How is the Multi-Channel Home Shopping industry coping with the changes resulting from the lockdown and the pandemic? In this complex and changing business environment and with the purpose of connecting members from all over world, ERA GLOBAL organized its first Digital Global Tour event on the 10th of June 2020 from 5.30 to 6.30 UK time. The Tour was part of ERA’s annual conference which, due to the current international environment, was held online.

The Global Tour brought together companies from all over world: US, Japan, Spain, Austria and Hong Kong. Professionals such as Poonam Khubani (Telebrands), Mauricio Navarro (Telemarketing Express Internacional), Jonathan Gregory (Oak Lawn Marketing International/ Shop Japan), Eric Golani (TV Products), Fernando Mercenari (Inova), Katharina Schneider and Dieter Schneider (Media Shop Group) joined the event and shared their business insights and the ups and downs of the last 3 months. Ken Daly (photo), CEO JML and ERA GLOBAL Chairman, hosted the event, with participants being welcomed by Dr. Julian Oberndörfer, CEO of the association.

Do you want to find out more on how key-players from our industry have managed the current global crisis? Watch the Global Tour recording.

Worldwide change in customers‘ habits: focus on health and cooking products

The digital event took place at a time where there has been an ever increasing global interest in online shopping and a change in costumers‘ habits. ”People are more aware of health and are in search of these kind of products. The upcoming months will be the same,“ stated Mauricio Navarro from Telemarketing Express Internacional, Spain. How is this change in habits reflected in the DR and teleshopping industry?

”The lockdown created an opportunity in the DR, with companies having an up-swing in terms of selling products and number of viewers,“ mentioned Poonam Khubani, president of Telebrands, US, a company which has changed its product line in consideration of the worldwide changes in the interests of its customers. Poonam talked about the evolution of the DR company’s relationship with its customers, stressing the importance of now more than ever developing a trustworthy relationship, with focus on interactivity. ”This is going to lay a new foundation on how to do business,“ highlighted the president of Telebrands.

The importance of a strong pricing strategy was also tackled during the event, with Ken Daly, CEO JML, UK, mentioning their well priced products as one of the company’s advantages in the market. ”Our view at JML is that we will benefit from being competitively priced compared to certain industries,“ mentioned Ken Daly.

A winning out-of-the box business model in these times came from TV Products, a Hong Kong based company, that operates on a partnership structure with 36 partners onboard. During the pandemic, TV Products’ partners decided at a very early stage to move from India to Hong Kong. The partners thus took advantage of the early relaxing lockdown measures in HK, to continue developing the projects (more than 20!) that had been put on hold in India at the beginning of the pandemic. „We have managed to find 11 factories to work on our terms for these projects,“ stated Eric Golani, TV Products.

Working from home – a successful business model or a burden?

The transition to a remote working environment has become the new normal for many companies all over the world in the last 3 months. Nevertheless, this new model has come with up- and downsides for many companies, which had formerly not implemented this working model or have a big number of employees.
“In Mexico, we have had challenges, as well as opportunities. Our big challenge was to rely on [our employees] working from home,” highlighted Fernando Mercenari, CEO Inova US. With its approximatlye 400 call centre representatives from home, the company managed to reach the same number of conversions as before the pandemic.

As for Mediashop, Austria, without a strong management team and the support of the employees, the work from home model would not have been as successful as it proved to be in the end. ”The biggest challenge was to make decision without knowing what will happen. (…) We decided to send the employees into home office to be safe. I am grateful that the management took the right decisions. The managers of our divisions organized everything by themselves, with Zoom meetings, and from one day to the next the business was running as usual,“ mentioned Katharina Schneider, CEO Mediashop Group.

As their DR peer colleagues from all over world, Mediashop has seen the upsides of these last months, which balanced the revenue lost in the retail. “Before the sudden lockdown on 8th March, we were in demand of products and we didn’t know if the factories would still be open. (…) It was a real rough ride through this situation and we had to take decisions,“ highlighted Dieter Schneider, Chairman of the Advisory Board Mediashop Group.

For Oak Lawn Marketing International, a company with already implemented a home office policy, it was business as usual. “The work from home measurements were taken long in advance before the authorities’ [recommendations], who legally could just give recommendations. Being a Japanese company, we have very strong risk measures. As a paperless company, everybody has a video connection,“ highlighted Jonathan Gregory, also mentioning the rise in sales of fitness and cooking related products during these months.


The Global Tour was part of the 2020 Virtual ERA GLOBAL Conference, which took place on 10th June. The conference was broadcast via a pioneering tech solution, hosted live from a studio in London and airing worldwide, so that all ERA GLOBAL member companies and friends were able to participate ‘virtually’.

The conference started off with the Town Hall Meeting, with Dr. Julian Oberndörfer, CEO ERA GLOBAL, presenting an overview of the future plans of the association. The virtual EMMA Awards Gala, the Oscars of the Multi-Channel Home Shopping Industry, brought the event to a successful end.

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