Best E-Commerce Resources
In 1991, the internet was opened to the public for commercial use. Since then, thousands of entrepreneurs have been bringing their business to the internet every year. Amazon and eBay are among the pioneers of e-commerce. Both launched in 1995. Amazon started by selling books and CDs, and today they sell pretty much anything. eBay, on the other hand, is an online auction shop. E-commerce has transformed traditional shopping to a remarkable experience. It makes buying a lot easier and convenient. Customers can shop anywhere at their convenience.
Today, technology has empowered individuals to launch their own e-commerce businesses with ease. Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and ClickBank allow anyone to become a seller. Commercial e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce have helped thousands of people build their successful e-commerce businesses.
With the ongoing evolution of internet, computers, smart phones and tablets, together with the availability of easy-to-use e-commerce platforms and tools, e-commerce is guaranteed to expand in years to come.
E-Commerce Success Stories
Get inspired by people's success stories and case studies with e-commerce. Remember what Steve Jobs said,
"Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again."
It is the absolute truth. If others can achieve amazing success with e-commerce, you can too!
Touch of Modern, or ToMo, is a members-only e-commerce company that sells men's lifestyle products, fashion, accessories, and gadgets. Founded in 2012 in San Francisco, California, the company has over 10 million users. Since 2013, Touch of Modern has witness a three-year sales growth of 2,424%. In August 2016, Touch of Modern was ranked 147 on the 35th annual Inc. 5000 list which ranks the nation's fastest-growing private companies. Their secret? Product curation. They only select highly innovative and interesting products.
Luxy Hair is an e-commerce store that specializes in clip-in hair extensions. Husband and wife Alex and Mimi Ikonn created the company when they found out it was very difficult to find good hair extensions. In 3 years, they built Luxy Hair into a 7-figure e-commerce business mostly through YouTube marketing. Their YouTube channel, which was created in 2010, now has over 2.8 million fans. Their secret to success is to create content that has independent value without a direct sales pitch. That is, deliver value and build an audience first, and sales will follow.
There is no better way to learn about e-commerce than studying from successful e-commerce business owners. Read success stories in the Q&A format from real Shopify store owners.
Get inspirations from BigCommerce users who have achieved amazing success. Learn how they built their business as well as the results they have achieved.
Learn how having a user-friendly, innovative and attractive website can help grow your business with the success stories from 3dcart.
Be inspired with real life stories of people who succeeded with their e-commerce business. Learn how e-commerce can change the way you live your life.
Join host Felix Thea each week and learn from true Shopify masters on how they build, launch and grow their profitable e-commerce business. Topics covered include product ideas, positioning, operations, marketing, and more.
Listen to 79+ interviews with successful Shopify business owners and get practical advice on how to grow your e-commerce from scratch.
Best E-Commerce Books
I put books first because they are usually more comprehensive and cover all aspects of e-commerce. In addition, if you have been following my blog, you would know that I am an advocate of learning through reading books.
1. E-commerce Get It Right!: Essential Step by Step Guide for Selling & Marketing Products Online. Insider Secrets, Key Strategies & Practical Tips - Simplified for Your StartUp & Small Business Paperback
By Ian Daniel
Written in a no holds barred style... This new, exclusive and timeless Step-by-Step E-commerce Guide, will show you everything you need to know about achieving success with your own e-commerce business and website. Whether you're an e-commerce startup, or already have an existing e-commerce business or website that is struggling to make a profit, this book is literally packed full of the latest tried, tested and trusted insider secrets, key strategies and practical tips - proven over a 14-year period to generate sales and profits at explosive levels. Written in a no holds barred style... This new, exclusive and timeless Step-by-Step E-commerce Guide, will show you everything you need to know about achieving success with your own e-commerce business and website. Whether you're an e-commerce startup, or already have an existing e-commerce business or website that is struggling to make a profit, this book is literally packed full of the latest tried, tested and trusted insider secrets, key strategies and practical tips - proven over a 14-year period to generate sales and profits at explosive levels.
By Rob Mabry
Discover everything you need to know about starting your own online e-commerce empire. This insider's guide to the world of e-commerce starts at the very beginning and teaches you how to find the right products to sell then guides you step-by-step through the entire process. You'll learn...
How to find great products even if you have no idea what to sell.
How to find great suppliers and avoid bad ones.
How to create a top-notch business plan for free.
Are you a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or something else?
What are the permits and licenses you'll need to open your store?
Without a road map to success, most e-commerce entrepreneurs fail miserably. This longtime e-commerce business owner takes you through his own successes and failures to demonstrate how to manage your online business with precision and turn a profit.
By Alex Harris
Anyone selling products or services online can benefit from this book. You will learn exactly how to make your website more successful and increase the amount of money you make from your website or e-commerce store. This also includes clear, actionable steps for you to increase retention and create loyal customers that will come back to spend more money. Plus, you can get examples of each case study listed in the book. In this book, there are three hundred different tactics to increase conversions, generate more leads, and maximize ROI. The key is to find the most profitable tasks and start with those. The advice outlined should be organized into an annual marketing calendar. A marketing calendar is an organized schedule of when you need to create and promote the marketing throughout the year. This way, you can proactively set up the success of your e-commerce website.
By Chad Rubin
In the last few years, direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies have invaded the marketplace and our daily lives. Dinner? Blue Apron. Plans tonight? Netflix. Need new glasses? Warby Parker. Five o'clock shadow? Dollar Shave Club. It's never been a better time to start your own direct-to-consumer enterprise and there are innumerable tired industries waiting for you to disrupt them. In Cheaper Easier Direct, Chad Rubin will show you how to find success, disrupt whole industries, and make millions of people happier. Even better, you don't need to be searching for the next billion-dollar unicorn, you can start simple and grow. Chad started with a simple coffee filter and grew his empire from there, he'll teach you to do the same. You'll learn about: -Product Research -Fulfillment -Sourcing & Manufacturing -Managing Sales Channels -Social Media & Marketing
By Joel Widmer, John Price and Evan Tardy
In the book, “Crush Your E-commerce Marketing: 24 Instant Action Items to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits and Crush Your Online Competition,” you’ll discover 24 potent e-commerce strategies that you can implement to instantly improve your online store. Plus you’ll discover all the tools you need to increase your effectiveness and efficiency so you can spend less time doing “busy work” and more time increasing your sales.
What Is E-Commerce: The Basics
Study the following resource before moving on to more advanced topics:
Ronald L. Bond covers the basic things you have to plan for when starting out in retail e-commerce.
Richard Lazazzera from Shopify provides answers to the basic questions you face when you're planning to embark on an e-commerce business.
In this 5th installment of a boot camp series, Katey Ferenzi from BigCommerce discusses the different ways to perform market research to validate your online business idea.
The 4th Boot Camp installment by Katey Ferenzi from BigCommerce discusses the restrictions and regulations that you need to know and understand before selling your products online.
Catalin Zorzini provides a game plan on how to have a successful e-commerce business, from making that very important first impression to getting the power of social media work for you.
Seven successful e-commerce CEOs in the PrestaShop community share their valuable thoughts for e-commerce entrepreneurs.
A comprehensive guide on the various platforms, marketplaces, and sites where you can sell your products online.
Shopify lists all the terms you need to know to start an e-commerce business.
45 comprehensive guides on how to stat and grow your Ecommerce business.
What to Sell: Market Research, Niche Research and Product Selection
Many of my coaching clients struggled with deciding what niche they should choose and what products they should sell. The choices seem to be boundless: fashion, jewelry, furniture, kitchenware... Not to mention that in each niche, there are probably hundreds or even thousands of products to choose from. Should you just go with what's hot now? Or products that will be "evergreen"?
If you have watched my video course on how to build a long term business, you would know that I highly recommend you build a business around a validated passion. A passion is validated when your research has shown that there is a business opportunity for it.
The following resources can help you zone in on a profitable niche and products you are passionate about.
Learn where to get product inspiration, from broad ideas to more specific resources.
In the first post in a series of small business boot camp, Katey Ferenzi shows you how to find your product niche as you plan your e-commerce business.
In lesson 3 of her boot camp series, Katey Ferenzi discusses what you must consider when evaluating a product's potential and viability in the marketplace.
For many, Reddit is just where people complain about everything. Not according to Richard Lazazzera, founder of A Better Lemonade Stand. Here he provides the best Reddit threads where you can discover your next potential product.
Richard Lazazzera guides you on how and where to find best sellers and trending products that you can use for your e-commerce business.
Richard Lazazzera identifies products and niches he thinks will be big this year.
This article identifies the different tools and methods you can use to determine the demand for your product.
Shopify's valuable guide on how to find, evaluate and validate product ideas for your e-commerce business.
You will find a tool that identifies 18 specific criteria points that evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of your product and niche.
Where to Sell: Hosted Site vs. Self Hosted Site vs. Online Marketplaces
There are two major considerations when choosing the best e-commerce platform:
Your own store versus online marketplace
Hosted store versus self-hosted store
Refer to my other blog post Best E-Commerce Platforms for more information on how to decide where to sell your products.
How to Source Products:
Make, Manufacture, Wholesale, or Dropship
Where to source products for your shiny new e-commerce store can make or break your business. There are essentially four choices: make, manufacture, wholesale, and dropship. Pick what's right for you by first studying what each choice entails.
Learn the basic knowledge and safeguards to effectively and safely source your product through Alibaba in this very helpful post.
This guide by Shopify presents the pros and cons of the different options in acquiring the product you want.
An in-depth guide on how you can locate, contact and negotiate with suppliers.
Katey Ferenzi from BigCommerce shows the different options you have in sourcing your product.
Lina Vashurina from Ecwid discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the four product acquisition models so you can decide what is the right one for you.
Learn the basics about drop shipping as Richard Lazazzera covers the pros and cons, and a lot more. You will also get a bonus of a free curated directory of 50 drop shipping suppliers and manufacturers.
This 11 chapter comprehensive guide from Shopify's Mark Hayes and Andrew Youderian shows you everything you need to know about running a dropshipping business.
How to Ship and Fulfill Orders
Shipping and fulfillment isn't just about getting your products from A to B. It is a critical part of your e-commerce business. You need to decide how to charge customers, packaging and branding options, which carrier to work with, insurance and tracking, among many other issues. Plan everything beforehand before you open your online store.
To learn more about this topic and how to get started, please visit the link on the screen.
Shopify's 9 chapter step-by-step guide on how to get your products from you to your customers.
Learn all the major variables that you need to consider when shipping your packages to your customers.
Find a list of high highly recommended apps and services for your shipping and fulfillment solutions.
Get a list of highly recommended service providers for your products packaging needs.
How to Build Your Online Store
Before rushing into building your store, it's important to first learn as much as you can about the basics of e-commerce, including market and niche research, product sourcing, shipping and fulfillment, and e-commerce platforms.
The next step is to learn the essentials of building an online store and roll it out following industry's best practices.
Here are some resources to minimize your learning curve:
Get design inspirations from award-winning e-commerce website. Take notes of what you like about each site and share your notes with your designer.
110+ beautiful e-commerce websites in pretty much every industry.
Although all of these websites use Shopify, you can still learn a great deal if you use another e-commerce platform. Design is platform-independent.
Get essential tips on how to build a functional, unique, good-looking and user-friendly E-Commerce store from experts.
A great discussion thread on Quora about building a user-friendly and well-designed E-Commerce website.
Your domain name isn't just a URL for your store, but also your brand. Get it right the first time by choosing a domain name that reflects your brand.
Get valuable tips on how to convert more visitors to buyers through better photos and design.
Don't just copy manufacturers' generic product descriptions! A great product description helps your product rank higher on search engines and improves conversions. Get the 8 essential tips on how to write better product descriptions
Practical advice on what you should do after you have installed your online store.
Don't rush into making your store live before checking out these 7 things first.
Natalie Beigel from PrestaShop shows you how to think from a customer point of view when building your e-commerce site.
This infographic examines how you can instill trust in visitors to your store at every point in a customer lifecycle.
Graham Charlton from Econsultancy shares essential tips to maximize conversions for mobile commerce.
Best E-Commerce Platforms
Once you have learned the basics of creating an E-Commerce store, it's time to select an e-commerce platform. Read our recommendations for the best e-commerce platforms.
Free Courses on Building Your E-Commerce Store
All of the following free video courses are from Udemy, one of the best destinations to learn new skills. I have personally watched all of them to make sure they are of high quality. Udemy has many more video courses on how to build an e-commerce store. Join Udemy and start learning something new today.
Learn to create an e-commerce website from scratch and start selling products online. No coding or experience required. Cost: free. Length: 1 hour.
A-Z guide to building an online store for free and selling a profitable product. Cost: free. Length: 38 minutes.
Step by step guide to set up and configure an online store design using a real world example. Cost: free. Length: 2 hours.
Learn how to setup a WooCommerce store in WordPress. Cost: free. Length: 1.5 hours.
Learn how to create an e-commerce store to sell retail products and profit. Cost: free. Length: 1 hour.
Get your own OpenCart e-commerce shop up and running fast. Cost: free. Length: 1 hour.
Learn how to set up and launch your e-commerce store with Volusion. No design or coding skills is required. Cost: free. Length: 1 hour.
Paid Courses on Building Your E-Commerce Store
All of the following video courses are from Udemy, one of the best destinations to learn new skills. I have personally watched all of them to make sure they are of high quality. Udemy has many more video courses on how to build an e-commerce store. Join Udemy and start learning something new today.
Learn how to build a store with Shopify as well as how to import Amazon products, and integrate with Etsy and eBay. Cost: $20. Length: 2 hours.
Create a beautiful online store. No technical or design skills required. Cost: $20. Length: 3.5 hours.
Launch an online store with Shopify. Cost: $20. Length: 3 hours.
Put up a WooCommerce site in under 30 minutes, and also discover when it's best to use another type of cart. Cost: $20. Length: 1.5 hours.
Learn how to build a professional e-commerce website using WordPress and WordPress Plugins. Cost: $30. Length: 7 hours.
Learn how to set up an online shop from scratch integratable with eBay, Amazon, Etsy and Facebook. Cost: $50. Length: 6.5 hours.
Here are additional resources to help you grow your e-commerce business.
Get one on one support for small tasks that require less than on hour of work from Shopify experts from $99 per month.
Get help to create a professional Volusion store. Plans start from $4,000.
Need more help getting your store up and running? Hire a freelancer to help you on Upwork. In fact, you can hire someone to help you with pretty much any kind of tasks. Upwork is my favorite place to hire freelancers.
How to Promote Your Store
Now that your store is live, it's time to drive some sales. Learn marketing strategy from e-commerce experts from how to identify your target audience to how to track every aspect of your e-commerce business.
Identifying who your customers are is the first step to promoting your online store.
Shopify's comprehensive list of practical tips to help you make your first sale from your e-commerce site.
Shopify's comprehensive guide on how to utilize email marketing to grow your e-commerce business.
8 step-by-step, profit-boosting guides to drive sales in your e-commerce business.
8 vital e-commerce practices that will fuel growth: mobile e-commerce, SEO, increasing page speed, conversion analysis, reducing abandoned carts, purchase funnel testing, assigning values to everything, and call to action and goal testing.
Probably the best essential guide to SEO.
17 SEO Best Practices That Could Double Your E-Commerce Sales Discover e-commerce SEO and conversion rate optimization strategies that can double your traffic and sales.
21 Ways to Boost Your eCommerce Conversion Rate You can't control Google algorithms, but you CAN control your website. Find out the 21 surefire ways to increase the conversion rate of your e-commerce website. Ideas include: live chat, responsive design, security badges, better site search and recommendation, etc.
Volution's services include but are not limited to: SEO, PPC, social media marketing, shopping feeds, conversion optimization and Ecommerce analytics.
This comprehensive guide by Thomas Holmes teaches how to stay in the know about your e-commerce business and find out whether your marketing is working.
They are: percentage of new visits, site engagement, landing and exit pages, in-page analytics/event tracking, and multi-channel funnel marketing.