Small business: Shopping channel pitches to local inventors

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Alastair Duff, chief executive of The Shopping Channel, says the new channel will be an ideal platform for home-grown entrepreneurs.  Photo / Greg Bowker
Alastair Duff, chief executive of The Shopping Channel, says the new channel will be an ideal platform for home-grown entrepreneurs. Photo / Greg Bowker

The Shopping Channel - New Zealand's first, dedicated 24-hour selling channel, launching on Sky Channel 18 and Freeview Channel 18 on October 1, believes it will be an ideal platform for homegrown entrepreneurs to show audiences their inventions.

Chief executive Alastair Duff talks to Gill South:

How will the Shopping Channel be able to help entrepreneurs test out and explain their inventions?

They will have the ability to educate and demonstrate their product in a half hour or eight minute format providing the necessary time to really articulate the benefits.

Have you seen this work in other shopping channel models overseas?

Many products are developed for shopping channels in the first instance and, if successful, broaden to retail. In some instances multinational companies start the marketing of their products on home shopping channels, determine initial uptake before deciding to go full scale production.

How much will it cost to present a product on the Shopping Channel?

The entry cost is $6000 dollars for three half-hours. This includes production, talent, live streaming, on-demand clips, hosting of product on the website, warehousing and fulfilment. The model was developed to have a minimal cost to entry, hence the ability for many local products and services to take their product to market.

What sort of audience do you anticipate the Shopping Channel reaching?

Understandably predicting audiences for a new channel is difficult. As context, Trackside delivers 400 000 unique viewers per month, the Food Channel, approximately one million, Living Channel approximately the same. Quite clearly we hope to go beyond Trackside, therefore somewhere between 400, 000- 1 000 000, possibly more which would be fantastic.

How will consumers pay for products on the Shopping Channel? How will they give feedback on a presentation they have seen on the channel?

Consumers will buy product via an on-line e-commerce platform. This is the preferred method of New Zealanders. Obviously Trade Me has driven the use of on-line purchasing. The website will contain significant information on every product as well as presenters. A dedicated customer service option will be available for customers for any additional information.


To follow their dreams of starting their own businesses, people have to forsake buying homes, holidays, new car among other things. Tell us about the sacrifices you have made for your dream companies. Email me, Gill South, at the link below:

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