The Art Of The Sale

Since the advent of the VCR, the adage has been to look to the pornography industry to see what would happen – which formats would take off, what business models might work, etc., etc., etc. While the pornography industry did seem to be the first on the block to figure out how to make e-commerce work, do they still lead the way today when it comes to the future of video?

While there is a certain profession that perhaps lays claim to be the oldest, right up there with it is the art of the sale, and the pastime of shopping. The shopping experience itself if done well can be a pleasure.

QVC, HSN and other home shopping channels excel at making the shopping experience itself the content. They make no pretense – they are right up front with the fact that their channels are all about advertising.

Many people claim to hate ads, but I’d contend I that it’s really bad ads that most people despise. Advertising that is well done is informative and entertaining and can even be enjoyable. Watching QVC, HSN, ShopNBC, etc. product presentations (particularly electronics, gadgets and sometimes cooking) can for me easily fall into the guilty pleasure category. These people are masters at the art of the sale. Who doesn’t enjoy (or cannot learn from) watching a master ply his craft?

So how are the home shopping channels handling their all-important online presence? QVC and HSN both have iOS and Android apps that make it possible to watch their current live video streams, as well as easily search their catalogs, as well as place and track orders. The ShopNBC app is a fail in that it doesn’t allow you to watch the live video stream. I’d give the nod to QVC’s app as being the most advanced and usable overall.

Apple Going Cheap? Hopefully Cheaper.

Rumors are building that Apple may introduce product discounts not seen before.  In an effort to sell product, PC manufacturers are slashing profit to the point of bleeding.  Apple has held relatively firm in pricing and met or exceeded profit expectations.  A few pricing exceptions are the very modest decreases on the base white Macbook and iMacs.  While Apple may never slash prices to threaten overall profits, surely there is room for a price reduction that will sell more units and maintain the overall profit?  It seems to me that now would be the time to modestly, but attractively, reduce prices and grab market share.

Now is the time of year where Apple can hang a few carrots out there in front of the college crowd.  They are about to start summer jobs. sale1 Why not place some highly attractive incentives out there they cannot refuse?  If Apple can win the hearts of the high school and collegiate students then in a few years the real growth will be seen.  What happens after a whole generation of Apple lovers begin to take control of the companies of the world?

The timing is right.  Apple with it’s $28.9 Billion in cold cash should make a market grab.  Nothing drastic, just a good old-fashioned, irresistible deal that brings the computers within reach.  Perhaps not cheap, but within reach.