The Electronic Retailing Association

Industry News South Africa: Launch of TV Mall, Africa's first live and dedicated TV shopping channel

Budd Margolis at TV Mall in Johannesburg, South Africa

by Budd Margolis

The launch of TV Mall is an auspicious event for the world of TV shopping as Africa holds boundless commercial potential and wealth growth for the future. It is also a disruptive time for retailing and economies which are now interlinked more than at anytime in history.

TV shopping is a new and very different format. It is not scripted. The focus is on the attributes of the product and the value proposition. The consumer thinks this is directly related to infomercials which attract a different consumer and work differently. Some direct response products work on live tv shopping channels but rarely does the reverse work.

Nicky Fintz is the CEO of TV Mall, Africa’s first live and dedicated TV shopping channel which reaches 6.5m homes via DStv channel 173 which launched on June 1st 2018.

The concept is foreign, new and as with other startups there is a need to educate suppliers and consumers. Launching before the World Cup is a challenge but it also provides time to train and perfect the supply chain, infrastructure and logistics. Initial sales are encouraging with tech products such as laptops and action dashboard cameras, health & beauty furniture and shoes doing well.

See interview with Budd Margolis

Kitchen is also performing and jewellery will be introduced in July.

TV Mall is searching for quality local products and winners from TV shopping channels across the world. Many of the shows have guest experts and the search for and training of presenters is ongoing.

Top selling HSE24 beauty expert Dr, Fuchs smashes sales records on TV Mall
Live action in the TV Mall Studio

Shopping entities, especially on TV which is seven distinct business models in one entity, are highly complex and difficult to plan, prepare and train for. It takes time to hire, train, settle in and perfect any start up operation.

TV Mall is changing the dynamic and adding a vital component to retail which is highly informative and demonstrable product salesmanship via video. The format is interactive and responds to consumers demand and inventory, supply & demand, RPM or Rands Per Minute and second by second metrics which includes social media activity.

It is hard to change traditional behaviour and it takes time, but South Africa is the driving economy in a continent which many in the developed nations hardly perceive accurately. Africa is vast, bigger than it appears on globes and maps, the population growth is going to add a billion to the globe in the next couple of decades and there is tremendous and emerging energy, growth and intelligence. There are also many well known issues from politics to corruption, logistics to climate.

The multi-platform reach and DStv audience is just the first stage of what will eventually be a Pan Africa sales stage adding millions more affluent homes.

What we see now is the future and it holds a beacon for where retail and home shopping is headed in Africa. For the world, TV shopping is in the midst of a dynamic and convergent transformation. The trend for sales in America are in decline as digital convergence takes hold on all other forms of retailing. Soon Western Europe and parts of Asia and Oceana will experience downward pressure on revenues unless they converge with the digital platforms. Eastern Europe and then other developing markets will follow within the next 3-5 years.

The African market requires efficient and powerful retail distribution systems which contain better information, salesmanship, metric analysis and marketing. The multi-platform reach and DStv audience is just the first stage of what will eventually be a Pan Africa sales stage adding millions more affluent homes. Africa promises growth in population & wealth for a few decades to come and consumers are all demanding quality products at a fair price and improved information to make informed decisions.

African Dream is TV Malls vision to reach out to inventors, entrepreneurs  and suppliers and provide a new platform for the market. African Dream will reach out to government and regional commercial departments to promote and benefit from this activity.

The concept of presenting and selling products on TV is well proven over the last three decades and works across the globe but it will take time for the market to understand and experience this new form of salesmanship. And TV Mall is also learning, training and evolving as their IT systems come into play and more experience is gained. Start ups are tough but progress, and sales, are being made. South African consumers will benefit with more information and product demonstrations in the comfort of their home.

..and here is the beaded TV Mall logo
The kitchen category is performing well