The Electronic Retailing Association

Industry News: Global Industry Trends and New Developments 2018

by Budd Margolis

Budd Margolis is a London based consulting expert for global TV shopping & eCommerce.

Budd Margolis started his TV shopping career with QVC UK. He has been working in the field of global TV shopping & eCommerce for some 25 years and has worked in over 50 countries. He is now an associate with Best Flow Factory Retail of Copenhagen, Sofia, Dubai & London.

We all know that we are in the beginnings of the greatest period of transformation the world economy has ever experienced. And this has an impact on our industry: Teleshopping, infomercial short & long form via dedicated channel or media buys or the live format, must innovate to survive. The past year has seen more activity than in the past decade.

Our industry grew out of the market hawkers and skilled sellers of ancient times to the launch of the Sears catalogue in the late 1800’s. Commercials across radio and later TV were widespread in the USA where infomercials grew in exposure and sales and in 1982, the Home Shopping Club started and was later remanded as HSN now part of QVC and the Qurate Group.

eCommerce and the mobile phone especially have created a revolution with change accelerating at unprecedented and discombobulating speed.

Recent Developments in the Middle East

HSE24 recently launched in Dubai, UAE.

In the Middle East, HSE 24 just launched and Shark Shopping continues its revamping of Citruss TV both based in Dubai, UAE.

Growth Potential in Eastern Europe

Europe is seeing some softening of the market, East Europe still holds growth potential.

Russian Recovery

Russia: Last summer the Russian Post, without warning or much discussion changed on-line order processing rules. They cut the time a product could be held on post office shelves by half and doubled return rates. The entire e-Comm & TV shop industry suffered significant losses but in November the RP rules were returned to what worked previously so everyone is recovering.

India continued decline

India, which has been in decline over the past fews years continues this trend as Homeshop 18, which acquired CJo last year, has not seen the advantage of acquiring a major competitor yet.

Africa catching up quickly

Africa is catching up quickly with the launch last summer of TV Mall South Africa, the first live and dedicated shop channel, as well as a dedicated DTTV operation SHOPEX for the Lagos market. There is also a new company Sabbat headed by a former Citruss TV manager, who is developing a live format for Egypt out of Cairo. Egypt has had DRTV for many years now and this effort is a fresh approach for the market.

TV Mall was launched in Johannesburg in June 2018 for the South African market

TV Mall, South Africa

In November 2018, TV Mall, which launched in Johannesburg for the South African market on June 1st 2018, conducted another first for the continent with a dual location split screen live show featuring the best selling Dr. Michaela Fuchs and presenter Larisha. Dr Fuchs beauty products are among TV Malls best sellers.

This is not the first time an international feed has been used in TV shopping but it is the first, that I know of, for a streamed feed to be used live to air. Instead of a satellite feed, which is far more expensive,

TV Mall implemented ZIXI which provides very high & reliable broadcast quality live video over IP. In terms of look and sales, this is a major success which opens this format for others wishing to penetrate the South African market and DStv (Digital Satellite Television) audience.

Isi Abebe, SHOPEX's Founder, previously worked for HighstreetTV in the UK

Launch of SHOPEX, Lagos, Nigeria

December 1st 2018 saw the launch of SHOPEX. Based in Lagos, SHOPEX is the first international TV shopping business in Nigeria, Africa’s largest market of 180 million potential customers.

SHOPEX's Founder, Isi Abebe, worked for HighstreetTV in the UK, and returned to head up the operation which received funding from the London-based television shopping and broadcast advisors Expert Media Partners (EMP).

Ed Hall, Managing Partner, EMP, has been involved in developing complex broadcast projects in Nigeria since 2003 and the really clever part of this project is to provide supplier DRTV companies with direct access to a proved back-office and data system that provides both merchants in Nigeria and abroad, the ability to sell their products via DRTV. Unilogix is an operations platform which fully integrates DRTV workflow with the Response Logistics Platform.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest market of 180 million potential customers.

The channel is currently delivering products across Lagos but will expand across Nigeria and other countries in time.

“Initial reaction has been much better than we expected and we are working hard to make sure our systems can manage the demand. Isi has a wealth of experience and we join him with our contacts and experience within the global DRTV industry. The proposition is compelling, so we’re delighted to be early-stage investors in this business.” said Ed Hall, Managing Partner, EMP.

Shopex is a multi-channel retailer that sells international products for everyday life.

Shopex is a multi-channel retailer that sells international products for everyday life.

Shopex TV offers the Nigerian market a wide range of lifestyle, fitness and kitchen products that they can access at affordable prices by using their mobile phones to place an order.

"We're excited about this project having observed Nigeria's logistics and payment platforms mature over the years," said Abebe. “We're confident that we can make it work and we have a line-up of great products and offers from across the globe that we feel will appeal to the Nigerian market.”

Other developments

Newspapers make TV twice as effective and online display four times more effective.

The base is declining but still provides a vast audience and excellent ROI.

Multi-platform is not just digital delivered services: e.g. in the UK print reaches 1 in 4 adults daily and 39% of 18-34s every week.

If you are running DRTV, then adding press will remind and reinforce the sale. It also has a positive impact on web traffic.

National newspapers and magazines deliver volume, value and frequency with 7 million bought on a daily basis plus 5 million on a Sunday.