Sunday, 3 March 2013

The A-Z of Commerce

I've come across a few articles recently that speak of "Pervasive Commerce" and, as we're going to be entering the age of it, probably as I type, I thought I'd better get smart about it.

E-Commerce (ordering stuff online in plain English) has been mainstream for almost 20 years now - I can't remember the first time I ordered something online, now, but expect it was a book from amazon. There's a whole generation now who have never known anything else. That represented a huge step-change in our perceptions of instant gratification. As long as you were near a computer, connected to the internet, you could order stuff 24/7.

Pervasive Commerce or U-Commerce where "U" is "Ubiquitous" refers to E-Commerce as well as this lot, some of which were also new to me:

M-Commerce (Mobile, and Verdict Research estimates that 80% of the population will use mobile for at least some part of the purchase process by 2016)

V-Commerce (Voice)

T-Commerce (Television)

S-Commerce (Silent-Commerce: you know the sort of thing - when your iPhone and the washing machine get together to buy a pack of Persil without you noticing.)

But, in all of this, I can't help noticing that the word "Pervasive" always has negative overtones. Is a pervasive smell ever nice? And however much commerce progresses in terms of time and space, there will always be the rebels who decide that they do want to go into a quaint little shop smelling of leather and shoe-polish, be measured up and wait a few weeks for a pair of finely-crafted, handmade shoes.

Even if they do end up paying for them via voice-activated online banking.

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