Mark Knopfler and the Rise of Couch Commerce
I would argue, very strongly and with no little personal experience, that the true cost of a bottle of wine should be measured not in its retail price but in the value of the goods you buy on Amazon* once you’ve drunk it. I would also argue that as consumer adoption of tablets increases, the gross transaction values of eRetail purchases will go through the roof. Finally, I would argue that there is, at the very least, a tangential relationship between my first and second suppositions. Let me elaborate with the aid of a scenario which may or may not have some grounding in that personal experience. Let us say that you are sitting on a sofa in your lounge, accompanied by your dear wife and a steadily diminishing quantity of an excellent Pouilly Fume, watching a documentary about former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler. You are simultaneously, as is your wont, browsing on a nomadic device. At some point in the proceedings - around 1980, to judge from the track in question – your dear wife leans over to you and says, “If you loved me, you’d buy me that album.” So, because you love your wife, and because the Pouilly Fume has diminished even further, you find yourself on Amazon buying that album, and another one to keep it company and oh - while you’re on there – you decide that you may as well get that Cocteau Twins CD you were thinking about the other day. Hence, a few days later, Making Movies, Blue Bell Knoll and the soundtrack to Local Hero will arrive in the post, together with two tickets to War of the Worlds which you apparently bought having decided that you really don’t get out enough to concerts and that of course you’ll be able to get a babysitter that night. Now, I am not arguing here that alcohol is a key driver of mCommerce (although that would make a pretty arresting headline for a press release); rather, that the ambience within the living room (comfy sofa, big TV featuring Mark Knopfler, wife and yes, Pouilly Fume) is extremely conducive to the browsing and purchasing experience. Conversely, the ambience in the area immediately surrounding your desktop may not, I would venture to suggest, lend itself quite so much to the retail experience, and certainly not for purchases made off the cuff. In short, couch commerce is most definitely on the up. This increased extent of engagement has already been observed with laptops, but tablets take this to a whole new level. As, indeed, do smartphones: for what these devices lack in screen size, they make up for in portability – you can buy the Mark Knopfler album, or the War of the Worlds tickets, or Elvis Lives on Planet Football** (the exciting debut novel from Windsor Holden) – pretty much anywhere you can get a 3G or WiFi signal. The upshot of this is that not only are we likely to see significant migration of eRetail from desktop to mobile and nomadic devices – our recently released report posits that 30% of eRetail will occur over such devices by 2017 – but that the mobile/nomadic purchases will add dramatically to the overall scale of eRetail. Whether it leads to a reappraisal on the true cost of wine is another matter entirely. *Juniper Research would like to point out that other eRetail sites are available. **Juniper Research would also like to point out that other novels are available. Although possibly not about two aliens and their undying love for Leeds United.