HomeShop 18, the 24-hour shopping channel from the Network 18 Group stable, is six-month old player in the market, but the channel has been witnessing a steady growth in transactions happening every month. However, despite the growth, where the channel sees a new transaction occur every 22 seconds, HomeShop 18 is fighting many myths that have formed, courtesy the tele-shopping slots on various channels.
Hitherto, the scenario has been that most of the products being sold during these tele-shopping slots have been selling a genre of products that provide unreal promises as the products are mostly related to spiritual healing or health. So, the task for the first Indian 24-hour shopping channel becomes all the more arduous to convey its credibility and offer it as an alternative to the touch and feel shopping experience.
Sundeep Malhotra, CEO, HomeShop 18, said, “We have seen 100 per cent growth in October over the last month, so the going has been great for us. One of the biggest differences that we have as compared to any tele-shopping that one sees on many channels is that our products belong to established brands and come with a guarantee of authenticity. We have over 260 brands in about 19 product categories, which range from electronics and computing, camera and mobiles, book, movies and music, jewellery and watches, among others.”
He further said, “Unlike most infomercials that one sees, which are dubbed versions with tacky production value, we spend a lot of time in creating engaging and high quality content. We spend a lot of time, talent and infrastructure in building content which is interactive and varied, like we have a show called ‘500 Ka Dum’, which features products below Rs 500; ‘Shop 999’ features products below Rs 1,000, and on weekends we have a show called ‘Weekend Loot’. These are just few of the programmes that we air. We look to constantly reinvent to get more consumers to adopt this new habit of shopping. Besides, we also hold the control of infrastructure like 24x7 call centre and monitor products on a real time basis.” Some of the brands on sale include Onida, Inalsa, Samsung, Lenovo, IFB, Glen, Spykar, Fisher Price, Sun Baby and Liberty Footwear, among others.
For the channel, which also has an online presence with Homeshop18.com, distribution is the biggest issue and they are looking at getting the channel in as many more homes as possible.
In these times of gloom and uncertainty, Malhotra dubs HomeShop 18 as a complete pioneering effort in a new and innovative domain. He cites the example of Diwali, where people preferred to shop from the safe confines of their home 24x7, which resulted in their adding 20,000 customers in October. Besides, it is also good value for money as the purchases cut the cost of any intermediary, thus enabling to stretch the rupee a little more. Malhotra feels that this kind of shopping requires a habit changing retail concept and will need little time for customers to get used to it, especially because the precedents set have not been promising.