The 8 Best E-Commerce Books of 2020

Read these titles and grow your online business

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Building an e-commerce store is relatively easy, but making money from it is hard. It takes commitment, dedication, and perseverance to create a successful site. Learning from people who have been through the process before can speed up the process infinitely.

You have a lot to learn. How do you find and connect with customers? How do you stay relevant and rise to the top of search results? How you define your mission and move forward as a business? These books will teach you these things and more. Read on to find the best e-commerce books to buy today.

Best for Learning Customer Service: The Best Service is No Service

Learn Customer Service: The Best Service is No Service
Courtesy of Amazon

We are often inspired by tales of incredible customer service — places that go above and beyond the call of duty to please their customers no matter what it takes. But is that the best approach? In this counterintuitive and phenomenal book, Bill Price and David Jaffe make the case that you should avoid having to have customer service at all — because customer service is only required when you make a mistake. Instead of focusing on how to improve the way customer service reps interact with customers, they argue that companies should treat the need for them at all as a teaching moment to figure out how to keep such mistakes from happening again. They outline seven principles that everyone can use to put this into practice immediately.

Best for Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula

Are you ready to start an e-commerce business today? Whether or not you’d like to, you’re probably not genuinely prepared to do so without some serious prep work. Thankfully, this book by Jeff Walker, a veteran of the e-commerce industry, provides an easy-to-follow roadmap that will help you get there in no time at all — even (and maybe especially) if you’re working out of a small basement with a bootstrap budget. By using examples big and small, Walker breaks down what makes or breaks a product launch and the tools you need to build a brand successfully. You’ll learn how to position your e-commerce business appropriately, carve out your niche, no matter what your budget is — and how to manage your time and budget effectively to have the most significant impact.

Best for Learning Different Social Media Platforms: Crushing It!

You might think that online, you don’t need to have as much of a personal brand to sell a retail product as much as you might if you ran a physical store and needed to charm the locals. However, this assumption is wrong — and Gary Vaynerchuk is here to explain exactly why. In his characteristic style that is both practical and inspirational, he paints a vivid picture of the rise of the personal brand, including dissecting the rise and fall of every social media platform, recounting stories of some of the first entrepreneurs, as well as those who have followed his principles with great success. You’ll learn how to leverage your social media channels and gain the motivation to do whatever it takes to grow personally and professionally. 

Best for any Skill Level: E-Business and E-Commerce Management

If you are looking for a textbook on running an e-commerce business, it’s hard to beat this one. Now in its 4th edition, this book covers the fundamentals of both the technical aspects and soft skills you will need to succeed. Written with both an international and domestic audience in mind, you will learn about how to manage a team, the importance of proper planning and other fundamental topics. Whether you are a student, an expert or considering launching a business, you will learn a lot from this.

Best Startup Guide: The Startup Owner's Manual

This book isn’t just for e-commerce professionals, but it’s an invaluable tool for anyone who is launching a business and doesn’t know where to begin. Though it’s over 600 pages long, don’t be intimidated: many of those are charts and helpful infographics, as well as easy-to-follow checklists. Over 100,000 individuals have become entrepreneurs thanks to the detailed and useful outline inside of this book. The advice is so reliable that even the National Science Foundation and several Ivy League universities rely on its methods. Rather than focusing just on building your product, this book emphasizes building a strategy that is customer-centric, avoiding common pitfalls, incorporating business-building strategy, moving clients through a well-developed funnel and scaling your business to drive profits for the short and long term.

Best for Building a Story/Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

If you don’t have a clear message, your e-commerce store is bound to fail. Rather than focusing on things that just apply to businesses, this author focuses on the critical elements of building a compelling story in a way that helps you profoundly connect with your customers. You’ll learn how to avoid common conversational pitfalls and stay on-message no matter who you’re talking to, and learn how to build a competitive advantage with your words. But rather than just shouting a message, you’ll also learn how to genuinely connect with your customers in a way that also motivates them to become loyalists of your brand. You’ll never talk about your work, your life or yourself again after you read this book.

Best for SEO: SEO 2018

If you’re building an e-commerce site, you will never rise to the top unless your target audience can see you — and that requires climbing to the top of Google search results. It’s nearly impossible to do this without understanding the fundamentals of search engine optimization, and thankfully, this book helps you learn them. You’ll learn how to choose proper keywords, develop a strategy that helps you adapt to changes, get more customers and stay relevant. Google is continually changing, so it’s essential to have a book that takes into account the most recent changes, including the emphasis on building a mobile-optimized site and one that loads quickly. Thankfully, this book is updated every year, so you can rest assured that it’ll be relevant if you buy the most recent edition. 

Best for Making Money: Get Rich Click!

The last book on this list gets into the heart of what you want to do with your e-commerce store: make money. This book is a New York Times bestseller for a reason: It contains a comprehensive guide to all of the things you need to know to turn your beautiful Web page into a profitable company that can provide you with necessary income. Just because you haven’t gotten into the game yet doesn’t mean you are behind — you’re still going to have time to learn and grow, and this book will help you do so.