Since the advent of TV home shopping in the US some 30 years ago, companies have taken to the small screen to sell products, from cosmetics to cleaning appliances, home furnishings to do-it-yourself home improvement. It remains a popular marketing medium even in this digital age.
Selling on TV has its advantages. The TV is ubiquitous. With 24-hour dedicated shopping channels in countries like Indonesia, India, South Korea and Japan, advertisers can extend their reach to rural heartlands 24 hours a day, throughout the year. By providing detailed product information elaborating on the value of each product and why it is worth buying, the TV becomes an effective store window 24/7.
While TV home shopping is not for everyone, studies have shown it has strong appeal for middle-aged women.
The convergence of different platforms – TVs, personal computers and mobile devices – has helped to secure its future. After viewing the merits of the products on TV, consumers can then go online to make their purchases.
Why should TV home shopping concern us you may ask? As every product bought has to be delivered, it involves a back-end. For current purposes, what storage solution is ideally suited for TV home shopping?
TV Home Shopping Vs E-Commerce
While TV home shopping has some similarities with e-commerce, the requirements are quite different. E-commerce fulfillment is complex as companies have to wrestle with multiple products pick to very small orders, with delivery made within tight timelines.
TV home shopping is a lot easier to manage, as it involves large volumes and small number of SKUs.
Take India for example. TV home shopping players advertise between 3,000 and 4,000 products annually with a high majority being private labels and small to mid-scale brands. In comparison, leading online megastore Flipkart has over 15 million products on offer on its website, from clothes to car accessories to cooktops.
Ditto for Indonesia. MNC Shop – Indonesia’s largest 24-hour television home shopping networks – offers about 20,000 products each year, of which 300 to 400 are replaced each week with new ones. The company has just about 10,000 monthly active users, defined as people who make at least one purchase.
How can you best fulfil orders for TV home shopping?
The batch and sort pick is recommended. By picking in batches, you can overcome the inefficiencies of small order picking.
You can batch by SKU, which ensures high pick efficiency as each SKU location is visited only once. The larger the batch, the bigger is the gain in picking efficiency.
Multiple orders can also be batched together for picking.
By reducing the travel time for order pickers, you can optimise the manpower and expedite picking. While picking more than one order at a time increases the risk of picking errors, current warehouse management system can help to mitigate this risk.
After picking, the orders have to be sorted either mechanically using a sortation system, or manually.
For more information on picking solutions, do check a competent consultant who can assist you.