Every ecommerce entrepreneur has a starting point, and nothing can give you that nudge in the right direction like an inspirational story or a clearly written how-to guide. That’s why it’s always smart to look to the experts for inspiration, advice, or guidance. From telling their own story to providing insight into some little-known facts about how to make it in a competitive business world, some fantastic reads are guaranteed to offer insight into practices that are time-proven, effective, and guaranteed to motivate you.


Listed here are some books for the every ecommerce entrepreneur should read, regardless of where you are in the process. Whether you’re still percolating an idea, developing a business plan, looking for investors, or considering the issue of scalability for your already-successful business, these are reads that look at some of the most significant areas of business success, such as marketing, metrics and analytics, branding, and other general practices.


Every potential ecommerce entrepreneur should read The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf before conceiving of and writing up a business plan. Steve Blank is a startup expert who unlocks the main secrets of getting your business off the ground with an easy-to-follow guide. His greatest interest is in helping owners build the foundations of a successful business that will be capable of scalability over time. In this text, the authors detail the strategies founders need for getting, keeping, and growing a customer base and delineate the deadly sins of business and how to avoid them. This manual, complete with a range of DIY checklists, should be on your must-have reading list.


The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Test, Battled Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything is written by Guy Kawasaki. It is a well-written guide to making a new product, service, or idea a success and launching your business efficiently and effectively. It explains how, due to the wide range of accessible advice for business owners on everything from recruiting to branding, many business owners get sidetracked or paralyzed by the mountain of information available to them. Guy explains how recent changes to the ways businesses are conducted have forever altered how we advertise, market, and even foundationally plan and launch a business.


From using social media to create consumer loyalty to using crowdfunding as a viable alternative to investors, building a business means you need to know how to effectively utilize all of the new tools available to you, while concurrently mastering all of the fundamental challenges of running a business that have not changed.


Convert!: Designing Websites to Increase Traffic and Conversion by Ben Hunt will help solve your online traffic issues and turn online browsers into buyers. Convert! is written to help the commerce entrepreneur understand the essentials of online traffic, including your market, your product, and your delivery and use that information to create a site that is viewed by the right people. It identifies powerful solutions and easy fixes to ensure that your consumers have a compelling experience on your business site in order to improve its conversion rate. In this book, you will begin to understand the holistic nature of website optimization, explore a myriad of techniques for building traffic and engaging your audience, and eventually design a creative solution in order to get the best results from your business site.


Brian Clifton’s book, Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics is comprehensive, covering everything from the fundamentals using gathered data to advise for applying them over time. Because Google Analytics is a free tool used by millions of website owners, it is accessible to ecommerce entrepreneurs on a tight budget. Its revised interface and new features can offer even more ways to increase the value and effectiveness of your website if used correctly. This book teaches you how to use it to your advantage.


If you’re looking to extend your experience, you might want to also look at his 2015 book release, Successful Analytics: Gain Business Insights by Managing Google Analytics, which assists data managers who need information in critical areas and tips for best practices.


In addition to the texts suggested here, eCommerce business owners should always find and use the latest online tools, resources, and blogs that can provide timely information on a variety of topics and provide you and your business with an often-necessary shot of renewed enthusiasm for the work itself.


What are some must-have reads you would recommend? We would love to hear your suggestions!

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