Getting TV viewers to buy something they can’t readily touch, taste or smell isn’t easy. And when you’re selling, say, footwear or perfume, the challenge is even more daunting.

But HSN has found a formula that works.

Mindy Grossman, its CEO, earlier today told a crowd of footwear and executives at the 2011 FN CEO Summit in Miami that consumers will splurge if retailers create experiences that go well beyond just selling product.

Merchants must deliver the “joy and excitement of new product everyday,” she said.

One simple way to do that, she suggested, is by creating experiences that come to life for the potential buyer.

For instance, when legendary crooner Rod Stewart was set to release a new album last fall, the giant TV retailer partnered with his record label to present a live on-air concert. The end result? More than 30,000 CDs were sold in an hour.

It proved, Grossman said, the music business wasn’t dead; it just needed fresh thinking. It also gave HSN a 20 percent spike in new customers.

“We need to create appointments to view,” she said.

HSN will take a similar approach next month when it debuts new music from Randy Travis.

Posted by Footwear News, The Editorial Staff