Changing TV habits prove challenging for JML

The changing way consumers watch television is impacting marketing spend for many retailers, but none so much as JML which built up its business through TV home shopping.

“People’s TV viewing habits are changing considerably,” said Stephen McCreath, group marketing director at JML. “With Netflix, Amazon and iPlayer, people don’t watch that box in the corner of the living room which really built our business.”

He added: “The challenge is to target customers going forward with engaging content which still gives a call to action to buy.”

While JML sells via its shopping channels pushing customers to its call centres or online to complete the purchase, its products are also available through various partners as dedicated merchandised areas in stores.

Speaking at the eTail Europe event in London last week, McCreath said for every £1 spent advertising on a TV channel, like ITV2, it sees an average of £5.60 return via direct sales, but sales through retail stores multiply this figure by up to eight times.

“Our bricks and mortar retail business is growing year-on-year over the last four years, so we have no major concerns in retail,” said McCreath.

He pointed out how JML wants to drive more direct sales, but its media spend isn’t seeing as great a conversion online.

“We’re not converting them directly, we are converting through retail, but we want to convert via our online platforms.”

McCreath said JML must invest in effective database software so it can analyst customer spend and test different marketing strategies to see which drives customers to direct channels.