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Home shopping giant QVC goes mobile

August 19, 2009

qvc3QVC Inc. is extending its operations from television and the Internet to mobile with the launch of a text ordering system.

The retailer is using QWASI Inc.’s CataMo platform that enables mobile marketing with text ordering in a single suite. The service allows QVC customers to text in orders of beauty, fashion and home merchandise on their mobile phones.

“QVC sees the opportunity to grow their business through the mobile channel,” said David Geipel, cofounder and chief operating officer of QWASI, Philadelphia.

“It’s still too early to tell where that will go for them,” he said. “But our experience shows this will be a great opportunity to reach new buyers.”

Consumers watching QVC can now buy products from the channel by sending a text message with the item number listed on the screen to the QVCGO (78246) short code.

Once the text is sent, the consumer receives a reply with information on the item. The consumer can then reply-to-buy the item and receive a confirmation on the mobile phone.

Of course, the consumer first has to go through a registration process involving a reply with PIN before she can text in orders.

All texted orders go straight to QVC’s processing center. QVC has an entire team dedicated to its mobile operation.

“QVC and other companies of their size understand that many of their current customers are already using their cell phone as their primary phone,” Mr. Geipel said.

“We’ve noticed that consumers are cutting the cord on their landline,” he said. “It’s now the ability for companies to extend their services to their consumers’ cell phones.”

QVC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp. The company claims to reach 166 million homes worldwide through its TV programming. Its Web site at is one of the leading general merchandise sites.

Based in West Chester, PA, QVC has arms in Britain, Germany and Japan. The company has shipped more than 1 billion packages since its launch 22 years ago.

QVC claims annual revenue of more than $7 billion.

The retailer turned to QWASI for the service provider’s technology and familiarity with the retail market.
The QWASI CataMo mobile commerce platform is targeted to catalogers, online retailers, bricks-and-mortar retailers and marketers.

QWASI’s services also include text messaging, MMS and WAP and iPhone applications.

In addition, the company offers mobile marketing, private-label mobile search tools, click-to-chat, click-to-text, mobile IM application, customized alerting and interactive property marketing services.

Clients using QWASI services include AAA, Cox Newspapers, Prudential, NRT and

Mr. Geipel said QVC will promote mobile across its different channels, just as online and TV are on each other. The retailer will also market to existing customers.

“We’ve not seen another cable channel or broadcaster embrace mobile to the extent QVC has by giving their customers a mobile destination,” Mr. Geipel said.

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Mickey Alam Khan is editor in chief of Mobile Commerce Daily, Mobile Marketer and Luxury Daily. Reach him at

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