Why should you read eCommerce books? As a person in charge of running an eCommerce business, you need to stay motivated and well-informed about new trends in the industry. And there’s hardly a better way to learn than by reading literature written by experts in the field of retail, branding, user experience and psychology. We’ve compiled this comprehensive list of informative reads that will definitely refresh your outlook on eCommerce.

Start with why – Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is a motivational speaker and a marketing consultant whose concept – The Golden Circle – changed the way many people look at business. Like him or not, it’s hard to deny that he is charismatic enough to inspire anyone.

Sinek’s ideas about leadership and their implications for running successful enterprises can really blow your mind. Even though his bestselling book “Start with why” isn’t focused strictly on eCommerce, entrepreneurs, marketing specialists and managers from this industry can still find it very useful. It provides the essential knowledge about how companies should be run and presented to the public. This book will make you rethink your whole branding strategy, and build it again from the ground up, but this time starting with “why”.

The 4-hour workweek – Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is both an author of the book and a live example that tips described inside can be put into practice and completely transform your life. He went from 9-7 job for $40k a year to 4-hour workweek for $40k a month. Impressive, isn’t it? The newest edition of the book includes case studies of readers that managed to repeat Ferriss’ success.

The 4-hour workweek is a recipe for what the author calls “a lifestyle design”. It will inspire you to set ambitious goals and make them come true by eliminating distractions, outsourcing unproductive tasks and changing your mindset about what work should be like. All of the tips from this book can and should be tried out in your eCommerce business!

Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holiday

There’s no doubt that marketing is as important in eCommerce as a product or service itself. The question is not if you should do it, but how. And this book is the answer.

Growth Hacker Marketing is an easy and pleasant read that takes you a few years back in time to explain how the biggest online services like Airbnb, Dropbox, Twitter and Facebook managed to gain their extreme popularity with almost no marketing costs. You’ll learn how to follow in their footsteps and make your promotion strategy smart, not expensive. Since this book came out, growth hacking became the new black of marketing. If you don’t know what it is yet, then it’s high time you learn this!

The Complete E-Commerce Book – Janice Reynolds, Roya Mofazali

After a good portion of motivation and coming up with your business strategy, it’s time to get to actual work. The Complete E-Commerce Book is a manual that will be all you need to understand the process behind building a successful online store.

The Complete E-Commerce Book is a guidebook written by experts for advanced and intermediate eCommerce entrepreneurs. Inside it, you’ll find a wide array of practical strategies on how to prepare and maintain your website, design its key elements to increase conversions, and build a strong presence using marketing and PR techniques. All of that is properly explained and based on case studies. It’s a must-have book for learning e-commerce and keeping for future reference!

Return on Relationship – Ted Rubin, Kathryn Rose

This book will make you rethink the importance of your business activities on social media. According to Ted Rubin and his excessive experience with social media marketing, building strong relationships with a client is one of the best ways of keeping your company afloat in the ocean of businesses fighting for attention. While they focus solely on getting the attention with shocking content and annoying click baits, you should work on retaining the attention you already have. And how can you do it? By connecting with customers on a personal level, recognising their needs and answering them. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to measure the results. ROI isn’t the only factor worth keeping your eye on – after reading this book, you’ll realise the potential of ROR.

Convert! – Ben Hunt

Have you ever had a problem with a perfectly fine product page that just didn’t convert? If you did, then you know how frustrating it is to see all the visits and no sales. “Convert!” by Ben Hunt is a straightforward solution to this problem.

Thanks to this book, you will be able to diagnose the reasons behind low conversion rates accurately. But not only that! You’ll learn how to analyse and test possible solutions to come up with the best-converting product page design possible!

Don’t make me think – Steve Krug

Don’t make me think was first published in 2000 and became an instant classic in the design world. It explains how to make your website simple and intuitive. The strength of Krug’s book lies in its brevity, accuracy and a so-called common sense approach. His rules are so sensible and easy to follow that you won’t believe that these ideas never occurred to you!

Don’t make me think is an obligatory read not only for designers – anyone can benefit from it. Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes is an extremely useful skill in all segments of eCommerce.

Hooked – Nir Eyal

As a person involved in running an eCommerce enterprise, you should take scientific and psychological tricks seriously. Especially the ones that have the potential of improving your product and customer retention. Hooked provides you with the deep understanding of habit-forming patterns. Thanks to this knowledge, you’d be able to optimise the customer experience in your online business. Learn how to create a hard-to-resist, looped process of buying that will better your chances of gaining a loyal client!

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini

In its core, marketing is the art of influencing people. A good product and price are often not enough for success, you also need a few tricks.

Dr Robert Cialdini’s classic publication on persuasion is a must-read for anyone who is serious about marketing. It explains in details six techniques of making people do what you want them to do: reciprocity, commitment, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity. You should definitely use them to your advantage. Your competitors already do!

You Should Test That – Chris Goward

Universal solutions don’t exist. What works for Apple won’t necessarily work for you, and vice versa. Marketers and designers around the world are becoming aware of this fact. There’s no way of knowing what kind of design, copy or layout will convert best without running some tests first. Chris Goward hands you tools to start testing and ditch the guesswork once and for all.

This concludes our shortlist of books that are absolute must-reads for any eCommerce manager. Understanding the principles of branding, design, marketing, and persuasion will definitely make you rethink your current strategies and help you run your online business in a more informed manner.

About the author

Content specialist and gaming enthusiast. Trained to be a philosopher. Interested in Deep Learning, scalability and startups.