QVC post-purchase videos are part of a broader trend in support

Mobile Commerce Daily has a nice article summing up the comments from Todd Sprinkle, VP, Content & Platform Innovation at QVC, at eTail East about how QVC is using video for post-purchase support.  They explain,

QVC initially tested a post-purchase email to customers with follow-up on content on how to use or assemble certain items, especially particularly complicated ones. When returns decreased, the company broadened its thinking on the post-purchase experience to include video on how to use, how to wear and how to love something.

QVC’s strategy makes sense on many levels: decreasing support costs, deepening brand engagement, increasing customer satisfaction, and encouraging repeat purchase.  It’s also interesting that while QVC started with a focus on complex items, they’ve broadened out to apparel as well (most of which you won’t normally put in the “complex” category).

Another powerful way to achieve the same benefits – without all the work of video production – is to leverage community Q&A.  Shortly after an order is delivered, send an email offering the purchaser the opportunity to ask questions of customers who previously bought the same item.  Customers will reliably help each other resolve their issues, and the direct shopper-to-shopper engagement you’ve provided will do more to strengthen their relationship with your brand than interaction with your staff would have.  (Of course, your staff will also monitor these questions and provide additional resources where needed.)  QVC could combine the offer to ask a question with their video email to double the effect.  Another great place to extend the offer to ask a question is in the email where you solicit a review, since it enables customers who are having difficulties to get them resolved before they write a critical review.  It’s also powerful to put a tear sheet in the box with the order pointing the buyer towards the Q&A utility, if they have any questions, or to printing that info on the receipt or the return instructions; those are great ways to head off returns and improve your c-sat scores.

QVC’s innovations are pointing the way toward a larger post-purchase support trend where we expect to see a lot of investment and creativity over the next few years.  Tip-of-the-hat to them.