitors from the world of social media, and sales in live streaming, is not frightening but becomes an opportunity for new additions. “Currently in Qvc Italia we are doing live streams on our social platforms, for example, Facebook on a regular basis with different purposes depending on the format - adds Penati -. But the integration of the live stream on our platforms will not be limited to social networks: we are in fact working to make this technology available also on our e-commerce site very soon ".

And in a country like Italy, where the pendulum does not fall precisely in favor of the tiktoker by age, the choice of the social channel can open the way to new basins of users. For the CEO, "With social content we address a digitized audience that is not necessarily young in the registry office: it is a percentage of customers who follow less TV and more social networks. In recent years we have witnessed an increase in this new type of customer who comes into contact with us through digital channels, such as e-commerce and social media, proof that our commitment to make ourselves known even by a different target is rewarded and that the recently launched interactive modalities, such as QLive, will be instrumental in attracting new audiences ".

Postalmarket goes digital

At the root of this strategy, even if starting from diametrically opposed supports and assumptions, comes the choice of Postalmarket (brand taken over by the Friulian entrepreneur Stefano Bortolussi), which from a certain point of view could be considered a forerunner of Amazon, only made in Italy and on paper: today it is ready to return in digital version, with the support of H-Farm innovation platform.

The golden ones for the brand were the 70s, but until 20 years ago it could count on a base of 10 million users, explains Ric cardo Donadon, founder of H-Farm: “Today, without effort, we could reach a few million of them”. In this case, however, the strategy still focuses on a paper catalog, which will be accompanied, however, for the first time, by a digital version, a portal of made in Italy, dedicated to large and medium-sized Italian companies for classic e-commerce sales. , up to the small traders and their trade associations.

“Postalmarket is no longer a paper-only product, but will return with its strong online share and with the ambition of becoming a marketplace - Donadon said- . First of all, the goal is to relaunch the catalog but, like H-Farm, our mission is to bring on board even the most reluctant to digital, that of the over 50s and over 60s, who will find the Postalmarket they knew, but will rediscover its new look and, we hope, they will find the stimulus to get help from their children and grandchildren to shop online ".

At the same time, however, it could be precisely the least digitized segment (and that this pandemic has stirred in its uncertainties ) to act as a flywheel to introduce the youngest to a channel not immediately related to them. "On the next round, after helping the relative to make the online purchase, we hope that young people can also understand it and, in a few years, our ambition could be to become a sort of Italian Etsy, because ours is not a short-range vision, digital evolution is the first step but we aim, in the long term, to strengthen its identity as an Italian marketplace ”, says Donadon.

Riccardo Donadon, founder of H-Farm.

The Italian marketplace

On Postalmarket, Donadon points out, we will not find the batteries for the remote control that we forgot to change or the cords to tie the tomatoes on the garden on the terrace: " best products selected according to its user range by the editorial staff who, as it did in the past, will explain the trends of the moment, becoming not just a catalog, but a real guide ". The print release is scheduled for October, followed by the spring-summer version. “There will be qr code and augmented reality, but these are features that we don't want to give too much importance to in the first place. The target today is not kids, who have other channels, but multichannel as a tool to attract precisely that population that, for example, buys from the television channel ", says the owner of H-Farm.

Also in this case, more than the tiktokers, also in this case it is the television audience that becomes the basin to watch, and entice to the digital passage. “We are thinking about it, we are looking for the right partner - concludes Donadon -. Television, simultaneously with traditional mediashopping, certainly makes more sense, because it is a user who is most likely the Postalmarket product online ".

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