India’s E-Commerce about to Blossom, L.L.Bean Launches M-Commerce, and Content Redefined

It’s obvious that online commerce is evolving and will continue to evolve. Take India, for instance. ASSOCHAM, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, has reported that in four years’ time, India’s e-commerce figures will triple. Said DS Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM, “A booming economy and rising disposable incomes have contributed to the evolution of online shopping.” That economic growth, coupled with the age 16 to 35 demographic tapped for the study, means e-commerce is set to mature along with the upcoming generations. It should be an interesting ride…

Read some more of the stats at warc.com.

…so it should be of no surprise that the venerable  L.L.Bean (yes, the one of duck boot glory) has launched a commerce site for smartphone use. The new site allows for product searches, browsing, reading reviews, and of course purchasing from smartphones. “We want to ensure L.L.Bean customers can shop with us however they chose and whenever they want,” said Steve Fuller, L.L.Bean’s senior vice-president and chief marketing officer. “[W]hether that’s through our catalogs, website, retail stores and now with mobile.” After the company’s online sales surpassed those from its catalogs in 2010, the move seems a wise one. Founded in 1912, this old dog continues to learn new tricks.

See additional coverage at bangordailynews.

However, as e-commerce markets continue to grow and develop, so must the idea of content. What exactly has that term come to mean? Simply put, the word is open for multiple interpretations. In his article titled “Breaking the Online Content Trap,” Bob Knorpp shares this inconvenient truth about current marketing trends in content proliferation:  “All we are doing is enticing them to watch and maybe share a link. So in the end the value of most ‘content strategies’ is to create inbound link traffic, which is really SEO.” We for one, must agree, sadly. In his equally thought-provoking response, Lee Odden of TopRank’s blog says, “[M]any business bloggers… want to persuade audiences… vs. empathizing with customer needs and interests. “[M]any agencies that create content are more interested in creative self-expression over experiences that are truly meaningful to customers.” The latter half of that sentence is the one you want. To that, we can say amen.

Read Bob Knorpp’s article at adage.com and Lee Odden’s response at toprankblog.com.