Do you know the role of the US Department of Commerce? Do you know who the current Secretary of Commerce is? I could give you a high level summary of what the department is theoretically responsible for but there was no way I could have told you the current Secretary. (Its Rebecca Blank, the fifth individual to hold the role under Obama). But having looked it up on Wikipedia, I can now share with you, our readers, that the summary clearly states that the department is “concerned with business and industry”.
They are concerned? With what aspect are they concerned? Lets dig deeper. The department states its mission “to foster, promote and develop the foreign and domestic commerce.”
Maybe this is why commerce seems like such a a dirty word. No one really knows what it is. And we all know that our government is uniquely qualified to provide direct, transparent and honest information. So lets move away from the role of commerce at the federal government and talk about it as part of our every day life.
Commerce isn’t a dirty word. When we began using it as part of the TPN vernacular many people shied away from it. “Its too transactional.” “I don’t know how to explain that.” “It sounds too techy.” All legitimate issues. When we talk about the role that commerce plays for each and every consumer it does, and should, mean many things.
When we say commerce, we are referring to the way people shop and buy regardless of where or when that happens. Bored with this post? Hop over to Amazon and do a little shopping. We can wait. Reading this on your iPhone while you sit at an art festival selling your life’s work? If so you probably have Square plugged in. That digital camera you just bought? I bet you asked your Facebook friends for reviews before you bought it.
We believe that more than ever before, commerce happens differently and each of these examples, is commerce….happening. BazaarVoice was the first company to recognize this insight – that people wanted to shop differently – and they built a platform that easily enabled ratings and reviews and allowed it to be imbedded in almost every commerce enabled website. That meant people could see what other people thought of the product they were about to buy before they bought it.
Seemed like a small thing at first. But now there are deal comparison sites, QR codes, digital screen at shelf, content networks in store, show-rooming and app upon app that let people share. All of these elements, and more, allow people to be influenced in what and how they buy. That’s really all commerce is, the how and why we buy things every day. Brands what you to love them, as our CEO says, like “a best friend”. Retailers/eTailers want you to pick them when its time to buy. Shoppers want to tell people about what they bought.
All of this is commerce and, admittedly, there are a lot of moving parts. With the right method, however, brands can find a clean way to be successful. Clean. Not dirty.