The 9 Best E-Commerce Books of 2020

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Building an e-commerce store is relatively easy, but making money from it can be challenging. It takes commitment, dedication, and perseverance to create a successful site. That said, learning from people who have been through the process can be helpful.

There's a lot to learn about e-commerce: How do you find and connect with customers? How do you stay relevant and rise to the top of search results? How do you define your mission and move forward as a business? To help answer these questions, read on our list of the best e-commerce books today.

Best Overall: 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, "E-Business and E-Commerce Management" 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 are considering launching a business, you will learn a lot from this.

Best for Beginners: Launch

If you're interested in starting an e-commerce business today, it's essential to get some serious prep work. Thankfully, "Launch" 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—even (and maybe especially) if you’re working out of a small basement with a bootstrap budget. By using examples, 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 on Branding: Building a StoryBrand

Having a clear message is crucial for any e-commerce store. Rather than focusing on things that just apply to businesses, "Building a StoryBrand" 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 motivate and encourage customers to become loyalists of your brand.

Check out our other reviews of the best brand marketing books available on the market today.

Best on Social Media Marketing: Crushing It!

In Gary Vaynerchuk's characteristic style that is both practical and inspirational, "Crushing It!" 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. 

Read more reviews of the best social media marketing books available to purchase online.

Best on SEO: SEO 2020

If you’re building an e-commerce site, it's critical for your target audience to 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, "SEO 2020" 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 to 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. Plus, this book is updated every year.

Best on Startups: The Startup Owner's Manual

"The Startup Owner's Manual" 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 book's detailed and useful outline. 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.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best business plan books.

Best for Making Money: Get Rich Click!

"Get Rick Click!" simply emphasizes how to make money with your e-commerce business. 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.  

Best Technical: Don't Make Me Think

Once you understand the basics of e-commerce, reach for Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" to better optimize your site and understand web usability. The book, which was first published in 2000, has influenced web designers and developers to better grasp the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Short, easy-to-understand, and witty, the book is perfect for all skill levels and features helpful illustrations. Now in its "Revisited," 3rd edition, the book has a new chapter on mobile usability and updated examples for the most relevant information.

Best on Analytics: You Should Test That!

Getting people to visit your e-commerce site is one thing, but converting them into customers is another. To accomplish successful conversion optimization, "You Should Test That!" by Chris Goward breaks things down through a step-by-step guide. You'll how to analyze data, run online experiments, and choose the right testing methods and tools. The book also includes hands-on exercises, case studies, and an insert of key tactics. You can also trust Goward's insights, as he's used these techniques to advise Fortune 500 clients. So, enhance your site for high conversion rates through this book's optimization strategies.