I’ve never really understood the appeal of TV shopping; why spend hours glued to the TV screen when you could simply nip into a shop or find what you need online?
Well, I was recently challenged to spend some time behind the scenes of one of the UK’s biggest shopping channels: Ideal World. The world I encountered was far more exciting and interesting than I had ever imagined!
When you think of TV Shopping you may think of eccentric presenters, celebrity guests, and a fast-paced “going, going, gone!” approach. Well, Ideal World certainly offer all of that but what I discovered is that they offer so much more as well.
Ideal World launched in 2000 and their ethos ever since has been “to constantly evolve and adapt to stay abreast of the latest market trends and ensure they are offering their viewers the most cutting-edge and quality products out there”. Now, if you’re like me, you might not like the idea of being told what you need to buy. However, what I’ve realised is that it’s actually sometimes really helpful to be given advice on which products out there are really worth parting with your hard-earned money for. In today’s shopping climate, we are often overwhelmed by choice; I’ve sometimes spent hours wondering around the big department stores unsure of how to make a decision on something as simple as a coffee maker or a pillow! What I saw at Ideal World is that they carefully select their products to ensure that they are only offering the best quality and value products to their viewers. Immediately, half the hassle of shopping is taken away; now that I can get on board with!
I spoke to Chloe Baines, one of the Leisure Buyers at Ideal World, about her process for choosing products. This is what she had to say:
“We take so many factors into consideration when choosing our products: the brand and company reputation for quality, the current market trends, the value of the product – we try to select a wide range of products to appeal to our wide range of customer and not to overload any one category with too many similar things. Sometimes we simply choose something that we’ve had great personal experience with!”
However, it doesn’t end with the buying process. The next stage is what makes TV shopping so appealing to many and constantly converts new people just like me!
There’s a real buzz in the air backstage at the Ideal World studios and I’m excited about sitting in on the live recordings. I won’t mention any product names but safe to say I witness a variety of products and presenting styles. A firm favourite amongst viewers, and certainly my favourite of the day, is long-time presenter Peter Simon. His infectious attitude and warm and friendly nature really make you feel like you’re watching your best friend tell you about their new favourite things – and there are plenty of funny blooper moments to keep things interesting! All the presenters really make you feel confident in their advice and they also put the products through their paces. This is what really makes TV shopping stand out for me; there are no hiding places because products are tried and tested live on air so you really get a chance to see what they’re made of and whether they’re right for you.
Much to my excitement, there is even a celebrity endorsement on the day I’m there (they have a strong celebrity following and often feature exclusive beauty lines by people such as Patsy Kensit and Alicia Douvall or have well-known handyman Craig Phillips in for a special show)!